SAO PAULO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Brazil’s government will send a bill to Congress to change the ICMS state tax on gasoline and diesel, President Jair Bolsonaro said, saying recent price cuts at oil refineries by Petrobras had not been reflected at the pumps.
ICMS is a tax on sales and services and applies to the movement of goods, transportation, communication services and other supplies.
“We have lowered gasoline and diesel prices at refineries 3 times now, but prices have not come down at the gas stations. Why? Because (state) governors charge, on average, 30% ICMS on the average price at the pump and adjust that only every 15 days, harming the consumer,” Bolsonaro tweeted.
“So what can the President do to lower diesel/gasoline prices for consumers? Change legislation via a complementary bill so that the ICMS is a fixed amount per liter, and not set according to the gas station average. The President will submit the proposal to the Legislature and fight for its approval,” he said on Twitter late on Sunday.
Bolsonaro did not give further details. The price of diesel is a sensitive issue for truck drivers, whose national strike in 2018 had a huge impact on the economy. Bolsonaro had the support of truck drivers’ leaders in the 2018 presidential election. (Reporting by Eduardo Simões Writing by Jamie McGeever)