Brazil congressional committee approves 2024 budget bill

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s congressional budget committee approved on Thursday the country’s 2024 budget bill, with a shallower-than-expected spending cut in President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s growth acceleration program.

The bill now needs to be voted on by both the lower house and senate in a joint session of Congress, expected to take place on Friday.

The lawmaker in charge of the bill, Luiz Carlos Motta, backed down from earlier drafts and scaled back a reduction in expenses earmarked for the government’s “growth acceleration” program, known as PAC, according to the Senate news agency.

On Wednesday, he announced a cut of almost a third of the 61.3 billion reais ($12.55 billion) initially proposed by the government for the program. On Thursday, however, he revised the budget slash to 6.3 billion reais.

($1 = 4.8844 reais)

(Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Kylie Madry and Gerry Doyle)