BRASILIA, March 25 Brazil plans to hike taxes on
some imports and consumer goods to raise around 4 billion reais
($1.73 billion) to help the country's struggling electricity
distributors, a government official said on Tuesday.
Earlier this month the government pledged an extra 4
billion reais to help energy distributors paying record-high
electricity prices after a severe drought curbed hydro-electric
With an increase in subsidies and a drop in tax revenues
eroding the country's finances, Standard & Poor's cut Brazil's
debt rating on Monday, a major blow to President Dilma Rousseff
as she prepares to run for re-election in October.
Her administration has promised to rein in spending, but
economists say rising energy subsidies will make it difficult
for the government to meet its fiscal savings goal this year.
The country's federal tax agency deputy chief Luiz Fernando
Teixeira said the government is studying raising taxes on beer,
sodas and other drinks as well as cosmetics and some imported
goods to come up with extra revenue.
The federal government collected 83.13 billion reais in
taxes in February, official data showed earlier on Tuesday, up
3.44 percent from the previous year, but below market
expectations for an intake of 86 billion reais.
($1 = 2.3092 Brazilian reals)
(Reporting by Luciana Otoni; writing by Alonso Soto; editing by