Government relents and ministers criticize changes in government structure
The current configuration of the Esplanada dos Ministérios, defined during the transition to the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), may change with the vote on the provisional measure that defines the structure of the Esplanada dos Ministérios and expires next week.
After the vote on the new fiscal framework in the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday night (23), the government begins negotiations so that little of what is already in force is changed, and which will be discussed at the joint commission session on Wednesday (24) , at the National Congress.
In a press conference at the exit of the Alvorada Palace later that night, the Minister of Institutional Relations, Alexandre Padilha, said that he expects the MP to be voted on this week, even with changes that change the attributions of some of the ministries and municipalities.
The report by Deputy Isnaldo Bulhões Jr. (MDB-AL) alters, among several points, the attribution of the demarcation of indigenous lands, which leaves the current Ministry of Indigenous Peoples and passes to that of Justice and Public Security. It also removes the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) from the Ministry of the Environment and transfers it to Management.
“[O relator] made a report in dialogue with the government as a whole. It is natural that the National Congress, especially in the mixed committee, which debates the Chamber and the Senate, wants to make contributions. These are contributions that maintain the initial spirit of the government’s restructuring. I consider it a balanced report. There are reformulations that are the views of the rapporteur, of the chairman of the commission. We will analyze tomorrow to be able to be in the vote, “he said.
Although the minister evaluated the change as balanced, the new government structure is yet another defeat for the government, which defined the current composition of the Esplanada as a way of optimizing the management of government programs according to each ministry. The alterations occur due to discussions with allied base parties, which had been complaining behind the scenes about the distribution of positions in the first, second and third echelons.
Lula’s ministers criticized changes in the current structure
Shortly after the announcement of Bulhões’s decision, ministers of the current ministerial structure criticized the changes in the composition of the Esplanada. Sônia Guajajara, Minister of Indigenous Peoples, published a note emphasizing the importance of the ministry and the duties of the portfolio, and that the rapporteur’s amendments go against the grain of the understanding of the international community.
“Accepting the proposed amendments and excluding the demarcation of land from the powers of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples is going against the grain of the world’s global objectives of facing the climate crisis, opening space for the environmental devastation that so threatens our biomes. Only protected and demarcated indigenous territories can guarantee Brazil and the world an alternative to contain the climate emergency,” he said.
Marina Silva also criticized the possible change in her ministry, classifying it as a “dismantling” of the national environment system. “Any attempt to dismantle the Brazilian national environmental system is a disservice to Brazilian society, to the Brazilian State and this can create very serious damage to the economic, social and environmental interests of our country”, she said.
“With all due respect to the National Congress and the autonomy it has, we are going to debate and convince the parliamentarians that this does not help Brazil, nor Brazilian agriculture, nor Brazil’s economic development at all”, completed the minister.
The deputy’s opinion also changes the responsibility for the National Water Agency (ANA) and the national water resources policy, which leave the Environment and pass to the Ministry of Integration and Regional Development.
Bulhões’ report has 120 pages and will still be voted on by the joint committee on the provisional measure. After discussion, it still needs to be voted on in the plenary sessions of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate to become law. However, if it is not processed and sanctioned by next Wednesday (31), the MP loses validity and restructures the government with the configuration prior to the changes.