--Package of bills passes lower house, still needs Senate approval|
--Stimulus now in force via decrees, but decrees will expire Aug. 15
--Package includes new funding for state-run National Development Bank
(Adds information on new votes by lawmakers, more background in the fourth through sixth paragraphs.)
SAO PAULO--Brazilian lawmakers in the lower house of congress, in voting Monday night and again Tuesday morning, approved government measures that provide incentives for local industries in the face of an economic slowdown.
The measures still must be approved by the Brazilian Senate. That approval is expected later this week.
The measures approved by lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies are part of what is known as the Brasil Maior stimulus plan presented by the government earlier this year to encourage investment and boost a decelerating local economy.
The measures include a reduction in taxes and an easing in payroll costs for many local industries.
Lawmakers also approved a capital injection worth 45 billion Brazilian reals ($22 billion) for the National Development Bank, or BNDES.
BNDES financing is one of main tools local companies use to expand their plants and purchase new equipment.
In June, the government cut what is known as the long-term interest rate, or TJLP, to 5.5% from 6.0% per year. The TJLP is used in loans to businesses by the government-run BNDES.
The Senate must approve the government incentives before Aug. 15 or they will expire automatically.
Last week, Brazilian opposition-party members said they planned to obstruct voting on all pending government measures as well as the 2013 federal-budget-guidelines bill until the government made good on a promise to free up some two million Brazilian reals($982,318) in budget earmarks per lawmaker. Earlier this week, the government agreed to free up many of the earmarks.
Write to Rogerio Jelmayer at firstname.lastname@example.org.Update brazil lawmakers approve economic-stimulus package - Heated Clothing Battery Manufacturer
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