Minister of Mines and Energy defends Cade’s investigation into Petrobras

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The Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, defended, in an interview with CNN, the investigation by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade) against Petrobras for the alleged practice of abusive fuel prices.
“I personally think this is very good. Because the body for the defense of economic activity will be sure if it is doing the right thing or the wrong thing”, said the minister.

He pointed out that the ministry does not interfere in the company’s pricing policy and that it would be “frivolous” to claim that the company has abused its power, which is the subject of investigation in two cases by Cade. “If she (Petrobras) is doing something that goes against economic defense, she will answer for it, she will pay for it. It will be investigated by the consumer and competition defense body, which is Cade,” said the minister.

In the minister’s assessment, Cade’s investigation is not intended to hold fuel prices. But it can correct company practices, if any distortion is configured.

Bento Albuquerque emphasized that the ICMS, charged by the states, is the one that weighs most on the costs passed on to the consumer. The minister criticized the coordinator of the National Forum of Governors, Wellington Dias, who this weekend charged Congress for not approving the Tax Reform, which could reduce fuel costs.

“I see it is a political statement. This is not supported because the states were the ones that most benefited from this (from the ICMS charge on fuel). If they were concerned about this, why are they increasing revenue, with the country experiencing a pandemic? Isn’t it time for everyone to play their part?” he said.

After 90 days of ICMS freezing, the tax, which continued to be collected but without readjustments, will be updated fortnightly again, as was the case until October. Governors still do not know how this decision should impact fuel prices.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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