Bolsonaro vets ban on contingency of funds for science and technology – 01/13/2021 – Science

President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) vetoed the ban on contingency of resources from the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FNDCT), one of the main sources of funding for science, technology and innovation in the country.

The vetoes were published in the Wednesday edition (13) of the “Diário Oficial da União” and can be lifted by MPs and senators in a congress session that has not yet been held.

“He has vetoed the essentials of what exactly the prohibition of contingency is. This is the big problem,” the author of the supplementary bill, Senator Izalci Lucas (PSDB-DF), told Folha. The MP said he would work to lift the veto.

The first vetoed section said that “the budget allocation of amounts from FNDCT-related sources to provisions for contingent liabilities or financial liabilities is prohibited”.

The government argues that this provision is against the public interest because it conflicts with existing legal provisions.

In addition, the executive branch can theoretically represent an unforeseen increase in expenditure, which leads to an impact of around R $ 4.8 billion on PLOA 2021 (Annual Budget Bill 2021) and also breaks the budget. Spending cap.

To justify the veto, the government also contends that this Congress-approved section of the law “may reduce the space for executive and legislative allocations of resources according to the priorities set for each year and harm other public policies developed by the Union.” the tax margin for his reduced participation “.

The second veto provision stipulated that the funds allocated under the 2020 annual budget law in a provision for contingencies in the context of the provision for contingencies would be fully allocated to the fund after the law came into force, the sanction of which was published on Wednesday and funds are made available.

However, according to the government, the move is against the public interest as it forces the immediate unallocation of the other portfolios by forcing the immediate execution of approximately R $ 4.3 billion from the FNDCT, which in the contingency reserve. that were already scheduled for the exercise.

The executive also says the move will hamper the implementation of projects and actions already planned by the other areas of the federal government and increase budgetary rigidity.

“They had the resources for 2020, which were practically already limited by 90%, and we included them in the project so that they could be used in 2021. A veto has been made. And the main thing, which is also the ban on the contingency of the Fund is. It makes no sense There is no point in having the fund and the contingent liability. That is unfortunate, “said the draftsman.

Izalci, who was once vice chairman of the Bolsonaro government, denied that the veto devices violated the spending cap law.

“This section is absurd because even the resources were included in the budget forecast. So there is no question of whether the ceiling will be exceeded. No, it is already included in the budget. It’s difficult. If the government doesn’t understand that the People will only get out of this crisis by investing in education, science and technology. We’re not going anywhere. Brazil has been running on it for many years. “

Also in August last year, the CNI (National Confederation of Industry) and science-related institutions requested the release of resources from the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development, one of the main sources of funding for science, technology and innovation in the country. .

In the manifestation, the group said at the time that R $ 4.6 billion was tied up, but this year it should be invested in research, development and innovation (RD&I) activities conducted by universities, research institutes and companies will.

The document in favor of the FNDCT was signed by ABC (Brazilian Academy of Sciences), Anpei (National Association for Research and Development of Innovative Enterprises) and SBPC (Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science).

According to the document, blocking resources on science and technology is harming the fight against Covid-19 and Brazil’s economic recovery.

Speaking to supporters on Tuesday (12), Bolsonaro did not mention the vetoes when telling them that he would sanction the supplementary law.

“Entrepreneurs raise R $ 9 billion a year to allow the federal government to invest in science and technology. Less than 10% has been used over the years. The rest has gone to everything but research development here in Brazil. And today we’re changing I am going to sign this afternoon to enact a law to invest that 9 billion in science and technology, ”said Bolsonaro.
We are a family business.
The statement was recorded and posted on the Internet in a video full of cuts by a broadcaster sympathizing with Bolsonaro.

According to the sanctioned text, “are the expenditures that constitute the constitutional and legal obligations of the enterprise, including the expenditures for the payment of debt services, the expenditures for innovation and scientific and technological development financed by a fund created for this purpose, and the subject to the Budget Directives Act “.

The supplementary law changes the nature of the FNDCT, which has changed from pure accounting to a special fund of accounting and financial nature. The original objective has been retained: to finance innovation and scientific and technological development in order to promote the economic and social development of the country and to allow new applications for the fund.

The purpose of the FNDCT resource allocation is to support science, technology and innovation programs, projects and activities, including basic or applied research, innovation, technology transfer and development of new technologies for products and processes, goods and services and education human resources, scientific and technological exchanges and the implementation, maintenance and restoration of the research infrastructure in the region.

Folha contacted the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Wednesday morning, but the portfolio didn’t show up until the release of this report.

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