Senate committee postpones voting on Correios privatization

correios privatization postponed
Union leaders watch as a Senate committee debates on the privatization of Correios, Brazil’s federal postal service company. Photo: Leopoldo Silva/SF/CC-BY 4.0

The Senate’s Economic Affairs Committee postponed its vote on a bill facilitating the privatization of Brazil’s state-owned postal company Correios. Members will reconvene on November 9. The proposal was on the voting agenda for this afternoon, but Senator Paulo Rocha requested to take the bill under advisement and suggested a third public hearing be held.

“I don’t understand the rush in analyzing the matter. Correios is Brazil’s public and cultural heritage, a company that is more than 300 years old. Privatizing it will not solve the government’s problems,” he said, during Tuesday’s committee session. 

Senator Márcio Bittar, the proposal’s rapporteur, disagrees. “The bill improves the precarious apparatus of regulation and oversight, ensuring adequate and universal essential postal services, and imposes a contractual relationship between the company and the government, by way of a concession.”

Mr. Bittar presented his report on the bill yesterday, rejecting five amendments submitted by his peers and endorsing the approval of a draft unchanged from that which was passed by the lower house. He acknowledged that Correios has been successful in reducing costs and operating expenses since 2018, but said the company’s current situation prevents it from furthering investments that could improve its productivity.

The bill in question authorizes the complete sale of the state-owned company and establishes a voluntary severance package for current employees.