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Brazilian gov't backs off on relaxing rules on public-sector debt

Xinhua,January 09, 2018 Adjust font size:

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said Monday that the Brazilian government gave up on its attempt to raise the government debt ceiling for the time being.

Meirelles said at a press conference that though there are discussions and concerns for the coming years, they believe that reforming the social security system is the top priority.

"Our focus now is to solve the country's fiscal situation by reforming the social security system," Meirelles said, adding that the government will tackle the debt issue after first getting the reform bill of the social security system passed.

The reform bill is expected to be submitted to the Congress in February.

According to the Brazilian Constitution, the government can "increase its indebtedness only for investments (in public works or equipment purchase) or for the refinance of public debt.

The government wants to make a constitutional amendment so that it can increase indebtedness for other objectives as well.

The next administration will have problems with the current restrictions in 2019, said the minister, who recommended relaxing the rule so the government could increase indebtedness for one year and make up for it in the ensuing years. Enditem