SAO PAULO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Brazilian oil regulator ANP has proposed an increase in royalties that could help to shore up state and federal finances at the expense of heavily indebted state-run oil company Petrobras, newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Saturday.
Folha said the measure, which is open to public consultation until March 10, could increase government revenue by about 1 billion reais ($250 million) per year through higher taxes on oil fields producing heavier crude.
In late December the state of Rio de Janeiro, which accounts for 67 percent of Brazil’s crude output and 40 percent of natural gas production, imposed new petroleum taxes to offset a budget shortfall worsened by dropping oil prices.
Critics warn that higher taxes will hamstring the already stretched finances of state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA , the world’s most indebted oil company.
Spokesmen for ANP and Petrobras did not respond immediately to requests for comment. (Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Brad Haynes; Editing by Helen Popper)