Brazilian minister confirms budget cut

14:50, January 04, 2011      

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Brzilian Planning Minister Miriam Belchior Monday confirmed planned federal budget cut in 2011, but said it is a routine.

"There are curtailments every year. About the amount to be cut, we will make a decision later this month. I will hold an internal discussion and then talk to (Finance Minister) Guido Mantega so we can discuss a joint proposal to present to the president," Belchior said.

The government cut budget twice last year, by 13.21 billion U.S. dollars and 6.06 billion dollars, respectively.

The minister, who took office Monday, also reaffirmed that she intends to discuss with the other ministers about how to maximize the utility of resources.

Belchior also said the new government would like the minimum wage to remain at 327 U.S. dollars, after it was raised by 5.8 percent in one of the last acts of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The benefits of the government's minimum welfare program Bolsa Familia will also be raised, most likely in the first half of the year, she said. She did not, however, specify the amount of the raise.

Belchior added that she will try to preserve the Growth Acceleration Program's (PAC) budget as much as possible, despite expected cuts this year.

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