People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIII

No. 49

December 06, 2009

Lula Govt's Efforts

Paying Off: PCdoB Leader

 

THE Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) has complimented the Lula government for shielding Brazil from the impact of the ongoing global financial crisis. The secretary of its international department Jose Reinaldo Carvalho particularly lauded the fiscal measures undertaken by the government which have boosted investment in country's infrastructure projects thus kicking off domestinc demand. He said that these efforts are paying off in terms of the country beginning to come out of the crisis although he underlined that the situation is still not too comfortable.

 

Carvalho spoke to Party media on the sidelines of the 11th international meeting of communist and workers parties in New Delhi recently. Brazil, the world's ninth largest economy, has so far weathered the crisis successfully in terms of taming inflation, ensuring fewer layoffs etc. The Lula-led Workers Party government is spending billions of dollars to create construction jobs and has also reduced sales taxes to stimulate sales of new vehicles albeit with a condition to the car-makers that there should be no further layoffs. It may be recalled here that Lula himself was an auto worker and leader of the union before establishing Workers Party and becoming president of the country.

 

Carvalho said that in the initial phase, for around three months, the impact of the crisis was strong with the GDP growth rate falling, signs of recession emerging etc. In such a context, Lula government apart from undertaking fiscal measures to deal with it has also taken care to see that Brazil's exports are diversified from US to China and other neighbouring countries. “This has made us less dependent on the status of US economy”, he said.

 

Asked about the various criticisms made by the ultra Left and Right regarding Lula's policies, Carvalho asserted that Lula's Workers Party is a progressive democratic party and its government reflects this aspect. It is a leftist and pluralist party. And that is the reason why the PCdoB is in alliance with that party, he said. Asked what has been the experience for PCdoB about this alliance, Carvalho said that it has helped the Party advance. In the last elections in 2006, the Party almost doubled its vote from 1.3 to around 2.1 per cent. It has 13 deputies in the Chamber of Deputies and one senator in the Federal Senate. The Party, despite being in alliance with the ruling party, keeps raising the demands for more agrarian reforms, positive changes in education and employment etc. “We have organised mass struggles on these demands. Our aim is to bring positive pressure on the government to undertake these measures”, he said. 

 

With many reports stating that the government spending spree on infrastructure projects is likely to create 150000 jobs in 2009, the outlook on employment is not that gloomy. With a huge cushion of $205 billion as foreign reserves, four times higher than in 2004, Brazil is clearly following the path of China in terms of boosting the domestic market for its future growth. Towards this end only, it is launching a re-industrialisation strategy, with high investment in steel, petrochemicals, and defense equipment (including construction of its first atomic submarine).

 

(N S Arjun)