The intention of the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) to establish a methodology to set maximum rates for six months in the railway sector and mitigate the impact of inflation is “positive”, but not a comprehensive solution because there are several factors involved in the price of a product, considered the consultant and professor at Tec. de Monterrey, Sergio García.

“There are many components that determine a final price. For example, in tortillas, imported corn has an international cost and the transfer is paid in dollars. To this must be added the rental of hoppers or storage in terminals. It is even necessary to see if it arrives by ship, considering that the maritime costs at this moment are high throughout the world, and the cost of gas to make them must also be added, ”he commented.

In the emergency guideline issued by the SICT, the interest of the federal government in ensuring the well-being of Mexican families is argued in the face of the impact suffered by the high costs of rail transportation rates for products from the basic basket, goods and merchandise that is transferred to the prices paid for them, which has fostered the development of an activity in the railway sector away from a favorable environment.

It is evident that the rise of a product is not only a consequence of the transportation issue, in this case the railway. In addition, there is the possibility that each user can negotiate the services to contract”, added Sergio García, professor at TEC. from Monterrey.

Without wishing to generate controversy, the expert who worked for a long time in the National Railways of Mexico and other railway companies, stressed that the aforementioned document refers to national security for the benefit of the population. However, during periods of road blockades (such as the one last year that lasted three months), the railway and its strategic value for the country’s economy were not looked at.

History of setting rates

Once the emergency guideline is published (which may occur in the following days) at the request of the SICT, the Railway Transport Regulatory Agency (ARTF) must establish a methodology, set the consideration for interconnection services and rates maxims in the provision of the public service of rail freight transport, considering the establishment of conditions for affordable access, at a cost that provides for the development of the sector and guarantees the preservation of democracy.

Based on the railway legal framework, the concessionaires and permit holders of the sector are obliged to register with the agency the maximum rates applicable to the provision of the public service of rail transport and various services that they perform, in such a way that the amount they determine is discretionary. with respect to each client in particular, as long as they do not exceed the maximum limit. This situation has drawn the attention of Cofece, who considers that the ARTF lacks sufficient information to evaluate the maximum rates, affecting the users of the service, and has recommended creating a methodology that allows the agency to evaluate the authorization of rates. maxims.

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