Minister moves to allocate 7% of pre-salt royalties to technology, innovation

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brazilian science and technology minister Aloizio Mercadante has proposed to the senate's economic affairs committee that congress revise the CT-Petro sector fund's resources to allocate 7% for investments in science, technology and innovation, Agência Brasil reported.

Under the country's law 9478, 25% of the additional value obtained over the royalties paid according to the production of oil and natural gas exploration and production in the pre-salt layer in the country is channeled to financing the CT-Petro.

The fund, created in 1999, seeks to stimulate innovation in the productive chain in the oil and natural gas industry, the training of human resources, and the development of projects in partnership with companies, higher education institutions and research centers.

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Mercadante's proposal is contrary to the interest of mayors and governors, who want resources coming from the pre-salt layer to defray ordinary expenses.

The government is working to modify the distribution of pre-salt royalties and override a provision that calls for equally distributing these resources among all states and municipalities.

"Day-to-day expenses must be covered with the country's growth, with income generation," the minister said. "The pre-salt layer is a provisional source."

Mercadante's position coincides with the scientific community's demands.

"Brazil needs to prepare for the knowledge economy, for a green and sustainable economy. The pre-salt layer is a passport to make this leap," the minister added.