(Note: Due to an inadvertent error in the closing process for today’s magazine, the editor’s column from the previous issue is appearing in the print edition. We offer our heartfelt apologies to all readers).
I write this a week before the magazine reaches your hands and therefore a lot may have happened in the turbulent social and political moment we live in, injected by the debate of a – at least, inopportune – tax reform proposed by the Government.
You obviously need money for numerous programs, but take it out of the pocket of those who have little or nothing, or those who have just the right measure of their subsistence and family needs, has set fire to the spirits that have been forcefully manifested against the project.
The famous reform, if it is still in process, disguised as “Law of sustainable solidarity”, seems anything but that: sustainable. And more when you get up and dig under the hood of the proposed article, as it is found that, as well as other sectors have caught all sorts of tributary trips even for burialsIn terms of vehicles, the offices of the President and the Minister of Finance – which are a couple of blocks away – are thinking in different directions.
This is because, in addition to the new taxes proposed for vehicles and their owners, such as plus gasoline surcharge, increase in the national tax known as ‘bearing’ and raising the “carbon” tax, the reform contradicts the policy for the taxation of ecological cars and buses.
The “Carrasquilla document” wants raise the VAT to hybrids and electric, and remove the zero tariff those who come from countries with which there is no FTA, for example Japan. Without these discounts, there is no way to massify them due to their high cost, because even with these advantages they have that clear disadvantage.
The President of the Republic was manager in Congress of the law that generated the current subsidies, coupling the country with the international agreements that it has signed on the environment and is obliged to comply with them. That Duke himself said it in the Vehicles section at the beginning of March this year and it was ratified this week by the Director of the Administrative Department of the Presidency, who affirmed that the reform does not modify the aforementioned tax regime. But if you run a bill to change them, it is because you would.
In other words, either they are not read, or they are not spoken, or the Ministry launches its torpedoes to see what comes out, thinking that we are not going to dig into the fine print of their “offers”. These inconsistencies must be stopped in time, because in this country, in each room, issues of the future of mobility are decided without coherence or realism.
For example, in the Bogotá Council they spent a week discussing the current regulation that requires all new buses in the city to be electric starting next year. Yes, in just twelve months, knowing that still, of the existing buses for the SITP, there is a part that they have not been able to put into operation due to infrastructure problems.
All this is decided when there is no money to pay the high cost of these buses with respect to diesel or gas, when There are no articulated with that energy and that would be a tender for a single Chinese brand which is still in the experimental phase. Also, playing with TransMilenio, which was born with an obvious financial sprain and is now totally fractured and in a cast of debts.
All because someone suggested that and they approved it without knowing the reality and viability of the electric world. They think it is to put a battery and a couple of cables in a vehicle and voila, when professional automotive technology is just developing it globally and the price of the product is too high to be nailed in the exercise of an operation designed with other parameters.
Decisions for the future of our mobility require an up-to-date, knowledgeable, consultant and realistic national entity that truly outlines the policies and steps that must be taken on a day-to-day basis, because technology is very changeable and will need permanent adjustments by its users. You cannot tie your implementation with rules and deadlines that may be out of date 24 hours later.
If this issue is not organized and all government entities do not work with a national policy and guideline, the country’s connection with the future of mobility may be entering the short-circuit phase, when just the first cables are connected.