“The government is biting entrepreneurs on the edges,” says Robbins Ometo.

“The government is biting entrepreneurs on the edges,” says Robbins Ometo.

247 – In a cutting speech at the Esfira Forum, businessman Rubens Ometu, controller of the Kozan Group, expressed his dissatisfaction with the current fiscal framework of the federal government and criticized recent tax measures aimed at increasing tax collections. His statements highlight concerns about the economic policy led by Finance Minister Fernando Haddad, and reflect business sectors' concern about the proposed changes.

Ometo began by highlighting some of Brazil's economic successes, but quickly turned his focus to the problems he sees in the current administration. “We control inflation, and we have a large trade surplus, but I don't want to talk about the glass being half full. I want to talk about what's wrong,” he said, explaining the critical tone of his remarks.

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Regarding the financial framework presented by Minister Haddad, Umetu was categorical: “From the beginning, I did not believe in this financial framework. It reflects the vision of someone who wants to make the government spend, not reduce public spending.” The businessman said that the applied financial rules aim to increase revenues, often at the expense of the efficiency of the private sector. “The federal government is over-exaggerating. They're changing the rules to collect more. They're worried about biting — and they're doing it,” he criticized. Defending the importance of the private sector in the economy, Umeto declared that “money in the hands of the private sector is more efficient than in the hands of the government.”

“Modern-day Mawa”

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During the event, São Paulo Governor Tarcisio de Freitas praised Ometo, comparing him to Barão de Moa, one of the greatest entrepreneurs in Brazilian history. Highlighting the businessman's resilience and success, Tarcisio said: “Ometo is a modern-day 'Baron of Mawa', with one difference: Mawa broke and Ometo will not break.”

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Ometo's criticism comes in the context of growing tension between the government and the industrial sector. This week, a temporary measure imposed restrictions on the compensation of PIS/Cofins loans, prompting a strong reaction from entities such as the Confederation National de la Industrie (CNI), which promised to take legal action against the MP. Minister Haddad defended the measure, saying it aimed to correct tax spending that had grown disproportionately and put an end to what he described as “disguised subsidies.”

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He said, “We have to control spending and recover lost revenues. If this was still for the benefit of those who need it most…but no, it was for the benefit of national heroes who do not need state support.” Haddad, stressing the need for fairer and more sustainable tax policies.

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