The Brazilian government’s Planning and Budget Ministry on Friday announced that it will free up R$12.8 billion in funds impounded earlier in the year as part of a budget freeze. The announcement was part of the ministry’s bi-monthly budget review, mandated by Congress. Earlier this year, the government froze R$44.9 billion in funds in order to guarantee compliance with congressionally-set budget targets. In Friday’s statement, the ministry said a congressionally-ordered rise in the 2017 deficit ceiling made it possible to free up some of the frozen funds. Congress raised the ceiling from R$139 billion to R$159 billion. The ministry said other areas of the budget were still suffering, with spending in some sectors rising faster than predicted and revenues lagging early-year forecasts. The funds freed up Friday will be used mainly by government agencies to meet urgent operating expenses, the ministry said.
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