Yucatecan businessmen do not see AMLO’s ‘Gas Bienestar’ as a reliable option

Leaders view this model as inefficient, unprofitable and incompetent. Photo: (La Jornada Maya)

Mérida, Yucatán, (July 15, 2021).- Leaders of business chambers in Yucatán do not consider the creation of ‘Gas Bienestar’ feasible, which was recently announced by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, according to their opinions, it would be a “drag” on the economy since it has been shown that government-owned entities of this kind have not been efficient, profitable nor competent.

In addition, they believe that this could negatively impact existing gas companies, the best thing would be to regulate service prices through the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece).

According to López Obrador, with this public company, there will be a guarantee in the supply and supervision of prices; “It will be one more competitor, so the market will not be taken away from the current five distributors” that control the entire gas market.”

However, entrepreneurs have a different view. The president of the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Canaco Servytur) of Mérida, Iván Rodríguez Gasque, said that it is very little feasible because the companies of the Mexican government have not been efficient.

“We have the example of Pemex, or the CFE, ‘Luz y Fuerza del Centro’, which ended up disappearing, so the reality is that I do not see how it could really be something that works,” he said.

“It would be a further drag on the economy, as are all the (parastatals) that already exist,” he added. 

They have not been efficient either in price or at an operational level, added the business leader. The only way to lower the price of gas, as indicated, is to be much more efficient than other companies or to have subsidies, however, if it is in the latter way, “we do not consider this to be convenient in any sense since it would be something expensive and would not be competitive ”.

In his opinion, institutions such as Cofece should review whether there are improper practices and abuses against the consumer, but gas is subject to international prices, he stressed. 

Do the citizens not have the right to choose to buy from a company that could offer more affordable prices for their economy? The businessman was questioned.

“Yes, of course … but unless it is subsidized … the price has to do with the efficiency with which you can operate and the government is not characterized by being the most efficient administrator. The reality is that it would be necessary to see if it can really set up a parastatal that does not have any subsidy and that can operate more efficiently to
bring the product at a lower cost than the competition, ” he said.

Roberto G. Cantón Barros, president of the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (Canirac) Yucatán, stated that there must be always free competition, as is characteristic of free-market economies; therefore the creation of a company operated by the government “is completely out of any conception in the restaurant business.”

“We have seen throughout the history of Mexico that government-owned entities of this kind (parastatals) are not profitable or competent, most of the time, they cost the state a lot of money and are sources of corruption and looting,” he stressed.

The restaurant sector, he assured, discards and forcefully rejects the idea that the federal government taking control of the commercialization of gas, “just to imagine it would represent a strong threat to the private initiative in general since if allowed it would be an act of authoritarianism that would affect the companies of this and other lines ”, he warned.


Natural supply, a priority 

For his part, Jorge Charruf Cáceres, president of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (Canacintra), in Yucatán, handled the same discourse: the parastatals are neither competent nor efficient, nor are they viable, in addition to the fact that gas prices are governed and established under international markets. 

Source: La Jornada Maya



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