Mexico reform measure clears committee

Mexico reform: First of laws to implement reform clears committee

Committees in Mexico's senate have agreed to the terms of one of the laws that will implement the country's landmark energy reform ending the monopoly of state oil company Pemex.

The bill, approved with 14 votes by the Energy and Legislative Studies committees, will change a range of laws from mining, foreign investment and public-private partnerships to put in place constitutional reforms passed late last year.

Three more proposals will have to clear the panels before the measures can progress, an outcome expected to happen this week, according to the Economista news site.

The overall reforms must then be approved by the overall senate and then the lower chamber of deputies, with passage expected given the right-centre National Action Part (PAN) and Pena Nieto's centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) have control.

Left-centre lawmakers from the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) withdrew from the committee debate, adamant that the reforms gave too much power away from government to corporations and foreign interests.

The final draft included several concessions to the right-centre National Action Party (PAN), including removal of a provision for land expropriation, according to a senate statement.

Instead the law seeks to establish a system to compensate landowners and allow them to benefit from production on their properties, with those agreements subject to federal review.

The law, the centrepiece of energy overhaul spearheaded by President Enrique Pena Nieto, also establishes a local content requirement of 25%, more or less as expected.

The latest proposal also recommends a public tender scheme for pipeline development.

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