UPDATE 2-Brazil aims for fiscal savings of $28 bln in 2015 -lawmaker

martes 24 de febrero de 2015 15:10 GYT

(Recasts with lawmaker and analyst comments, context and details)

By Alonso Soto and Jeferson Ribeiro

BRASILIA Feb 24 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government is working on a plan to save up around 80 billion reais ($28 billion) this year to meet a fiscal goal that is crucial to regain investors' trust, a senior lawmaker and a government official said on Tuesday.

The head of the Brazilian Senate Renan Calheiros told reporters that newly-appointed Finance Minister Joaquim Levy asked allied lawmakers of the PMDB party to support the savings plan of around 80 billion reais.

Levy told lawmakers on Monday evening that he is working on such a plan but "will not make an adjustment of around 80 billion reais only with (budget) cuts," said a government official, who was present at the meeting and asked for anonymity to speak freely.

His comments suggest the government will likely continue to raise taxes to reach its primary fiscal surplus goal of 66 billion reais, or the equivalent of 1.2 percent of Brazil's gross domestic product.

Achieving that fiscal goal is the single biggest challenge newly re-elected President Dilma Rousseff faces to convince investors she will leave behind years of heavy spending that cost the once-booming economy a debt rating downgrade last year.

Still, the package now under consideration would be smaller than the 100 billion reais in savings that some officials forecast earlier in the year. Brazil's economy risks falling back into recession amid fears of energy and water rationing and a widening corruption scandal at state-run Petrobras.

The finance ministry declined to confirm the size of the savings package or Levy's comment.   Continuación...