Minister says Brazil will have much larger infra budget for 2023

Bnamericas Published: Friday, January 06, 2023
Minister says Brazil will have much larger infra budget for 2023

The Brazilian government will have an infrastructure budget of 20bn reais (US$3.7bn) for this year, according to Renan Filho, the country's new transport minister.

The week saw Filho taking the reins at the transport ministry after having been appointed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who took office on Sunday.

The minister disclosed the budget figure in an interview with local daily O Estado de S. Paulo.

The figure is nearly three times more than the 6bn reais that went to the infrastructure area in previous years. 

The budget expansion will be made possible due to recent congressional approval of a constitutional amendment to increase the government’s spending cap by 145bn reais for 2023.

"I will present a 100-day plan for the country. In this plan, we will mainly cover five aspects," said Filho.

Those are to resume paralyzed infrastructure works, upgrade Brazil’s road networks, ready the ports for the peak months (January-March) of grain shipments, prepare for the rainy season, and boost the government’s capacity to respond to natural disasters. 

The minister also said that the effectiveness of the current authorization regime for rail projects would be analyzed. Implemented in late 2021, it allows private players to build and operate short-line rail networks using government-owned rights-of-way, avoiding lengthy tender processes. He hinted that the Lula administration could favor a hybrid model with private and public investments for such long-term projects. 

Lula, who is a strong advocate of the State playing a key role in the economy and in favor of more public investment in infrastructure, divided the former infrastructure ministry into two: a transport ministry - overseeing railways and highways - and a ministry for ports and airports.

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