The president of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Minister Luiz Fux, voted today (25) to validate the Legal Framework for Basic Sanitation (Law 14.026/2020), sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro in july last year. The framework provides for the universalization of water and sewage services by 2033 and makes it possible to inject more private investments into the sector.
After the vote by Fux, rapporteur of the actions that question the law, Minister Nunes Marques began reading his vote, but the judgment was suspended due to the end of session time. The trial will resume next Wednesday (1). The vote of nine ministers is missing.
The legality of some points of the law was questioned in the STF by the PDT, PCB and PSOL. The parties argued that the rules induce private sanitation and water supply companies to participate in bids in places where the state-owned companies that carry out the services do not present losses, leaving the deficit companies under the responsibility of states and municipalities. According to the legends, the measure could penalize the poor population and create a monopoly in the sector.
Fux voted for the dismissal of the actions and argued that Congress opted for the concession model and maintained federative autonomy.
In addition, according to the minister, the Legal Framework may reduce public spending on the health system, contribute to the revitalization of hydrographic basins, with the conservation of the environment and the reduction of water loss, in addition to providing better quality of life for the population.
“The specialists on the subject understand that this is a historic moment for Brazil, given this inefficiency that we are witnessing in relation to sanitation in the country. It is intolerable that Brazilians do not have drinking water and treated sewage”, he said.
Yesterday (24), on the first day of the trial, the Attorney General’s Office (AGU) defended the constitutionality of the framework. According to the agency, the law sought to reduce the inefficiency of the sector and made it possible to estimate an investment of R$ 357 billion until 2033.
According to the Union’s attorney general, Bruno Bianco, 46.8% of the Brazilian population does not have access to sewage treatment and the loss of water in distribution is 38.5%.
“Almost half of the Brazilian population does not have access to sanitary sewage. And even when there is this access, the mere existence of the collection network does not guarantee the correct sewage treatment. This index is absolutely alarming, it is sad, especially if we consider the intrinsic relationship between the population’s health and basic sanitation conditions”, he said.
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