MEXICO CITY, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Mexico's federal government wants to curb waste and fraud in public spending by eliminating some cash transfers to local authorities and taking over all teachers payrolls, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said in comments aired on local TV late on Monday.
Both proposals could stiffen opposition in Congress to President Enrique Pena Nieto's wider reform plans since they could strip autonomy from state administrations, which get around 90 percent of their funding from the federal government.
Pena Nieto is trying to pass major economic reforms through a divided Congress. Leftists have attacked his plan to open up the oil industry to more private investment, and an education reform has sparked disruptive protests across the country.
Videgaray told Televisa the proposals, which are part of a budget and tax plan submitted on Sunday, would allow the government to buy certain supplies for states in bulk, such as medicines or paper supplies, and then transfer the products to states, rather than funding such purchases.
"This will allow us to save a large amount of funds by making one consolidated purchase," he said. Federal control of teacher pay could curb losses due to fraudulent posts and other abuses, he said.
"Without a doubt, this will permit greater control and, above all, greater transparency of how the resources of Mexicans are exercised," he said.
Pena Nieto is set to sign an education bill into law this week that will subject educators to competency exams. Teachers unions have been paralyzing parts of the capital and other cities, and they have pledged to mount more demonstrations.
Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party ruled Mexico for most of the 20th century with an autocratic hand and was accused of fostering corruption. He took office last December after just over a decade of opposition rule, when states had gained more power. (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle and Tomas Sarmiento; editing by Patrick Graham)