SAO PAULO, March 23 (Reuters) - Retail brokerage XP Inc's founder and chief executive called on the Brazil's government to launch a Marshall Plan-style program to combat the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak, according to local newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, citing a Sunday call with other top executives.
Guilherme Benchimol, founder of the brokerage which last year conducted one of Brazil's highest profile initial public offerings, said he feared the ranks of joblessness in the country could skyrocket to 40 million people from roughly 12 million as a consequence of the pandemic.
"Measures taken by the Brazilian government so far are like a drop in the ocean," Benchimol said in the call, according to Estado, warning of a risk of people going hungry as well as a potential increase in murders.
The reference to the post World War Two Marshall Plan language echoed that from a speech earlier in the day by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez calling for a coordinated public investment program to offset the impact of the virus.
Joining him on the call were the chief executives of steelmaker Cia Siderurgica Nacional state-owned lender Caixa Economica Federal, payments company StoneCo Ltd , state-controlled power company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA as well as the founder of homebuilder MRV Engenharia e Participacoes SA.
CSN's Benjamin Steinbruch urged the Brazilian government to allow tax payment delays while MRV founder Rubem Menin suggested measures to help small businesses like barbershops and bars. (Reporting by Carolina Mandl Editing by Marguerita Choy)