What Is Happening With IFT?By MBN Staff | Wed, 01/20/2021 - 05:00
In his morning conference of Jan. 14, President López Obrador declared the analysis for the elimination of the autonomous organisms INAI, IFT and COFECE had begun. The president said that around 200 autonomous bodies have been allocated a budget of more than MX$500 billion (US$25 billion) a year. “Let us suppose that we save 10 percent of the MX$500 billion (US$25 billion), that is MX$50 billion (US$2.55 billion),” he said.
For their elimination, López Obrador said that it will be defined which bodies were created by the executive authority, by law and those that are part of USMCA. The first ones will be the first to go. “Then we will analyze autonomous entities created by law, how many there are, how much they cost us and if we can transfer the functions of those entities to existing units, such as the IFT, which will return to Communications as it was before,” he said. In Oct. 2013, the IFT was detached from the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT).
But what are the reasons for wanting to dissolve these institutes? The president's main justification is the cost that these institutions represent to the government. “We have to adjust our administrative structures to the new reality. People cannot have such a hard time maintaining the government,” the president declared.
“AMLO wants to save resources and have public money stay in and be managed by his government. He is being driven by the costs of the health emergency to take radical legislative and administrative measures, such as the elimination of trusts and some autonomous institutions,” explains the President of the Mexican Association for the Right to Information (AMEDI) Jorge Bravo in an article for El Economista. López Obrador, claims Bravo, “likes control and administrative centralization; autonomous bodies mean loss of power to him. The Executive longs for political control over communications, companies and broadcasting and telecommunications concessionaires.”
The disappearance of these bodies, and of the IFT in particular, would create uncertainty for investors in the sector and even for users, experts warn. In a statement, Claus Von Wobeser, President of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), said that this action would be a sign to the international markets that a major democratic setback has been set in motion in Mexico, one that risks foreign investment and hits consumers for being left unprotected due to the lack of competition regulators.