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Brazil taps academic to lead microeconomic reforms: sources

[BRASILIA] The Brazilian government has invited an academic to join the finance ministry and lead a microeconomic reform agenda that aims to bolster the country's productivity, two government officials said on Monday.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles has asked Joao Manoel Pinho de Mello, a professor with Sao Paulo-based business school Insper, to be part of his team, said the officials who asked for anonymity because the information has been made public yet.

The finance ministry press office and Mr de Mello did not respond to requests seeking comments.

At the request of President Michel Temer, Mr Meirelles has launched a series of microeconomic measures to help reduce Brazilian's debt burden and ease financial costs to aid an economy entering its third year of recession.

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Some of the measures include allowing workers to make early withdrawals from their severance funds and writing off some tax debts owed by corporations.

Mr de Mello is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard University and is expected to take position upon his return to Brazil in February officials said.