Photo: MEXICO: PRI Approve Pres. Peña Nieto's Energy and Tax Reforms
President Enrique Peña Nieto has won the approval of the assembly of his governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to move forward with energy and tax reforms.
The PRI’s 21st National Assembly voted to remove the so-called “padlocks” that required legislators to reject the opening of state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, to private investment and prevented them from allowing the value-added tax (VAT) to be imposed on food products and medicines.
“This assembly transcends simple statutory formality, representing a frontier between yesterday and what the PRI of today is doing to build a Mexico with a better future,” Peña Nieto told delegates in an address on Sunday.
More than 4,000 delegates participated in the two-day gathering, which ended on Sunday.
Party members had been divided in the past two decades over whether to change the structure of the oil industry to allow Mexico to generate additional tax revenues and modernize Pemex.
Other political sectors, mainly on the left, oppose opening Pemex to private investment, labeling such a move privatization and a handover of state assets to foreign oil concerns.
The Peña Nieto administration has made energy industry reform a priority and called for changes “that will be an engine for investment and development,” helping transform Pemex into a modern corporation with expanded exploration and production capabilities.
The president has denied that he plans to privatize the state-owned oil company.
Pemex, which has a monopoly on crude output and fuel distribution in Mexico, is the world’s No. 5 oil producer.