Brazil governor wants enviro fund for pensions

2016-02-09 22:31
Biologist Mario Moscatelli takes photographs from trash floating on the polluted waters of the Canal do Fundao in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (File, AP)

Biologist Mario Moscatelli takes photographs from trash floating on the polluted waters of the Canal do Fundao in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (File, AP)

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Rio de Janeiro - The Rio de Janeiro state governor wants to use money earmarked for an environmental fund to cover shortfalls in civil servants' pensions, a major Brazilian daily said on Tuesday.

A press officer at Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao's office confirmed the information published on Tuesday by the O Globo newspapers.

The newspaper said the money would cover an expected 2016 pension payment deficit of US$3bn and that the government has pledged that the Rio de Janeiro state treasury would replace the funds.

The Rio de Janeiro State Environmental Protection Fund has been used to improve sewage treatment centres and begin cleaning lakes, rivers and Guanabara Bay, a water sports venue for the upcoming Olympic games.

Pezao's proposal must be approved by the State Legislature.

The newspaper said that because of a drop in oil revenues from the country's oil fields, money spent on clean-up projects fell 30% last year compared with a year earlier.

Carlos Minc, Rio de Janeiro's former environment secretary, told O Globo the governor's proposal will cause Rio to "take an environmental step backward."

"The money will not be replaced and the fund will be left with nothing," he said.

Read more on:    brazil  |  environment

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