Only Two Projects Completed From Previous Infrastructure PackagesBy Fernando Mares | Tue, 04/05/2022 - 18:21
Of the 62 projects planned for the last two infrastructure packages launched by the Andres Manuel López Obrador's administration, only two have been completed, according to the Ministry of Finance.
According to the General Pre-Criteria of Economic Policy 2023 report from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), the only two completed projects are the Servant of the Nation Interurban highway in the State of Mexico, part of the connection projects to the new Felipe Angeles International Airport, and the Southwest beltway in Aguascalientes. According to the report, 24 projects are in their execution stage, which represents over 50 percent of the total investment. In addition, 20 projects are still in the process of authorization, though 18 have all the needed permissions already.
The packages’ main objective is to reactivate the Mexican economy, which was heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the initiative faced several obstacles, including budgetary adjustments, financing issues, construct modifications, environmental impact assessments, right-of-way management, legal disputes, inadequate starting dates and deadlines, as well as pandemic-related issues. Some of the projects are extensions of existing infrastructure or works planned under previous administrations.
In October and December of 2020, President López Obrador presented the two packages of the National Infrastructure Program (PNI), where the private sector accounted for more than 50 percent of the total investment. However, these projects should have been started in late 2021, which was not the case.
In March 2022, the Business Coordinating Council (CCE) and SHCP elaborated on the third PNI package, which was supposed to be presented in late January. Although the package’s content has not yet been made public, Rogelio Rivero, Director of Road Development, Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport (SICT), declared that it could contain over 15 communication and transport projects, with an estimated value of US$3.5 billion.
“We, the SCHP and the CCE teams, checked the packages that were first announced. I can now share that over 50 percent of the projects announced in the first and second packages have already started,” said Carlos Salazar, Outgoing President, CCE.
The third package cannot be announced yet because of an electoral ban before a referendum process on López Obrador’s mandate that will take place on April 10, which forbids any kind of governmental propaganda.