Colombia’s constitutional court on Tuesday accepted a lawsuit that seeks to withdraw the Ministry of Mining and Energy’s power to regulate fuel prices.
According to lawyer who filed the complaint, Camilo Araque, the aim of the lawsuit is to abolish a decree that entitles the ministry to establish the price per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel in Colombia on a monthly basis. Araque claims the decree is unconstitutional because it is illegal to determine tax rates by manipulating prices.
“The fact that article 101 of the law 1450 from 2011 allows the unilateral fixing of fuel prices by the Ministry for Mining and Energy shows an undeniable lack of awareness of the constitution,” the lawyer argued.
He continued, “We must bear in mind that gas and diesel are the goods with perhaps the highest fiscal value within Colombia’s tax system, close to 36 percent and that the consumers, protected by article 78 of the constitution, have never been able to benefit from favorable market conditions for fuel.”
If the lawsuit is successful the government will no longer be able to artificially set the price of fuel and the price will be determined by the law of supply and demand within the international market.
Colombian senator, Luis Fernando Velasco, described the court’s decision to accept the lawsuit as “logical and reasonable” and expressed his hope that the court would reach a judgment forcing Congress to “discuss a bill that opens up national debate as to how fuel prices in Colombia should be established.”
- Demandan facultad para que Minminas no fije precios de combustibles (El Espectador)
- Corte admitió demanda para bajar el precio de la gasolina (El Colombiano)
- Senador Velasco consideró acertado que Corte acepte demanda de inconstitucionalidad en precio de combustibles (Radio Santa Fe)