Stimulus sought

Published: Wednesday 30 June 2004

Brazil wants the International Monetary Fund (imf) to consider money utilised for science as infrastructure investment rather than current expenditure. If the imf buys this argument, Brazil could substantially increase its allocation for science-related matters.

The country's science minister, Eduardo Campos, has even appealed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (unesco) for garnering support in this regard. Public expenditure is currently being held back by the terms of Brazil's loans from the imf, which state that such spending must not represent more than 3.75 per cent of the gross national product.

Last month, the imf agreed in principle to a request from unesco that spending on infrastructure projects should be treated as investment, and excluded from the cap on expenditure. Ennio Candotti, president of the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science, says "it will be not an easy negotiation, but it is an important one".

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