“Wouldn’t it be the case of privatizing Petrobras?” asks Lira in an interview with CNN

Chamber president Arthur Lira once again criticized Petrobras’ pricing policy. In an interview with CNN Radio this Wednesday 913), he said that the state-owned company prioritizes the distribution of dividends, something that is not consistent with the fact that the company is public.

Lira goes further and questions whether it would be the case to privatize Petrobras.

“There is a policy that has to be revised, because today it is neither public nor completely private. It only chooses the best ways to perform resources and distribute dividends. So would it not be the case to privatize Petrobras? Is it time to discuss what is the role of Petrobras in the country? Is it to distribute dividends?”, he says.

“ICMS is villain”

Lira’s speech comes at a time when he articulates an agreement in the Chamber to change the collection of the CMS (Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services). According to him, the project would be the solution to contain the rise in fuel prices, since there is no talk about changing Petrobras’ pricing policy.

Lira still has no forecast for the project to be voted on, but he says he would resume discussions on Wednesday.

For the president of the Chamber, the ICMS “is the villain of history” of the increase in fuel prices.

According to him, the problem is not the tax alone, but the way it is calculated on prices. “We have been discussing this in depth since the president of Petrobras was invited to the plenary. We never said that the ICMS ‘starta’ the price. (The calculation) is what makes him ‘start’ the increases, he is the villain of the story”, he says.

The ICMS charge varies according to the price of the good or service. In this way, there is a recalculation whenever prices change.

The president of the Chamber’s proposal is for the tax to be calculated based on the price of fuel in the last two years. Today, this calculation is made in relation to the variation of the last 15 days.

Along these lines, charging “makes states earn a lot of revenue every month”, he says. “We do not propose that states lose revenue, but, at this time of crisis, price containment, with increases that impact thousands of people, they may stop earning more.”

(Posted by Ligia Tuon)