11 March 1998
Mexicans keep subsidies on tortillas
TORTILLA industry experts want the complex chain of corn and tortilla
subsidies in Mexico abandoned.
The government spends more than $1 billion a year subsidising supermarket tortilla prices. Price controls on all other foods, such as milk and sugar, have been lifted but tortillas are a staple of the Mexican diet with some 56,000 tortillerias and corn mills across the country.
The government argues the reduction of price controls would accelerate
inflation and a jump in prices could spark protests. But most experts believe
the stance has been taken on the basis of vested interests.
Industry has called for a support system directed solely at around one-third of the 90 million population too poor to pay the full price.
- Financial Times 11/03/98 page 37