Time becomes more relative in the Chamber of Deputies when the top officials of the federal government are visiting. An appointment at 11:00 a.m. can start two hours later and a 10-minute break can last more than 40.
It is the gloss of the Fourth Government Report of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the round in Deputies began with the person in charge of managing public finances, Rogelio Ramírez de la O. The participations alluding to the disappearance of 43 students from the Normal School of Ayotzinapa were postponed and reduced to a count by the secretary of the Board of Directors, Brenda Espinoza, and a cry for Justice at the end.
An entourage of deputies made up of Sergio Barrera (MC), Benjamín Robles (PT), Luis Armando Melgar Bravo (PVEM), Eunice Monzón (PVEM), Johana Hernández (PRI), Patricia Terrazas (PAN), Lidia García Anaya (Morena) , and Alicia Arreola (Morena) received the secretary in the Protocol Room, who with a 13-page speech walked towards the plenary session and awaited the reception of the president of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Deputies, Santiago Creel, legislators and legislators, who They took the opportunity to take photos with him.
It begins: “it is an honor to appear before this sovereignty today on the occasion of the gloss of the Fourth Government Report of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and to discuss the details of the Economic Package for fiscal year 2023…”
The details given by the secretary in the Economic Package 2023, delivered on September 8 for discussion and approval by Congress, do not change: expenditure of 8.3 billion pesos, greater resources for priority programs, public debt as a proportion of Stable GDP, more money for states and municipalities (acclaimed by the deputies from their stands); continuation of gasoline subsidies, and the largest investment in public infrastructure since 2012.
At the close, a new and forceful message on his agenda: “by instructions of the President of the Republic, this economic package lays the foundations for planning a responsible, orderly and smooth transition to the next administration. It includes an ambitious investment component hand in hand with the strengthening of revenues, which will allow us to make 2024 the year of fiscal consolidation.”
The positions arrive. The parliamentary groups of Morena and the Labor Party pamper, applaud, support. The opposition lands. Jericó Abramo Masso, from the PRI, describes the Treasury’s projections as optimistic: “for next year the federal government projects a growth of 3%, when expert analysts on the subject project half of said growth rate on average, and today the OECD estimates a growth of just 1.5%”, said the PRI militant.
Marcelino Castañeda Navarrete, of the PRD, claims that there will be no fiscal miscellany for the following year, detailing that, prior to the appearance, on September 20, there was a breakfast with legislators at the National Palace, who were not allowed to enter with a cell phone.
“ISR collection is compromised if policies that allow economic reactivation are not generated. The IEPS for 2022 report red numbers due to the gasoline subsidy and in 2023 the situation is expected to remain the same, without proposing mechanisms to contain inflation. There is no longer a way to square the numbers, before it had the stabilization funds that this government has also run out of, “said the PRD representative.
Finishing the positions, Santiago Creel announces a break of up to 10 minutes, which lasts more than 40. Time is relative, more so with the greats at home. Outside Fovissste pensioners demand payment of voluntary contributions.
A cold air, almost frozen, welcomes the secretary, accompanied by the undersecretaries Gabriel Yorio and Juan Pablo de Botton; Raquel Buenrostro, head of the Tax Administration Service (SAT), and Arturo Medina Padilla, tax attorney, who attentively provide him with information to answer the questions of the deputies: that the stabilization funds, that the direct allocations for public sales , that the debt, that the inflation, that the lack of appointments in the SAT.
What advantages do you consider the Package Against Inflation and Famine (PACIC) has compared to the measures implemented in other countries?, launches Manuel Chapman, from Morena.
Since the beginning of the appearance, more than five hours have passed, the secretary asks that they lower the air conditioning; They pass him fruit so he doesn’t get upset. Uncap a mint to cool your throat.
“The price increase was generated outside of Mexico by the rise in food, energy and machinery, when purchased abroad, countries buy them at higher prices and this is reflected in the level of general prices, this happens from the hands of the government, but there have been actions contained in the PACIC for more than 541,000 million pesos, including gasoline subsidies, which has helped to amortize the increases,” reports Ramírez de la O with a scratchy voice.
The reality disagrees with the discourse. Outside, a few meters away, in a cafeteria on the premises, a coffee and a turkey ham sandwich cost 130 pesos. In the street, a taco or quesadilla does not go below 20 pesos.
Hiram Zetina, PRI deputy, questions about the availability of appointments with the SAT, the doctor in Economics from the University of Cambridge asserted that attention for taxpayers this year will exceed levels prior to the pandemic.
“Face-to-face care, after the lag due to the pandemic, is already above the level prior to covid-19, with the online care that was activated, an additional channel has been opened to the one that existed, we do not deny that there is a lag, but the goal by the end of this year it is 9 million, a figure higher than the 8.6 million in 2019, and 6 million during the pandemic, ”said the secretary.
The questions run out, and the faces lengthen, Creel considers the official’s appearance over, thanks him, congratulates him, all calm. From the plenary session to the elevator that takes him to the parking lot he greets, they take photos of him, he does not respond to the press.
Upstairs, in the plenary session, the agreed participations alluding to the disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, which happened eight years ago, resume. The Treasury convoy leaves the Legislative precinct.