(Expansion) – An attempt has been made to position as responsible what is not. The fallacious idea that this government is not taking on debt is leading us into an environment that will be difficult to deal with. Far from being an advance, it entails a severe risk for public finances.
On the one hand, it is clear that the two State energy companies have been contracting important financing, but without complying with the constitutional requirements, since the source of payment that justifies them is not identified in each transaction.
On the other hand, both companies have manipulated the accounting presentation of their liabilities, by using unreliable criteria to reveal the debts they have with suppliers and contractors, also giving an inaccurate presentation to the problem of pensions to be covered.
Projects and works, by dint of precipitating inaugurations, are carried out with great opacity, reaching the extreme of putting at risk the quality, compatibility and durability of the equipment, materials and technologies used, which, far from representing savings, has meaning huge ‘escalations’ in prices.
Unfortunately, haste establishes priorities in what should be long-term models, irresponsibly acquiring what is available over what is adequate, accepting, of course, the prices imposed by those who meet capricious dates.
Maintenance has been relegated, generating false economies that will result in new purchases and not in minor repairs or replacement of spare parts and consumables, favoring an undesirable profile in the operation of the state industry, leading it to a course of constant failure in the medium term since eventual obsolescence. Scenario that will represent loads, simultaneous and accumulated, in a period not exceeding five years.
The emergence of events caused by the disintegration or demolition of service and production chains, caused by non-payment to the national supply line, both in Pemex and in CFE, as well as the inevitable occurrence of events involving the urgent replacement of equipment, machinery and correction in operating facilities, will force the financial authorities to resort to the international debt markets in a stormy and disorganized manner, without the capacity to establish and design schedules in accordance with the government’s fundraising.
The needs in the health, education, infrastructure and other branches of the federal public administration have not disappeared, they have only been postponed, subordinating the public treasury to three large tlatoánicos projects, which voraciously consume budget resources, in an environment of predicted recession, which will necessarily impact tax revenues.
That is, the Federal Executive does not follow any planning or programming, but only establishes, on an overwhelming short-term basis, the channeling of increasingly scarce resources, subjecting itself more to an ideological teleology than to a functional vision of the apparatus. bureaucratic, impacting with its decisions the supply chains associated with it; leading to a catastrophic scenario to companies that are highly demanding of material and human resources in the country, yes, to an outstanding segment of the national productive apparatus.
In a mare magnum of disputes and controversies of a political nature, it has ceased to be perceived that a huge hole has been dug in the projection and forecasting of public spending, separating it from the most elementary planning of official indebtedness, which, far from nullifying the need for loans will deepen it, making it critical in the medium term.
On balance, not only will there be no savings or benefits, but the model of reckless deferral of official indebtedness will cause an imbalance in public finances such as has not been faced in decades. The political profitability of containing the financing of the government sector is inversely proportional to the devastation that it will cause in the satisfaction of the needs of the population, intensifying in the incoming administration, generating an inertial ballast in several more.
Although it is true that the regulations on public debt, starting in 1976, had important adjustments, both in the Fundamental Charter and in federal and state laws, in recent years it has suffered a harmful irruption and drastic relaxation, thanks to a very unfortunate intervention by the Federal Judiciary, which expanded, without restraint, the manipulation and lack of transparency in various financial lines, particularly in national debt.
The criteria promoted by Minister Pérez Dayan, at the beginning of this administration, allowed the government to maintain enormous debts without registration, and, therefore, leaving them outside the annual programming and budgeting, generating a devastating block of phantom official debt.
Being in the prelude to years of high electoral profile, it should not be lost sight of the continued and persistent erosion of the budget framework, which this year will close in the red, shows the urgent need to anticipate the harmful effect of the postponement of public financing. Whoever is the winner of the electoral process, will face a financial position that will return to Mexico the placement proposals with percentages of GDP that we have not seen for a long time.
The responsible management of national indebtedness is one of the determinants of a good government, qualifies it and places it in history, being true in our country, as in the rest of the world, that it is not the abstention of financing, but its orderly, responsible use. and opportune, which allows to qualify the decisions adopted in this sector.
The financial anorexia that has been proposed as a governmental model by the Federal Executive will demonstrate this, by verifying, in less than three years, that only the placement of public debt was postponed, with serious risks.
Editor’s note: Gabriel Reyes is a former tax attorney for the Federation. The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.