The Chamber of Deputies approved this Thursday afternoon (5) the basic text that allows the private sector to explore the mail sector, the first step towards the privatization of Correios. The score was 286 votes in favor of the proposal and 173 against. Recently, the Minister of Communications, Fábio Faria, even spoke on television in defense of the bill’s approval in Congress.
The replacement bill, authored by Deputy Gil Cutrim (Republicanos-MA), establishes the privatization of the Postal and Telecommunications Company (ECT) – known as Correios. The deputies have not finished the session yet, because they are analyzing some highlights of the project, such as changes made to the postal service.
After approval in the Chamber, the bill goes to the Senate. The text also provides that the Post Office will maintain the monopoly on postal services, letters and postcards, telegrams and grouped correspondence for another 5 years. The concession contract may stipulate an even longer term.
Text provides for “social tariff” for those who cannot pay
The basic text approved today in the Chamber provides for the creation of a “social tariff”: a fee made for those who will not be able to pay for the postal service. The Magna Carta requires the universal delivery of letters and telegrams.
The project’s rapporteur says that the readjustment of the tariffs practiced by Correios do Brasil will have a periodicity and index established by the concession contract. Cutrim mentions that there may be a “discount factor” in the rate,
The fee may vary according to the customer’s geographic location, and considers the cost of the service and the user’s income. “We also foresee the possibility of revising tariffs based on service quality indicators in a typical incentive regulation mechanism”, says the project.
The price on delivery of parcels will work in the private regime modality, which means that the company that buys the Post Office can define and other conditions for delivery.
Project was approved with excerpts to please employees
Deputy Gil Cutrim (Republicanos-MA) affirms that the measure avoids “an accident in the transition from the old to the new model of postal services”. He also included an excerpt that prevents the dismissal, unless for cause, of employees of the Post Office within 18 months after the privatization date. Until May, the state company employed more than 90,000 people.
The company that buys Correios will have to present a Voluntary Resignation Plan within 180 days. Employees who join the program will have to receive an indemnity that corresponds to 12 months of paid work, health insurance for 1 year after termination and are entitled to professional requalification. The ECT can transfer workers to other bodies of the Public Power, if requested.
The amendments aimed at pleasing the employees of the Post Office were included to reduce the resistance to approval of the project, which was voted by a majority in the Chamber. Parties allied to the government, such as PSL and DEM, and even opposition parties, such as Citizenship and PSDB, voted in favor.
In 2020, Correios closed the accounts in the blue for the 4th consecutive time — annual profit soared 1,400%, to R$ 1.53 billion. Despite the high, the state’s revenue ended the year stagnant, with a gain of only 1% in operating profit.
Postal privatization is the target of action in the STF
The government wants the privatization of 100% of Correios within the single auction model — with only one company winning an auction that should take place in March 2022. The bill foresees that Anatel would be responsible for regulating the postal sector. For this, it will be renamed Anacom (National Communication Agency).
The private company that acquires the assets of Correios is obliged to keep the name “Correios do Brasil”.
The privatization of Correios is the reason for an action filed with the Supreme Court (STF). In it, the Association of Postal Professionals (Adcap) states that the project that makes the purchase feasible is unconstitutional, and poses “serious risks for Brazilian citizens and companies, who may find themselves hostages to a more costly postal service model later on. less present than the current one”.
The Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), Augusto Aras, spoke out against the privatization. The Bolsonaro government believes the bill is not unconstitutional.
Check the voting score at this link
With information: G1 and Chamber Agency