The president of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), questioned this Monday (13) the weight of Petrobras’ fuel prices on consumers’ pockets and stated that the state-owned company should be reminded that its shareholders are Brazilians.
On a social network, Lira wrote: “Everything expensive: gasoline, diesel, cooking gas. What does Petrobras have to do with this? Tomorrow, at 9 am, the plenary will become the General Committee to question the weight of the company’s prices in all of us.”
“Petrobras must be remembered: Brazilians are its shareholders”, he added, in the same message.
The president of the Chamber referred to the general commission held this Tuesday (14) with the presence of the president of Petrobras, General Joaquim Silva e Luna. In addition to fuel prices, he should talk about the operation of thermoelectric plants and other matters related to the state-owned company.
Gasoline price increases have been putting pressure on the IPCA (official price index). In August, the index increased 0.87%, the highest rate in 21 years. Eight of the nine groups of products and services surveyed by the IBGE rose in August, with emphasis on the transport segment. Driven by fuels, this branch recorded the biggest change (1.46%) and the biggest impact (0.31 percentage point) on the general index for the month.
Within transport, gasoline rose 2.80%. Fuel had the main individual impact (0.17 pp) on the August IPCA.
In late August, President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) told supporters that the government will “start work” on fuel prices.
“So now Petrobras has been cleaned up, we are now starting to work on the issue of fuel prices,” said Bolsonaro. “But it’s no use dealing with the price if the ICMS has this variable value, which interests the governors.”
Bolsonaro has been constantly charged for the cost of fuel and cooking gas. In some parts of the country, a liter of gasoline has already reached R$7, while a canister of cooking gas exceeds R$100.
In mid-August, the state-owned company increased, for the second consecutive time, the price of gasoline. The readjustment was announced more than a month after the last high, reinforcing the perception that Petrobras reduced the frequency of price adjustments after General Joaquim Silva e Luna took office in charge of the company.
He replaced Roberto Castello Branco, the first president of the state-owned company in the Bolsonaro government, amid strong pressures against the rise in fuel prices at the beginning of the year. Even with the exchange, the president could not contain prices.
Bolsonaro sent Congress a bill that intends to transform the ICMS on fuels, charged by the States, into a fixed amount. Although the main reasons for the increase are the price of oil on the international market and the value of the dollar against the real, the president blames ICMS for the high cost.