Expansion of the fiscal space of states and actions to combat drought
MORE RESOURCES FOR THE STATES TO INVEST
The limit of 21 states for contracting loans has increased by R$ 58.3 billions, as a result of the revision of the Fiscal Adjustment Programs for 2012-2014. This will enable increasing the public investment by states in areas such as infrastructure, environmental sanitation, housing and urban mobility. In 2011, of the 25 states that have a Fiscal Adjustment Program with the Federal Government, 20 were authorized to take loans, thus ensuring R$ 39.4 billion for investments that are critical to foster regional development.
The Fiscal Adjustment Programs of the Federal District and the State of Paraná are still under review. But the states of Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte have had their debts refinanced and their programs will not need to be reviewed. The states of Amapá and Tocantins have no Fiscal Adjustment Programs with the Federal Government in place.
MEASURES TO COMBAT DROUGHT
Currently, approximately five million families are being assisted in all states of the Northeast and in Minas Gerais through federal programs, thus minimizing the problems caused by the severe drought ravaging these regions. R$ 3.2 billion have already been allocated by the Federal Government for emergency actions to cope with drought. The partnership between the Federal Government and state governments has been critical to prevent the drought from becoming a scourge to the country.
Two additional payments of R$ 80.00 each have been added to the Drought Grant (Bolsa Estiagem), which used to be R$ 400. By October, 831,200 families in 1,311 municipalities had benefited from the Grant. Civil Defense, through its Payment Card used for purchasing emergency items and restoring essential services, provided R$ 282 million to 17 states affected by drought thus far.
According the National Civil Defense Secretariat, the number of municipalities in emergency situations due to lack of rain had reached 1,245 by last October.
The Water for All (Água para Todos) program has already benefited 375,000 families with cesspools through transfers totaling R$ 983 million. In addition to the cesspools, R$ 60 million have been allocated for the installation and recovery of wells in the semiarid region. These wells are extremely important for storing water to be used by the rural population.
Besides the 4,162 tank cars authorized by the Federal Government and operated by the Brazilian Army, which have served three million people in 706 municipalities, the states have received federal funds and pledged to provide an additional 2,000 vehicles. The operation involved the transfer of R$ 310 million for its implementation.
Support for rural production
For producers in the affected regions, special credit lines with interest of 3.5% per annum have been provided. The initiative has benefited 133,000 producers so far, with investments totaling about R$ 1.04 billion.
Also, another 691,000 farming families have been assisted by the Harvest Guarantee Insurance, with R$ 473 million already transferred by the Federal Government. The advance payment of the benefit and the inclusion of two additional payments have also been announced, increasing the benefit to R$ 952 per family.
Extension of corn subsidies
Another measure implemented was the extension of sales of subsidized corn to rural producers and animal feed. More than 47,000 producers have benefited from the “over-the-counter” modality, with more than 108,000 tons.