Made up of 83 items throughout 32 pages, the report taking stock of two years of Temer’s administration lists measures implemented in a number of fields, in addition to figures related to the country’s economic recovery, like the reduction in the inflation and in the benchmark interest rate, Selic, which reached 6.5%, the lowest level in history.
With regards to social policies, the government highlights the elimination of the wait list for prospective beneficiaries of the Bolsa Família conditional cash transfer program, “which had over 1.9 million families in May, 2015.” In order for this to be achieved, the document says, measures were adopted to prevent fraud and misuse, adding that, since August last year, the estimated wait time for applicants to join the program has been less than a month. Today, 14.2 million families are registered. During Temer’s administration, Bolsa Famíla saw two rises—12.5% in June, 2016; and 5.6%, to be effective in June this year.
Microcredit and child care
The government reports having earmarked $527.8 million in microcredit for families under the Cadastro Único (“unified register”, also referred to as CadÚnico) for social programs and Bolsa Família beneficiaries. In just three months (October–December, 2017) the program, dubbed Progredir, is said to have generated over 68 thousand formal jobs and ensured that 83.7 thousand students are enrolled in regular and vocational schools.
The Criança Feliz program, which aims to expand the care provided for children of up to three years old, with a special focus on Bolsa Família beneficiaries, is also mentioned in the report. Ever since its implementation, in 2017, over 2.6 thousand cities have joined the plan, with 212 thousand children and 31.5 thousand pregnant women being assisted across the country.
The report draws attention to the “record-breaking” 360 thousand scholarships granted under the Universidade para Todos program, or ProUni—up 10% from previous years. Another 310 thousand spots are reported to have been made available under the government’s program for student funding, or Fies, now based on new rules that make waiting periods for loans more flexible.
The report also celebrates the approval of the highschool reform and the progress made by the country’s national school curriculum, described as the “demands made by Brazilian educators for over 20 years,” now said to have “materialized.” At least 500 thousand spots for full-time highschool students are guaranteed until 2020, the document says.
The government declares that, “in just 23 months,” 882 thousand new housing units have been contracted under the Minha Casa, Minha Vida affordable housing program—an average of 38 thousand new houses every month. “From May, 2016, up to now over 1 million housing units were delivered,” the document notes.
The launch of Brazil’s first geostationary satellite, in May, 2017, is among the events mentioned in the report. The technology is expected to bring broadband internet connection to remote areas in Brazil. The implementation of the program, however, has faced a deadlock, as the contract between Telebras and US firm Viasat—on the privately controlled operation of part of the satellite connection—has been suspended.
The text further mentions the East Axle of the São Francisco River Transposition Project, inaugurated last year. According to official data, over 1 million people across 32 municipalities in the northeastern states of Pernambuco and Paraíba are being served. The North Axle is said to have 95% of its physical works concluded, and should serve 223 municipalities in four states in the Northeast—Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Paraíba, and Pernambuco.
In another item, the government mentions the concession of four of the country’s airports—in the cities of Porto Alegre, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, and Salvador. Altogether, they are estimated to bring over $1 billion to public coffers. The Airport of Vitória, controlled by state-run Infraero, was also the subject of a concession. Another $217.6 million is to go into the modernization and renovation works of 50 local airports throughout the country.
As a major highlight, the government mentions the record-breaking crop of grains harvested from 2016 to 2017, which amounts to a total of 237.7 million tons. Despite the allegations made as part of Operation Weak Flesh, which pointed towards a number of irregularities in the sanitary inspection of animal-derived products, Temer’s report celebrates the increase in meat exports to $15.5 billion in 2017, up 9% form the year before.
Also referenced was a seal, granted by the World Health Organization (WHO), which labels the country as free from foot-and-mouth disease—a milestone in sanitation.
As another sign of economic recovery, the government mentions last year’s 17.5% growth in exports, “the first increase after five consecutive years on the wane.” The balance of trade (exports minus imports) closed out last year at a positive $67 billion—the highest in 29 years.
A year into Temer’s tenure, his administration managed to cut deforestation in the Amazon by 12%, the document says. The government also mentions the congressional ratification of the Paris Agreement—a global effort for addressing climate change. In another measure, the government talks about the establishment of over 938 thousand km² of environment conservation units this year throughout the country—an area approximately twice as large the territory of France.
Regarded as the flagship in Temer’s government last year, the release of funds from workers’ FGTS (“Guarantee Fund for Length of Service”) injected $11.9 billion into the economy, serving at least 25.6 million workers directly.
As for employment, the numbers listed were taken from the General Register of the Employed and Unemployed (Caged), which indicate that formal employment increased in March, 2018, which saw the creation of 56,151 job posts.
The data show that the inflation declined from 9.39% in March, 2016, to 2.68% in March, 2018.
Nearly $1.72 billion was raised by the federal government after oil and natural gas auctions were resumed in 2017, including rounds of public concessions for pre-salt oil under the sharing model, the report on Temer’s administration notes. In another move, the government mentions the $2,17 billion acquired in March after the concession of oil and natural gas blocks in the sharing regime.
The publication also talks about the “rebirth of Petrobras.” The state-controlled oil giant posted losses adding up to $123.5 million, compared to approximately $4.15 billion in 2016.
The government also describes a “shift” facing Brazil’s state-owned firms. The five biggest companies of this kind—Banco do Brasil, Caixa Econômica Federal, Eletrobras, and Petrobras—went from total losses reported at $8.7 billion in 2015 to profits totaling $7.72 billion in 2017. “A positive variation of $13.84 billion,” the report says. In another item, the government draws attention to the approval of the so-called State Firms Law (Law 13,303), introducing more demanding requirements for governance, transparency, and management of state-controlled companies, including criteria for the appointment of directors and presidents.
The document also references the reduction in crime following the federal intervention for public security in Rio de Janeiro state. The data draw a comparison between the reduction in murder during the Holy Week this year and that of 2017. “Crimes are on the wane: compared with the Holy Week in 2017, there was a reduction of nearly 50% in the cases of murder.”
The creation of the Ministry of Public Security is also cited as an effort to curb violence.
The labor and highschool overhauls, recurrently mentioned by the president in his addresses, can also be found in the publication. “The daring reforms presented in this period have modernized legislation, created new paradigms for public administration, and brought about a favorable environment to attract investors, create job openings, and boost income.”
*Further reporting by Yara Aquino