Mexican lawmaker postpones proposal to merge three regulators after opposition


FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s Senator Ricardo Monreal speaks during the delivery of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) deal, at the Senate building in Mexico City, Mexico May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY – A lawmaker from Mexico’s ruling party who proposed merging three regulatory bodies into one said on Sunday he would delay the initiative, after opponents criticized the move as a power grab that could jeopardize oversight.

Ricardo Monreal, senate leader of the president’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), said he would wait to move ahead with his proposal to combine energy regulator CRE, antitrust watchdog the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE), and telecoms regulator IFT.

He did not say when he would revive the initiative.

“I’ve decided to postpone the presentation and start an open process of discussion,” he said in a video on social media.

The merged body would be called the National Institute of Markets and Competition for Wellbeing, have five board members and would generate annual savings of 500 million pesos ($22.4 million), according to a document presented by Monreal last week.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has vowed to run an austere government, had backed the proposal, praising the effort to reduce spending.

But the opposition National Action Party criticized the proposal as a power grab and a member of the central bank’s board nominated by Lopez Obrador warned it could undermine oversight.

Monreal pushed back against such criticisms, saying, “There is no intention to create a superpower, nor give way to authoritarianism.”



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