In November, the states decided to suspend the ICMS readjustment due to the variation of gasoline and diesel prices in the previous fortnight. The freeze, however, was set only until the end of January – and will not be renewed.
The ICMS on fuel freeze was decided by the governors at the end of October 2021 to try to stop the escalation of prices and give an additional period for the Union, Petrobras, Congress and governors to define a definitive measure.
“We did our part: freezing the reference price for ICMS. But they did not value this concrete gesture, they did not respect the people. The answer was an increase, an increase, a further increase in fuel prices”, the governor of Piauí, Wellington Dias (PT) told the blog.
Petrobras readjusted the price of fuel at refineries this Wednesday (12), the first increase in 77 days. The high was 4.85% for gasoline and 8.08% for diesel. See below:
Petrobras readjusts gasoline and diesel prices starting this Wednesday
According to Wellington Dias, most states voted to maintain the ICMS freeze only until the 31st. This is because the Jair Bolsonaro government has not shown an openness to dialogue about the soaring fuel prices.
Dias says that the current rule only benefits Petrobras and its shareholders, and that the government needs to solve the problem to prevent the population and companies from continuing to pay this bill.
“What was the increase in fuel for? To maintain and increase Petrobras’ billions of profits? Where is the interest, the public commitment,” he asked.
The governors are against partially and palliatively solving the problem of rising fuel prices. They defend that the matter be resolved in a tax reform and in the creation of a Fuel Price Stabilization Fund. This proposal is being studied by the government, but not yet adopted.
The fund would be formed by taxes and used in moments of high price instability. Petrobras would receive resources from this fund so as not to register losses with the international rise in fuel prices and, at the same time, not need to pass the cost on to the consumer.
“We present a proposal that resolves once and for all the fuel and gas price policy, and with the tax reform that we presented and that is in the National Congress, sleeping in a splendid cradle, it is possible to reduce taxes on consumption, in addition to the price of fuels. . When they want to seriously address the issue, we are ready at the Forum of Governors for dialogue and understanding, but in favor of the people”, said the coordinator of the Forum of Governors.
The collection of ICMS on fuel is one of the factors of strong instability between the Bolsonaro government and the governors. The tax is set and collected by state governments.
On the one hand, Bolsonaro often cites the high ICMS as one of the main factors for the rise in fuel prices. On the other hand, the governors counter, blaming the instability in the world oil market and the crises generated by Bolsonaro – which put pressure on the value of the dollar in the country.
The state-owned company’s current readjustment policy is based on the variation in the price of oil and the dollar. The president has also criticized the state-owned company’s rule and pressed for changes. Petrobras, however, says that the fluctuating price guarantees the company’s profitability and avoids shortages.