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Semarnat headquarters in Mexico City. New home: Mérida. Semarnat headquarters in Mexico City. New home: Mérida.

Relocating departments one of costliest projects ever: Coparmex

Business leader urges a thorough study to assess pros and cons

The decentralization of federal government departments by moving them out of Mexico City will be one of the costliest projects ever undertaken in the history of public administration in Mexico, warned a business leader.

Gustavo de Hoyos Walther, president of Coparmex, the Mexican Employers Federation, said the relocation of the departments to various other cities will cost at least 125 billion pesos (US $6.5 billion).

He urged the incoming federal administration to perform a “multidisciplinary rigorous technical analysis open to the public” that assesses the pros and cons of the proposed relocation and leads to “making the decision that’s best for the country.”

“The cost of this operation would be equivalent to the Health Secretariat’s 2018 budget, without tallying in additional and indirect costs . . .” said de Hoyos.

If the relocation proposal becomes a reality, “it would become one of the costlier projects in the history of the country’s public administration, one that will not translate into strategic infrastructure like roads, schools, ports or hospitals, but government office buildings.”

He recalled the relocation of the national statistics institute, Inegi, from Mexico City to Aguascalientes after the September 1985 earthquake, a process that cost close to 2 billion pesos and took nearly four years to complete.

Among the first relocations planned are the Environment Secretariat to Mérida, Yucatán, and Tourism to Chetumal, Quintana Roo. The plan has been criticized by unionized workers at the former and hailed by the real estate industry.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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