Brazil increases funding for main social program 2009-02-05 11:50:00   Print

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday pledged an additional 142 billion reais (62 billion U.S. dollars) to bankroll the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), bringing its total budget to 646 billion reais (281 billion dollars) by 2010.

    The PAC, which is the Lula administration's main social program, is intended to strengthen Brazil's infrastructure, and consequently to stimulate the private sector and create more jobs.

    The social and urban infrastructure sector will receive 84.2 billion reais (37 billion dollars), or 60 percent of the new increase; the logistics sector 37.1 billion reais (16.1 billion dollars), 26 percent of the increase; and the energy sector 20.2 billion reais (8.7 billion dollars), 14 percent of the hike.

    The government said that from 2011, the program will receive a further injection of 502 billion reais (218 billion dollars), making the entire budget top 1.1 trillion reais (499 billion dollars).

    The state-owned oil and gas giant Petrobras' investments in the country's pre-salt layer oil fields are included in the PAC budget.

    Chief of Staff Dilma Rousseff, who is in charge of the PAC, denied that the program was merely a list of projects which would never be concluded, saying 83 percent of the current projects were running on schedule, and 11 percent had already been concluded.

    "The PAC is a real product of people's flesh and bones which is expressed in concrete, steel and the other products used in the constructions," she said.

Editor: Chris
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