As a result of the rise that energy rates continue to register in the country, President Gustavo Petro announced yesterday that, temporarily and directly, will not delegate its functions to the commissions for the regulation of public servicesat least for a time.

«I am going to assume control, the general administration policies of Colombia, directly and personally, based on what the Law itself says: first, the general interest and that of the user,» he said.

(You may be interested in: Political reactions to Petro’s announcement about regular services)

He assured that his decision is based on article 370 of the Constitution and article 68 of Law 142 of 1994and would include the Energy and Gas Regulation Commission (Creg) and the Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation Regulation Commission (CRA).

The president of Andesco, Camilo Sánchez, assured that «the worst thing that can be done is to make dictatorial decisions that are not in light of the law.» In addition, it should be noted that a possible price control «would be an unprecedented setback for the country» and that the economic law of supply and demand would fail.

The worst thing that can be done is to make dictatorial decisions that are not in light of the legal

Meanwhile, the executive director of Andeg, Alejandro Castañeda, stated that this announcement jeopardizes «the confidence that regulation has generated for investments to be made» in the sector, since companies invest in generation because they trust and believe in the regulation. Therefore, decisions such as those that Petro intends to make can stop these resources.

Likewise, I said that at this time there are more doubts than certainties and for this reason he invited the Government to «look at how adjustments can be made within the framework of the institutional framework, which is what companies know, which day by day are providing a public home service ”.

Along the same lines, Alejandro Lucio, director of Óptima Consultores and an expert in energy issues, assured that he does not see the need to «exploit the institutional framework of the sector.» In addition, great uncertainty has been generated among companies that now do not know if the financial and economic models on which they relied to make more investments will continue to apply.

(Also read: ‘Blowback’: Public services union Andesco’s reaction to Petro announcement)

He also said that it is urgent that Petro provide more details and clarify whether he is going to assume the functions of the Creg or if he is going to replace the current commissioners, who were mostly appointed during the administration of Iván Duque.

Experts assure that assuming the functions of the Creg could generate energy rationing in the medium term. Additionally, considering that the president does not have this power, and if he did, it could cause both national and international legal processes.

It is not the first time that President Petro announces that he is going to assume the functions of the Creg. He also did it on September 9 during the Andesco annual congress, although on that occasion he supported his intention in article 290 of the PND 2018-2022 law, but this had nothing to do with this issue.