yesterday’s announcement of President Gustavo Petro about wanting to get their hands on the rates of some services, such as energy, is supported by article 370 of the Constitution and article 68 of Law 142 of 1994, as highlighted in a conversation held with regional leaders in Duitama ( Boyacá), which, despite being supported by law, causing great controversy due to its effects on the market.

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It is not the first time that the president of the Colombians alludes to assuming the functions of the Energy, Gas and Fuel Regulation Commission (Creg). He also did it on September 9 during the Andesco Annual Congress. 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.

On this occasion, he resorted to Colombia’s own political charter and to Law 42 of 1994, «by which the regime of home public services is established and other provisions are dictated.»

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But, what does article 68 of the aforementioned law say. In general terms, the president may authorize or not the management of residential public services to regulatory commissions.

«ARTICLE 68. Delegation of presidential functions to the Commissions. The President of the Republic will indicate the general policies for the administration and control of the efficiency of residential public services, entrusted to him by article 370 of the Political Constitution, and of the others to which this Law refers, through the commissions of regulation of public services, if you decide to delegate them, under the terms of this Law.

The norms of this Law that refer to the regulation commissions will be applied if the President decides to delegate the aforementioned function; Otherwise, the President will exercise the functions that here are attributed to the commissions», specifies the norm in question.

Without referring specifically to what Law 142 states, Camilo Sánchez, president of Andesco, that «the worst thing that (President Petro) can do is make dictatorial decisions that are not in light of the law.» And he added that a possible price control «would be an unprecedented setback for the country» and that the economic law of supply and demand would fail.

For his part, he Andeg executive director, Alejandro Castañeda, He 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.