On Wednesday (9), the government released R$ 3.1 billion in funds from ministries that were blocked due to the tightening of the budget. The amount released is less than the space available in this year’s accounts.
The measure was made official in an ordinance published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday. The biggest release was for the Ministry of Education, of R$ 900 million, but the folder is still the one that has the biggest remaining portion of locked resources (R$ 1.6 billion).
In April, when sanctioning this year’s Budget, President Jair Bolsonaro blocked R$9.3 billion from the ministries. The objective was to respect the spending ceiling — a rule that limits the growth of public spending to changes in inflation.
This blockade could be reversed throughout the year if the government found a margin in the ceiling. That’s what happened in May, when the Ministry of Economy estimated an opening of BRL 4.8 billion in the fiscal rule — this is the amount that can be released.
Earlier this week, R$992 million had already been unlocked. With the release of R$3.1 billion on Wednesday, the ministries are authorized to use around R$4 billion.
Therefore, approximately R$800 are still waiting to be unlocked. According to the National Treasury, the government is still in the process of evaluating this release.
This year’s budget is compressed and ministries are vying for funding. In Education, for example, universities have stated that the available resources will not be sufficient to function until the end of 2021.
In relation to the total amount initially blocked, of R$9.3 billion, there are still R$5.2 billion that remain locked and can only be used this year if the government finds that it will spend less in other areas, making room for the ceiling.
In this Wednesday’s ordinance, the second largest opening of funds was for the Ministry of Infrastructure, of R$ 700 million. As a result, the folder no longer has any locked resources.
The Ministry of Economy won R$436 million, leaving R$830 still locked up. Right after that, R$ 300 million was released to the Ministry of Defense and R$ 200 million to the Regional Development folder. The Ministry of Justice had R$100 million unlocked.