Assailed with questions, this Monday in the House of Representatives, on the soaring prices at the pump, as well as on the new measures that the government intends to take to mitigate this increase, the Minister of Finance was categorical: there will be no no fuel price subsidy, for lack of resources and because the priorities are elsewhere.
The government cannot afford to subsidize fuel prices. This is essentially the message delivered by the treasurer of the Kingdom, Nadia Fettah Alaoui, to the deputies, this Monday, June 6, 2022, during the traditional session of oral questions, which gave pride of place to the rise in the price of hydrocarbons .
During lively debates, during which the opposition deputies were particularly offensive, the Minister of Finance made it known that a reversal of the hydrocarbon subsidies, dismantled in 2015 under the government of Abdelilah Benkirane, is not on the agenda.
“Today the government is being asked to manage the consequences of this global crisis as well as possible, without however mortgaging the major projects contained in the government program. Clear choices have been made concerning the implementation of the social state, renewable energies and water. We must stick to it,” she said, adding that the government is managing the price crisis with the means at its disposal.
And to insist: “the budget does not allow us to subsidize fuel prices”.
According to the Minister, the management of this crisis is all the more complex as visibility on the development of the international situation and the behavior of prices is very low. “If any of you know when this crisis will end, let him say so,” she told the deputies.
In this context, argued the minister, the government is called upon to act as a priority in favor of “the future of the children of Moroccans, who want quality health and education”.
Failing to (re)subsidize the prices of hydrocarbons, the government will continue its operation of additional exceptional support intended for road transport professionals, recalls Nadia Fettah Alaoui. Two tranches of 500 million dirhams each have already been paid to carriers during the months of April and May. A third wave for the month of June is about to be launched.
As for compensation expenses, which make it possible to subsidize the prices of flour, sugar and butane gas, they should soar this year, the minister underlined, since they should exceed 30 billion dirhams, instead of 17 billion. dirhams initially budgeted in the 2022 finance law.
Nadia Fettah Alaoui also specified that the supply of fuel, but also wheat, to the national market is another major challenge facing the government. “We are fully committed with our partners to guarantee the supply of the national market”, to avoid any shortage of stocks, as is the case in other countries.