Government demands Marcos Pontes to 'play together' and not criticize cut in Science

Criticism of the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Marcos Pontes, at the cut of R$ 369 million in the budget of the Ministry, caused discomfort in the first step of the government.

According to reports made Folha, the minister was asked by his peers and by President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) to play together, in the Last ministerial meeting, on Friday (15).

On that same day, he had gone to health a project that withdraws resources from the ministry and allocates the amount to other areas. The proposal, approved by Congress on the 7th, responded to a request from the economic team in Bolsonaro.

Pontes was not informed of the change and has been demanded by the scientific community. He himself criticized the cuts, which he called misguided and illogical. He also stated that he even considered leaving the government because of this measure.

The cuts in resources on the small budget of Cincia do Brasil are misguided and illogical. Even more when they are done without listening to the scientific community and the productive sector. This needs to be fixed urgently, he continued.

After the meeting, the minister released a video on Saturday (15) , on his social networks, with an update on the situation of the cuts in science, which he said is really worrying. that these resources reach the ministry as quickly as possible.

Reservedly, interlocutors of the president complain about the fact that the minister makes the disagreement public.

One of the reasons for the cut in the budget, according to who participated in the conversations, it would have been the low commitment of the resources of the FNDCT (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development), in the management of the ministry.

When the decision to reallocate resources had been taken, at the end of September, only 40% of the resources available in the fund for discretionary expenses had been committed, or R$ 369, 7 million s.

In August, the Ministry of Economy sent the PLN (National Congress Bill) to Congress, which opened supplementary credit of R$ 690 million in full to the MCTI.

Two weeks ago, minister Paulo Guedes sent an official letter to the Congress’s Mixed Budget Commission saying that the government decided to share the resources with other ministries.

Thus, it was approved that MCTI receive only R$ 89, 8 million. The specific resources for science and technology projects, which would be R$ 655, 4 million, had a reduction of almost 99% and fell to R$7.2 million.

Asked in the middle of the week, the Ministry of Economy did not confirm whether there is a decision to recompose these values. Privately, palace assistants said that a change was unlikely.

The cut of R$ 600 million comes in the wake of systematic budget reductions in the folder. The lack of budget caused the interruption, last month, of the production of supplies for cancer treatments.

In announcing the project’s approval, Palcio do Planalto stated that the relocated supplementary credit “will be destination to meet expenses related to the production and supply of radiopharmaceuticals, the strengthening of the Unified Agricultural Health Care System, digital inclusion projects, the public water supply system in municipalities with up to 50 thousand inhabitants, basic education, among other expenses provided for in the Budget Law of 2021”.

The cut may cause the CNPq ( National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), linked to the portfolio, does not carry out the universal call for research grants, which involves 40 a thousand researchers.

According to the president of the institution, Evaldo Vilela, this will occur if the funds are not refunded by November 1st. The public notice of R$ 250 million has already been launched.

In a debate promoted by the SBPC (Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science) within the scope of event Mobilization in Defense of Science, on Friday (15), Vilela called the cut a rasteira.

“We need to get together and make a joint and stronger action, because the adversity is very great. And we are progressing very little, and suddenly we get tripped up like that, very improvised,” he said.

J the president of the SBPC and former minister of Education Renato Janine Ribeiro said that the government’s decision threatens the continuity of research in the country. “It’s an unbelievable situation,” he said in an interview by DW Brasil, pointing out that Brazil may be facing a scientific” “blackout.

The Ministry of Science, Electronic Technology Innovation was contacted, but simply not sony ericsson expressed.

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