Industry does not want tax reform proposed by Mabel


Source: O Estado de S. Paulo, 03/12/2008

The national industry does not want the approval of the tax reform proposed by the rapporteur of the constitutional amendment, deputy Sandro Mabel (PP-GO). The sector's position became clear at the end of the 21st meeting of the National Industry Forum (FNI), held in São Paulo, with the definition of points considered “non-negotiable” and “unacceptable” in the proposal that is being processed by the Chamber. The forum's position, which supported the criticisms of the governments of São Paulo, Rio and Espírito Santo and of the opposition in the National Congress, buried the joints to try to approve the reform later this year.

The industry's position changed radically in the space of two weeks and strengthened the technical debate around Mabel's addenda to the Executive's original proposal. Until last week, Planalto had been feeding the discourse that the opposition to the reform was centered in São Paulo, just because Governor José Serra (PSDB) is a pre-candidate in the dispute for the succession of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in 2010 .

On November 19, the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), supported by 19 associations and unions, even released a Manifesto in support of the tax reform process. This manifesto was not supported by the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), but it counted, to add to the list of signatures, with the sponsorship of the Union of the Paint, Plaster and Decoration Industry in the State of São Paulo and even the Brazilian Music Association.

The document from two weeks ago left no room for doubt: "The signatory entities support the immediate processing in Congress of the substitute for rapporteur Sandro Mabel." He made a series of praise for the opinion, saying that it was “the best (proposal) that could be presented at this moment”, that it established “modern bases of taxation” and, therefore, the substitute should “proceed quickly”. After criticism from the São Paulo government, the Planalto allied base began to sew political support to show that Serra was against a proposal that would interest other governors, especially those in the North and Northeast.


Yesterday, the document from the National Industry Forum, which had the explicit support of CNI and Fiesp, made it clear that the sector wants tax reform, but considers “non-negotiable” proposals that increase the tax burden - “resulting from the definition of new rates , as well as devices that lead to an increase in the load, such as an increase in the financial contribution on mineral exploration ”. The forum also says that a timetable is not guaranteed for companies to exercise the right to “appropriate federal VAT and ICMS tax credits”.

"The scenario really changed because from the first note to today (yesterday's, from the forum), the rapporteur (Mabel) made concessions to various sectors and the proposal is very different from the government's original ideas", admitted to the State the president of the CNI, the businessman and deputy Armando Monteiro (PTB-PE). Paulo Skaf, president of Fiesp, publicly complained about the “inexplicable setback” of the rapporteur's proposal and the “sudden way” in which “new benefits” were negotiated and “bargains and individualized options” were accepted.

Yesterday afternoon, at the plenary session of the Chamber, the government leader, deputy Henrique Fontana (PT-RS), still said that the reform had the “vast majority of governors” and was “fully supported by the CNI”. It is no longer what forces Planalto to abandon the discourse that only São Paulo does not want reform.


Yesterday, in Recife, Lula met with the nine governors of the Northeast, plus that of Minas and Espírito Santo. At the meeting, held at the Campo das Princesas Palace, the seat of the Pernambuco government, he insisted on the intention to approve the reform this year. But the governors did not reach a consensus position on the issue.



Armando Monteiro
CNI President

“The scenario really changed because, from the first note
for today, the rapporteur has made concessions to various sectors
and the proposal is very different from the original government proposal ”