Research funds can be used to dismantle a truck – 20/04/2022 – Science / Brazil

A new deputy (Provisional measure) by the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) worries the bodies that defend the public funding of science. The provision authorizes the use of quantities previously entirely destined for research, development and innovation for the scrapping of heavy vehicles over the age of 30, such as trucks.

“These resources support projects in areas such as digital technologies, carbon capture and use, which is very important for decarbonisation, and the development of new energies, such as renewables,” says Luiz Davidovich, president of ABC (Academy Brazilian Sciences). .

MP 1.112 was published on April 1 and entered into force on that date. In it, the government established the Country’s Car Park Productivity Program, called Renovar, and amended three laws.

One of the reformed laws was 9,478 of 1997, which regulates national energy policy and establishes that oil companies must allocate up to 1% of their gross income to finance oil and gas research.

With the new deputy, however, the government has changed the text of this law to allow the resource to be used to finance the scrapping of heavy vehicles.

Although this is a budget aimed at financing scientific research, the management of these resources is not carried out by the MCTI (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation). In reality, the budget is an allocation of the ANP (National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels), which is linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

THE Bed sheet contacted Palazzo Planalto to find out why this change was chosen and the impact it may have on the scientific development of the country. Palacio referred doubts to the ministry of mines and energy, but the ministry did not respond to questions until this report was published.

For Davidovich, the new measure could represent a problem for the country’s growth. “[As pesquisas financiadas] These are very important issues for economic development and for the country’s international role, but also for the environment. When we talk about capturing and using carbon and new, less polluting energies, we are talking about protecting the environment, ”he says.

According to MP Bolsonaro, the new rules are valid until 2027, but funds from previous years that have not been used for research can be used to renew the fleet. “If it were only this year, it would already damage Brazil’s sustainable future. Until 2027, things get even worse, “says Davidovich.

The main problem is that the new possibility of using the budget differs from its initial purpose as it no longer has a direct impact on the financing of innovation projects. “Our position is that it is very positive to reform the HGV fleet in Brazil, but it cannot be done with resources earmarked for research because the goose that lays the golden eggs is killed,” says the president of ABC, too. in reference to the clippings. suffered in science in recent years.

This view of disapproval of the measure, however, is not adopted by sectors related to the automotive industry.

The vice-president of Anfavea (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers), Marco Saltini, declared in an event organized by the body that Renovar “will play an important role in the social sphere, allowing autonomous truck drivers the opportunity to exchange their vehicle with productivity” . “.

Luiz Carlos Moraes, president of the association, also gave a positive opinion on the measure. “This decree, more than a victory for the automotive sector, is a milestone for truckers and for society as a whole,” he said in the same act.

For critics, the fact that Bolsonaro allows this budget to be targeted at sectors related to truckers has political interests, as this public would be one of the direct beneficiaries of the withdrawal of their vehicles from circulation for a scrapping process.

According to a note from Anfavea, the owner of a heavy vehicle over 30 years old will be able to deliver it and “receive the market value, plus the value of the scrap”.

“This measure has a purpose [com fins na eleição] because the president wants to consolidate an electoral base among truckers, ”says Davidovich.

In a note, several scientific entities, including ABC and SBPC (Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science), say the 9,478 law resource has funded the construction of 150 laboratories across Brazil. In addition, the budget included over 200 collaborations with universities and research institutes.

“The resource is distributed through calls to universities. These institutions prepare projects and are judged by a committee on merit, ”says Davidovich. According to the NPC, there is also the possibility that the investigation will be carried out in the same oil company or in other Brazilian companies.

Since the decision that opens gaps for the reorientation of this budget was taken with an interim measure, it needs to be voted on by the National Congress to become law.

“What we want is that the parliamentarian is not approved by Congress because it will harm Brazil for a long time. It hits the heart of a country’s development, which is science and technology, ”says Davidovich.

Another way to reverse the situation is through amendments proposed by members of Congress as soon as an MP is published by the deputy. In the case of this provision 1.112 there was a reform proposal put forward by the deputy Reginaldo Lopes (PT-MG) to suppress the two paragraphs that allow the use of the resource for scrapping purposes.

“We are fighting for [a emenda seja aprovada ou que a MP não se torne uma lei]»Concludes Davidovich.