The government of São Paulo launches this Wednesday (15th) the Pró-SP program, which intends to gather R$ 47.5 billion in investments under a single umbrella this year and in the 2022 election year.
The declared recovery of the state’s investment capacity is one of the main assets for next year’s campaign by Governor João Doria (PSDB), if he manages to run for the presidency as planned, and that of his vice-president, neo-Tucan Rodrigo Garcia, who aims the Palácio dos Bandeirantes.
In the government of São Paulo, the program was already nicknamed “PAC do Doria”, a somewhat imperfect allusion to the Growth Acceleration Program launched by then-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) in 2007.
If he is the same candidate in 2022, in a race that by the way includes Lula, the governor will obviously be able to take advantage of the positive effects if the promises placed in the Pró-SP are fulfilled, in particular the promise of generating 200 thousand jobs.
Garcia, on the other hand, will have the same role that the then Chief Minister of the Civilian Household Dilma Rousseff had in the PAC: that of general coordinator of the program and, in the hope of the toucan strategists, electoral beneficiary as the then president was when elected in 2010.
Still unknown outside political circles, Garcia will receive the government in April to seek re-election, as agreed with Doria.
He rejects, of course, electoral intentions and claims that the Pró-SP is part of a government plan that has been going on since the pair took office in 2019.
“After a cycle of crisis that begins in 2015, passing through the delicate state of the accounts we received in 2019 and was crowned by the pandemic, we can say that São Paulo is back. The state will have the highest level of investment in recent history,” affirmed to sheet Garcia, at the Palácio dos Bandeirantes.
During the years of recession and recovery from 2015 to 2017, São Paulo had investments fluctuating between R$16.9 and R$18.5 billion. In 2018, this dropped to R$13.7 billion.
It was the end of Geraldo Alckmin’s (PSDB) administration with Márcio França (PSB), his deputy who took over the government in a similar schedule to the current one — the toucan, now negotiating his departure from the party, left office to run unsuccessfully for the presidency.
The first two years of the Doria government were, in Garcia’s words, one of reconstruction. “There was a downsizing of the machine and the reform of the state pension,” he says, despite the fall in revenue in 2020 with the pandemic and criticisms made to the government’s project.
In fact, in 2019 the investment index dropped to R$ 11.8 billion. It remained stable (R$ 12.4 billion) in 2020 and increased by 81% to the forecast for this year (R$ 22.5 billion).
“Only now, due to the nature of the projects, we will have great execution. We have only executed about R$ 4 billion so far, the rest will be from this month onwards”, said Garcia, who dedicates Thursdays and Fridays to trips to the interior for inaugurations and the like .
He will lead the Pró-SP launch event at Bandeirantes, to which all 645 mayors in São Paulo were invited.
On the 30th, the 2022 budget will be sent, with an estimated investment of around R$ 25 billion. Altogether, there are about 8,000 works centralized in his hands.
They range from R$ 400 million to revitalize 5,000 km of dirt roads and R$ 120 million in artesian wells to massive road infrastructure, such as the resumption of the Rodoanel in November.
This is the last major work that was stopped, after the start of access to the Tamoios highway, on the coast, was signed last month. Doria should open the flowerbeds on the 21st.
As in any program of its kind, the grandiose numbers include details that are not so flashy: the São Paulo monorail should be inaugurated with a smaller extension than what was planned ten years ago, and part of the large works are carried out under a Public-Private Partnership regime -or that is, with usually minority participation of the state.
There are also projects and plans that do not come off the paper, as critics have already pointed out in the case of state privatizations.
The rest are the usual superlatives for political marketing, which will depend on the scrutiny of reality to be gauged: biggest environmental project in the country (pinheiros river depollution), biggest road concession in the country (Piracicaba-Panorama) etc.
The bulk of the new money foreseen for 2022 goes to logistics and mobility, R$ 12.5 billion. The health area, obviously in focus with the pandemic, maintains the current level of investment, just above R$ 1 billion.
“Here, what matters most is the cost”, says the deputy governor. In 2020, this expenditure on current health expenses rose 28.6% compared to 2019, because of the pandemic.
Garcia joined the PSDB in May, after the crisis in his party, the DEM. He frequently dispatches with a former colleague, former mayor Rodrigo Maia, now part of Doria’s secretariat.
According to allies, in addition to trips to keep the structure of contact with mayors well-oiled, Garcia is pursuing pure party politics aimed at the PSDB’s caucuses in October. Until then, they want him to have spoken in face-to-face meetings with 5,000 toucans considered key to state mobilization.
So far, it is the only candidate registered in the race. Alckmin has already said that he should leave the PSDB, maybe for the PSD, maybe for a merger of DEM and PSL, although many are betting that none of that will happen.
The left, in turn, should come with more force in the Lula candidacy, with Fernando Haddad (PT) and/or Guilherme Boulos (PSOL).
Pocketnarism may count on Infrastructure Minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, who will have to present scarce federal counterparts to the “PAC” of the toucans from São Paulo – to make matters worse, the federal government only agreed to double the Rio-Santos to the São Paulo border in the renegotiation of the Dutra route concession, making the state assume the work.