With no public scrutiny, the bill to create the NDB (New Development Bank, also known as the BRICS Bank), the world’s newest financial institution, was swept through Congress. The agreement that created the institution was signed in the city of Fortaleza at the latest summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), in July 2014.
After being fast-tracked through the lower house of Congress, the then Legislative Bill 156/2015 proceeded to the Foreign Relations Commission of the Senate for analysis. The senators approved the bill on June 3. It was enacted two days later by the president of Congress, Renan Calheiros.
In a letter delivered to the presidency of the Foreign Relations Commission before the session, Conectas and Rebrip (Brazilian Network for the Integration of Peoples) had asked for public hearings to be held with different sectors of society to help develop the Brazilian vision for the new bank. The request was ignored by the senators.
“An approval of the deal by the Legislative without the proper public scrutiny could have undesirable consequences,” reads the document. “The agreement involving the creation of the new bank, its guidelines for extending credit, as well as the policies to guarantee that the financed projects are compliant with the highest standards of respect for the environment and human rights should be the subject of debate by Brazilian society,” highlighted the organizations.
The same request for public hearings had already been made by the organizations to the sponsor of the bill and to the presidency of the Foreign Relations Commission of the lower house of Congress while the text was pending in the house.
Click here to read the letter sent by Conectas and Rebrip to the presidency of the Commission in the Senate
Click here to read the letter sent to the sponsor of the bill and here for the letter sent to the presidency of the Commission in the Lower House