On Friday evening, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that the state-controlled business Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, has 3 billion reais ($575.5 million) set aside to provide free LPG canisters to low-income families who cannot buy them.
Low-income Brazilians mostly utilize liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) bottles for cooking, and the government has been chastised for recent price spikes.
“The new Petrobras CEO, general Silva e Luna, has this 3 billion reais set aside to help the poor,” Bolsonaro claimed in an interview on Friday on a TV show.
“People could have one free LPG bottle every two months”, he said, adding the government is still considering how that could be done.
The new subsidy would be announced in August with the expansion of other social programmes to compensate for higher inflation caused by record fuel and electricity prices. The government aims to increase the size of Bolsa Familia, a program that makes direct payments to families in need with children, from 14 million to 17 million families.
In the interview, Bolsonaro also acknowledged higher food prices but said they were caused mainly by international demand.