In a joint session on Thursday, the Brazilian Congress approved the Rousseff Administration’s 2016 federal budget, based on a primary surplus goal equal to 0.5% of gross domestic product. Earlier this week, the administration agreed to reduce its 2016 surplus goal from an originally proposed 0.7% in order to preserve social welfare programs. According to press reports, Finance Minister Joaquim Levy opposed reduction in the surplus goal but was overruled by President Dilma Rousseff. Reports said the episode could result in Levy’s resignation within the coming weeks. The budget proposal approved Thursday is based on a revenue package including a controversial financial transactions tax. The tax, proposed by President Rousseff, has not been adopted by Congress yet.
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