In some regions, prices exceed more than 10% of the minimum wage

Pedro Ventura/Brasília AgencyProposal for “social gas”, approved in the Chamber of Deputies, goes to the Senate; if approved, up to 50% of the amount can be funded by the government.

In the latest survey by the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), the gas canister appears with an increase of more than 30% since the end of 2020. In some states, the average value exceeds R$110, which represents more than 10% of the minimum wage. IBMEC finance professor Gilberto Braga explains the reason for so many increases: “Gas is known as LPG, liquefied petroleum gas. As the price of oil has increased substantially since the resumption of social and economic actions, after the vaccination against Covid-19 in the world, and also because of the increasingly valued dollar against our currency, this policy of equalization justifies, from a financial point of view, the readjustments that have been practiced in the price of the cylinder”, he says. In addition to movements in the international market, the composition of product resale prices also takes into account other variables, such as taxes and resale.

The biggest share of the price of cooking gas goes with the Petrobras, then comes the distribution and income margins, responsible for 37.7% of the total value. The tax burden, referring to the Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS), represents almost 15% of the price. Currently, the state tax is the only one levied on the product, since in March of this year the Federal government it zeroed the tax rates that were previously applied on cooking gas. To try to soften the impact of prices on the budget of low-income families, Petrobras announced that it will invest R$300 million in a social program to help purchase gas. In addition, in the Chamber of Deputies, an aid called “social gas” was approved last week, to cover at least 50% of the value of the cylinder. The proposal will still be analyzed in the Federal Senate.

To save on cooking gas, Luzinete housewife cooks only once a week and freezes portions for the following days. “My gas ran out and I wasn’t able to buy another one. The neighbor gave me the key to her house so I could cook there. After two weeks, she had her husband bring me a gas. The price of gas is absurd. Very expensive”, says the paulistana. Unemployed for two years and with two daughters, Luzinete lives off donations and the little money she gets by selling cans she collects in the streets. It’s barely enough to guarantee the family’s food. Meanwhile, basic expenses are piling up. She says that for six months she has not been able to pay her water bill. “I prefer to spend it so that my daughters and I can eat, we pay the bills later,” says Luzinete.

*With information from reporter Livia Zanolini

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