Brazilian President Lula da Silva today announced a $550 billion long-term infrastructure investment plan called the PAC II, which is the second installment of the government’s accelerated growth program. When combined with the $504 billion in budget allocations outlined by PAC I in 2007, Brazil’s targeted infrastructural investments should eventually total more than $1 trillion over a 10-year period.
The timing of today’s announcement was likely intended to coincide with the resignation of Dilma Rousseff—chief minister to President Lula da Silva and his chosen successor to the presidency—so that she can begin preparations to kick off her presidential campaign in July. Ms. Rousseff is expected to tout the PAC II investments as evidence that Lula’s center-left government is rapidly improving Brazil’s dilapidated infrastructure and promoting robust economic growth.
The most probable centrist opposition candidate in Brazil’s October presidential elections, former health minister José Serra, who has been leading in local opinion polls, dismisses the program as government propaganda and points to widespread delays during the first phase of the program as evidence of its shortcomings.