FT faz o que a mídia brasileira é incapaz: analisar honestamente o PAC

“É PAC viu? Fiz um gráfico da evolução da execução do PAC, mas depois coloco aqui. Bem, se eu conseguir acho-lo.”

Muitos jornalistas que circulam no twitter e nos blogs acham injusta a critica generalizada sobre a mídia brasileira. Mas é bem simples, não estamos inventando nada. Ninguém aqui disse que o PAC não tem defeitos e atrasos. Ninguém aqui quer que eles “poupem” o governo de criticas.

Nós, cidadãos brasileiros, só queremos os fatos sem distorção, só queremos a critica fundamentada, só queremos uma análise não enviesada. Obviamente isso gera elogios aonde eles forem merecidos. E é muito triste pra um brasileiro  ver que só se pode ter uma análise ponderada num jornal estrangeiro.

O PAC, como mostra o FT, tem sérios problemas de execução. Parte desse problemas é pq ficamos anos com problemas fiscais graves, contingenciamentos lineares no Orçamento que atrofiaram nossa capacidade de investir. Parte é realmente culpa de uma burocracia (no melhor sentido da palavra) que se esconde sob o manto da legalidade e da judicialização da gestão pública para evitar a inovação e mudança. Isso normalmente ocorre nos cargos mais altos do Estado.

Mas por outro lado, pq os jornalecos (não cabe mais o termo jornalões) não ressaltam que mesmo assim, existir um planejamento, minimo que seja, para daqui 3, 4 ou 5 anos é algo positivo para o futuro do País? Que termos uma lista pública (que permite que essa mesma mídia cumpra seu papel fiscalizatório) de obras a serem realizadas – com cronograma, orçamento e etapas a serem cumpridas – é um avanço na forma de se enfrentar os desafios do desenvolvimento? Pq não aceitam que certas obras importantes (Gasene, Norte-Sul, etc.) foram sim concluídas? E, principalmente, que mesmo as obras que ainda não chegaram a 50% da sua execução já geraram emprego e renda para milhares de brasileiros?

É essa incapacidade de se informar os brasileiros honestamente é que revolta e nos indigna.

FT.com / Reports – Growth programme: Investment now lies at the centre of the political landscape

Growth programme: Investment now lies at the centre of the political landscape

By Jonathan Wheatley

Published: May 6 2010 10:02 | Last updated: May 6 2010 10:02

When the government launched its accelerated growth programme, or PAC, in January 2007 – the first month of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s second four-year term in office – it could hardly have made a clearer recognition of the importance of investment in infrastructure for Brazil’s growth, or a clearer commitment to delivering that investment.

Perhaps less wittingly, by promising regular progress reports, it also laid the ground for a running argument with the country’s often combative media over whether or not the PAC was on schedule. The media, on the whole, have had the upper hand.

Yet even critics who say the PAC has fallen short of its promises recognise its significance. “The PAC hasn’t accelerated growth but it does employ the poor,” says Paulo Resende of Fundação Dom Cabral, a business school. “It is also an excellent portfolio of projects that gives us a clear vision of what needs doing.”

There are two PACs – the second was unveiled in March. PAC 1, for the period 2007 to 2010, promised spending of R$504bn (US$291bn) on housing, electricity generation, highways and a host of other infrastructure. Last year, the total was revised upwards to R$638bn, largely because mortgage lending, also included, exceeded expectations.

PAC 2 is even more ambitious, promising R$959bn from 2011 to 2014 – the term in office of the next president, to be chosen in October. Both involve private and public investment by state companies and by federal, state and municipal levels of government.

One of the two front-runners for president is Dilma Rousseff, formerly Mr Lula da Silva’s chief minister until she stepped down in March to qualify as a candidate (the other is José Serra, centrist opposition governor of São Paulo state).

Ms Rousseff has been in charge of the PAC from its launch – Mr Lula da Silva dubbed her “the mother of the PAC” – and her political fortunes are closely linked to its success. So it came as a surprise when she acknowledged soon after the launch of PAC 1 that only 60 or 70 per cent of its projects were likely to be completed by the end of 2010.

Gil Castello Branco of Contas Abertas, a consultancy that analyses public spending, says the government has struggled to kickstart investment after years of neglect. “Brazil has achieved fiscal equilibrium by increasing current spending and by raising taxes,” he says. “When taxes can’t be raised any further, the choice has been to cut investment. We have lost the culture of investing.”

From the outset, he says, the government faced a host of obstacles in keeping the PAC moving: the slow pace of environmental licensing, difficulties faced by local governments in preparing and funding projects and, especially, bureaucracy at all levels of government. In some ministries it typically takes three years, he says, from the decision to start a project to when work actually begins.

He says Ms Rousseff recognised that things were moving slowly and, last year, brought pressure to bear – with the result that investment during the first quarter of this year, at R$3.9bn, was more than in the first quarters of the previous three years combined.

Miriam Belchior, who has taken over at the PAC since Ms Rousseff stepped down, takes issue with its critics, especially those who point out that, of 13,330 individual projects outlined in the PAC 1, just 1,481, or 11 per cent, had been concluded by the end of 2009. “It makes no sense to consider a R$2bn gas pipeline as the equivalent of a R$30,000 sewage treatment plant,” she says, arguing that the correct figure to look at is money spent on completed works or works in progress, which reached R$403.8bn, or 63 per cent of the revised total, by the end of last year. “Everybody knows there is a curve and to have spent 63 per cent in three out of four years is a long way from the failure some people say it has been.”

Mr Castello Branco says this total is also misleading, as it includes R$137.5bn in mortgage finance – of which about half financed the building of new homes, which generates jobs and development, and half financed purchases of existing homes, which do not. He also says it is less than impressive that of the number of individual projects, almost 55 per cent had not been started by the end of last year.

Mortgage finance also makes up more than half of what may be the most representative assessment of the PAC so far: the amount spent on projects that had been finished by the end of last year, which was R$257bn.

There seems little doubt that the PAC has some catching up to do. But it would be wrong to dismiss it as a failure. It has delivered jobs, housing and better lives for many people living in Brazil’s favelas. And it has put investment in infrastructure back in the centre of the political landscape.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.


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