Mexican Senate committees eliminate cut in sugary drink tax
MEXICO CITY Oct 28 Mexican Senate committees on
Wednesday agreed to eliminate a proposed tax cut on
sugar-sweetened drinks which critics had said would hinder the
fight against obesity in Latin America's second-largest economy.Mexicans are among the world's biggest drinkers of sodas
made by companies like Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc
, and in 2013, the country became the first major market
to tax high-calorie soft drinks, by 1 peso ($0.06) per liter.Last week, the lower house of Congress, where the ruling
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its allies have a
majority, approved plans to cut by 50 percent taxes on soft
drinks with less than 5 grams of added sugar per 100 ml.
However, in the Senate, where the PRI is short of a
majority, the finance committee and one other panel voted to
strip the planned cut from the 2016 budget package.
The legislation must still be voted on the Senate floor and
returned to the lower house. But Senators from the PRI and the
two main opposition parties, speaking on condition of anonymity,
told Reuters that the proposed cut was now off the agenda.
Mexico has one of the highest obesity rates in the world,
with nearly two-thirds of the population considered obese or
overweight, according to the World Health Organization.The Senate committees also proposed that fuel prices, for
which the government has set upper or lower limits, will in
future be allowed to fluctuate in a range linked to inflation.
(Reporting by Dave Graham)