Economy

"Economic Freedom" policy is approved by the Brazilian Senate

A controversial clause was cut from the final text

The Presidente of the Brazilian Senate, Davi Alcolumbre.
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  • The bill known as the “Economic Freedom” policy was approved by Brazilian Senators;
  • Two of the core changes posed in the policy is the clearance of compulsory licences for activities that suppose a low risk and the release of prior authorization to begin operations.

The Senate passed the Provisory Measure 881/2019 on Wednesday night (August 21th), the bill christened by Jair Bolsonaro’s government as the “Economic Freedom” policy. The bill, which has been in effect since April 30 and was in danger of losing its validity next week, is now ready for presidential sanction.

Two of the core changes posed in the policy are the clearance of compulsory licences for activities that suppose a low risk and the release of prior authorization to begin operations. The responsible entity for deciding which activities are of low, medium, or high risk are municipalities. Those municipalities that do not have a policy for risk definition will be able to apply the federal regulation on the matter, a regulation that considers more than 280 activities as low-risk.

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In terms of changes to labor laws in Brazil, one of the most controversial measures was maintained: the termination of the system of social insurance information that includes employment and tributary data, a system known as the “e-Social.” The decision was taken by the government’s economic team after being pressured by the rapporteur of the policy; Geogren threatened to place the termination of e-Social in the middle of the proposal and take the bill straight to Congress, without giving the government time to consider other alternatives for the system.

Another controversial clause related to labor laws, however, has been cut from the final text: work on Sundays and holidays. The senators understood that this passage was not directly related to the proposal as a whole and was already met in some way by an ordinance published by the Labor Secretariat in June this year.