Lula government denies that the Treasury will have to cover the shortfall this year and says it is working on a “budget reprogramming proposal”
The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) projects a primary deficit of R$5.6 billion for Brazilian federal state-owned companies this year. The data is available in the Primary Revenue and Expenses Assessment Report for the 4th Bimester of 2023 (full – PDF – 3 MB).
The estimate is higher thanthe R$ 3 billion shortfall foreseen in the LDO (Budget Guidelines Law) of 2023. State-owned companies under the government have not recorded losses since 2020, the 1st year of the covid-19 pandemic.
There was a deficit of R$614 million that year. According to government projections, Emgepron (Naval Projects Management Company) should have a deficit of R$3.17 billion.
The loss would be the biggest among the main state-owned companies. Next comes Eletronuclear, with a loss of R$2.11 billion.
A subsidiary of ENBPar (Brazilian Nuclear and Binational Energy Participation Company), the energy sector company manages the Angra 1 and Angra 2 plants, in the State of Rio de Janeiro.
The numbers do not include companies from the Petrobras group and state banks, which are outside the target results.
Here are the estimates involving the main federal state-owned companies:
In June 2022, the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) completed the privatization process of Eletrobras. With this, ENBPar was created to take over Eletrobras activities that could not be privatized, such as the Itaipu Binacional companies and Eletronuclear’s nuclear assets.
On Tuesday (14.nov), the minister Esther Dweck (Management and Innovation) said that investments in the energy sector had not been included since 2009 in the target results of federal state-owned companies. She stated that the government will ask for ENBPar to be “exceptional” in the 2024 LDO.
In a note published on Wednesday (Nov 15), the Ministry of Management and Innovation denied that the National Treasury will make a contribution to cover the loss of federal state-owned companies. The ministry said he is “consolidating the latest budget reprogramming proposal”.
The statement also justifies that investments by state-owned energy companies were officially excluded from the fiscal target because they were “strategic”.
In another note published on Thursday (Nov 16), the Ministry of Management and Innovation denied there was a breach and confirmed that the Treasury will not have to cover the losses of state-owned companies.
“There is no ‘hole’, what exists are investments with resources that companies already have in cash. The deficit is a measure calculated with income and expenses from each year, so it does not consider cash resources from previous years.”says an excerpt from the statement.
During the governments of former presidents Michel Temer (MDB), Dilma Rousseff (PT) and Bolsonaro, the government made contributions to state-owned companies. From 2011 to 2022, the amounts totaled R$44.9 billion, according to data from the National Treasury.
Here are the resources applied:
- 2011-2015 (Dilma Rousseff) – R$ 10.9 billion;
- 2016 (Dilma/Michel Temer) – R$6.5 billion;
- 2017-2018 (Temer) – R$8.1 billion;
- 2019-2022 (Jair Bolsonaro) – R$19.3 billion.
Gabriel Leal de Barros, chief economist at Ryo Asset, states that the Temer and Bolsonaro governments promoted actions to restore the financial health of state-owned companies. To the Power360he mentioned the “reduction in staff by approximately 13% from 2018 to September 2022, added to the influence of capitalizations made in some state-owned companies”.
The economist also criticizes the end of publishing the quarterly bulletin of state-owned companies. “The latest available is from the 3rd quarter of 2022, which is too outdated. It is essential to resume disclosures, publicizing the advances and setbacks in the coverage of federal state-owned companies”he added.
O Power360 contacted Correios, Serpro, Dataprev, ENBPar, Eletronuclear, Hemobrás, Emgepron and Nav Brasil to obtain a position on the results projected by the government for state-owned companies in 2023. Until the publication of this report, Eletronuclear, Dataprev and Correios sent a note to this digital newspaper .
The space remains open for the other companies mentioned.
“Eletronuclear, under indirect control of the Union through the Empresa Brasileira de Participações em Energia Nuclear e Binacional (ENBPar), clarifies recently published information about the financial health of Brazilian state-owned companies, specifically in relation to Eletronuclear.
“It is worth mentioning that Eletronuclear was created in 1997 with the purpose of operating and building thermonuclear plants in Brazil. A subsidiary of ENBPar, it is a mixed-economy company and is responsible for generating approximately 3% of the electrical energy consumed in Brazil. Through the interconnected electrical system, this energy reaches the main consumer centers in the country and corresponds to more than 30% of the electricity consumed in the State of Rio de Janeiro, a proportion that will increase considerably when Angra 3, the third plant of the Central Nuclear Almirante Álvaro Alberto – CNAAA is completed.
“From 2009 until 2022, the company, as part of the Eletrobras Group, was exempt from including fiscal statistics in the primary result targets, as defined by the Budget Guidelines Law (LDO). However, with the privatization of Eletrobras and the promulgation of LDO 2023, this condition changed. Eletronuclear was included in the 2023 fiscal statistics, changing the perception of our financial health.
“Currently, there is a proposal being processed in the National Congress that seeks to reestablish the exceptional nature of Eletronuclear, once again aligning with the conditions previously granted.
“It is crucial to understand that the primary result of a non-dependent state company, such as Eletronuclear, does not adequately reflect our financial situation. In 2022, the company received a significant contribution of R$3.5 billion from the controlling shareholder, intended to boost future investments. These resources are being used in strategic projects, including the completion of Angra 3 and the extension of the useful life of Angra 1.
“These large-scale investments have a temporary impact on our fiscal results. The current methodology for calculating the primary result does not consider our cash balance, which can lead to a mistaken perception of the deficit. However, it is important to highlight that, until September 2023, we reported a net profit of approximately R$886.7 million, mainly due to the performance of the Angra 1 and 2 plants.
“Eletronuclear reaffirms its commitment to transparency, responsible management and sustainable development, continually contributing to the advancement of the nuclear energy sector in Brazil.”
“Regarding the news about the expected results of state-owned companies, Correios clarifies that the company’s current management has been reducing the deficit since the beginning of the year. The deficit mentioned in the articles, which referred to the fourth quarter and was largely caused by the previous administration, has already been reduced by more than R$200 million.
“The Post Office never brought any expense to the Union or the Brazilian taxpayer. On the contrary: from 2001 to 2017, the accumulated positive net result was R$11.7 billion and the state-owned company transferred R$9 billion to the Union. As a result, the company has a healthy cash flow of more than R$3 billion.
“It is important to highlight that, in the past administration, the increase in revenue brought by the growth of e-commerce during the pandemic was not converted into investment, demonstrating the clear intention of privatization. Correios stopped advertising and cut resources for technology, innovation and modernization.
“The challenge for the current board is to diversify the offer of products and services, especially those aimed at e-commerce, in order to make the company more competitive in the sectors in which it operates and, at the same time, implement structural changes to consolidate its strength and increase the respectability of the Correios brand, by proving its efficiency.
“The company continues to fulfill the relevant role of national integrator, present in all cities in Brazil, acting as an agent of the federal government in the delivery of citizenship by carrying out essential operations for the country, such as the delivery of textbooks used by public schools, tests of Enem, medicines, powdered milk, diapers and other items necessary for the Brazilian population.”
“Dataprev clarifies that, based on updated data on its financial results, the expectation for 2023 is a profit close to R$500 million, and a positive primary result of R$26 million.
“The company’s outlook for 2024 is growth, with investments in modernization and expansion of physical and technological infrastructure capacity to improve public services.
“It is worth highlighting that Dataprev is a non-dependent state-owned company and has never received funds from the Federal Government.”