The Senate plenary approved, on Wednesday (25), Bill (PL) No. 823/21, which provides for a series of relief measures for family farmers affected by the pandemic. Enacted in full, the proposal was given the green light by lawmakers through symbolic voting, an evaluation format in which individual votes are not computed. As previously approved by the Chamber, the PL goes to presidential approval.
The project was reported by senator Paulo Rocha (PT-AP), whose opinion establishes actions that must be adopted by December 31, 2022. Among the measures is the Emergency Promotion of Rural Productive Inclusion to encourage food production by peasants who are in a situation of poverty and extreme poverty.
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R$ 2,500 per family will be released in a single installment, or R$ 3,000 if the nucleus is led by women. For those farmers who wish to implement projects for cisterns or other water access technologies, the funding will be R$ 3.5 thousand.
As a way to facilitate financing directed to the segment, the PL also provides for the creation of rural credit lines for the production of milk and basic foodstuffs with interest of 0% per year. In addition, the proposal creates the Emergency Assistance Program for Family Farming (PAE-AF), which helps generate income for these workers and their organizations.
The action foresees that the annual purchases made under the policy are limited to R$ 6 thousand for each family unit of production, and may reach R$ 7 thousand in the case of women farmers.
The project encompasses peasants, fishermen, family entrepreneurs, extractivists, foresters and aquaculturists, categories that are formally understood as being “family farmers”.
The minority leader, Jean Paul Prates (PT-RN), said the approval of the measure represents “a response to the dismantling of Bolsonaro in agrarian policies”.
“In addition to promoting food production in the context of family farming, generating jobs and income in the countryside, the initiative reduces the effects of high food prices. We need to mitigate the socioeconomic impacts of covid-19 in the countryside. I hope that Bolsonaro does not veto the project, as he did in the first law. The rural workers deserve respect”, said the PT member, in a statement.
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During the negotiations that led to the vote on PL 823/2021 on Wednesday, the government leadership, led by senator Fernando Bezerra Coelho (MDB-PE), instructed the Bolsonaro base to reject the proposal. The congressman argued that the PL would have a high fiscal impact and that the management would not be able to bear the costs, which, according to him, would reach R$ 550 million.
Officially presented by the PT bench in the Chamber, PL 823 was born from the seams between popular movements in the countryside and opposition parliamentarians. Initially, the proposal gave rise to PL 735/2020, which provided for a series of actions aimed at family farmers, such as the granting of emergency aid for the sector.
The PL received the approval of the National Congress, but was almost totally vetoed by President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) in August of last year. Empty, the final text resulted in the sanction of the so-called Assis Carvalho Law (nº 14.048/2020).
This year, opposition lawmakers reedited the measures cut by the chief executive and presented a new proposal, materialized in PL 823/2021, which will now be named Lei Assis de Carvalho II.
Edition: Vinícius Segalla