(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) As many as 200,000 people have protested in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro to urge Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to veto a bill that local officials say could cost Rio state billions of dollars in lost oil revenue and cripple plans to host the World Cup and Olympics.
The protest began yesterday with a march through Rio s colonial center and was followed by a series of speeches, concerts, and impromptu revelry that at times gave it a festive air. In recent days, state officials plastered streets and buildings with banners advertising the protest in large black and white lettering and a command in red for the president: "Veto, Dilma."
The bill proposes sharing oil revenues more evenly between oil-producing states like Rio and other states. It would lower the level of royalties collected by oil-producing states from 26% to 20%.
Local politicians are fiercely opposed to the move, saying it could cost the state 1.7 billion next year.
They say that the changes would affect Rio's ability to host the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
Late Monday, a person familiar with the president s plans said Rousseff is planning to veto at least part of the bill, particularly a portion that redefines royalty payments for existing oil production in Brazil.
The president, the person added, instead will propose that Rio and Espirito Santo, the two states with most of Brazil s oil output, continue to get a level of royalties from current production similar to what they received last year. The partial veto would not change parts of the bill that redefine oil royalties from production at new fields.
Rousseff has until Friday to veto the bill, but is expected to decide on the partial veto on Thursday, the person said.
Brazil is expected to be able to produce tens of billions of barrels of crude oil over the coming decades from discoveries of offshore deposits of oil made in recent years.
State governor Sergio Cabral and Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes were among those on the march.