Brazilian Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, the government leader in Congress, said on Wednesday there was no government guidance regarding replacing central bank Chief Roberto Campos Neto, who has been facing criticism from President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Rodrigues said in an interview with TV channel GloboNews there was also no initiative in Congress about changing the central bank’s current independent status. Any change must be approved by lawmakers.
Lula has been criticizing Campos Neto about overly high interest rates, saying it causes unnecessary drag on growth, raising investor concern about his commitment to the bank’s independence.
Campos Neto in response on Tuesday defended the central bank’s formal autonomy, also targeted by Lula and approved by Congress under former President Jair Bolsonaro, saying it disconnects the monetary policy cycle from the political cycle.
Rodrigues said there was “definitively” no government guidance on replacing Campos Neto and that the Senate economic affairs committee did not have it on its horizon as well, when asked about the matter.
He added the government wants to “dialogue” about high interest rate levels, but that Campos Neto will serve his full term ending in 2024 and that there was no proposal from the Lula administration in Congress to change the institution’s autonomy.