The government wants to recreate the R$9.6 billion FNDCT, whose resources are dedicated to financing scientific and technological development.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Luciana Santos (in spotlight), announced on Friday (3/3) that later this month, the Federal Government will send to the National Congress a bill (PL) to recover R$4.2 billion from the National Fund for Scientific Development and Technological (FNDCT) in 2023. With this PL, the idea of the government is to recover R$9.6 billion from the fund, whose resources are dedicated to financing the country’s science, technology and innovation projects. According to the minister, it has already been agreed to send the project with the Civil House and the Ministry of Planning.
The announcement was made by the Minister during a meeting promoted by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), in Rio de Janeiro, which honored the physicist Luis Benguele Rosa, on the occasion of the first anniversary of his death. The meeting brought together representatives of the four academies based in Rio de Janeiro: Academia Brasileira de Letras (ABL), Academia Nacional de Engenharia (ANE) and Academia Nacional de Medicina (ANM), as well as ABC itself.
Luciana stated that what happened to the FNDCT was “complete evidence of the previous government’s disregard for science”. She recalled the struggle waged by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in his first government, to ensure that there was no withholding of resources from the fund, while the government of Jair Bolsonaro implemented the emergency “from the beginning”, by approving the interim measure 1136, which provided for the gradual release of resources, to reach 100% only in 2026. “The transition group indicated to our government that a full refund was necessary,” he said.
The minister noted that President Lula had taken the option of waiting for the 1,136 MPs to fall due to the expiration of time to send the PL to the National Congress, opened a credit to reconfigure R$4.2 billion from the FNDCT, and “recover R$9.6 billion from the fund to invest in the development of science and technology.” Luciana Santos also said that she had already put on the agenda the need for the fund’s board to reinstate levels of the reimbursable portion of FNDCT resources that had been used in previous political cycles, under Presidents Lula and Dilma Rousseff.
During the event, the Executive Secretary of MCTI, Professor Luis Fernandez, emphasized that there is no chance that FNDCT will not be viable. There is no legal backing to prevent or emergency fund resources. We will start 2023 with the full investment capacity of the fund.” For Fernandez, this is a “fulfilled hope.”
Luciana reported that on Thursday (2/3) the Ministry was able to approve TR’s proposal in the Chamber of Deputies to correct the reimbursable part of the fund. “It was the only part of the interim measure that was helpful and we were able to agree to TR.” Now, the bill goes to the Senate.
In the minister’s estimation, a rich country like Brazil, which is the largest food producer in the world, cannot have a share of 30 million Brazilians below the poverty line. “This is one of the great commitments we have,” he stressed. She noted, as I mentioned at the new government’s first ministerial meeting, that the hunger and climate change agenda includes science, in the same way that the remanufacturing agenda includes innovation.
“The agenda of confronting inequality, intolerance and prejudice runs through the humanities. This is the concept that drives us in the ministry,” said Luciana Santos. “The concept that drives us is that science and technology are at the service of great challenges.”
The minister confirmed that the flag was returned to Brazil. “We’ll come back to that with a big heart.” She said she is working towards this return of science to reach universities by restoring the FNDCT. Luciana intends to combat gender and racial inequality in science and technology, as well as avoid female scientists who are mothers.
On the eighth day, when International Women’s Day is celebrated, Luciana will announce her ministry’s plans to address gender inequality, in a ceremony in which President Lula invites all ministries to present their structural proposals for this.
The meeting was promoted at the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) in partnership with the National Council of Institutions for the Support of Higher Education, Scientific and Technological Research Institutions (Confies).
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