Thursday, December 7, 2023

Housing fund chief made 700,000 pesos a month but ‘extravagance is over’

The former head of the national housing fund, Infonavit, paid himself a handsome salary — because he could.

Speaking in Guerrero yesterday at a presentation on the national fertilizer program, President López Obrador repeated that excesses in government spending will no longer be tolerated, and used the former Infonavit chief as an example.

David Penchyna, the president said, earned a gross monthly salary of 700,000 pesos (US $37,000). His successor, on the other hand, is receiving substantially less.

The extravagance is over now, López Obrador said. “We’ve cut salaries of those at the top to increase the salaries of those at the bottom.”

The new Infonavit director, Carlos Martínez Velázquez, told a Wednesday press conference that the former director’s annual income had been set at 9.3 million pesos (US $487,000), a salary set by Penchyna himself.

In answer to a direct question from a reporter, Martínez said he had chosen a more modest salary for himself in keeping with the administration’s austerity program.

“Since I made a promise to the president, I set my salary — because Infonavit’s rules stipulate that I can give myself however much I want — at 107,500 pesos (US $5,600) a month net.” (In gross terms, that’s about 150,000 pesos.)

López Obrador reiterated his promise not to tolerate corruption and impunity under his watch and appealed to those present to be honest.

“What am I asking of you? Just that you implement the program well. I’m not asking you to learn how to use the fertilizer; you’re all experts. I am asking you to not resell the fertilizer, that there not be a black market for fertilizer, that we all behave well.”

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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