By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, April 13, 2012
According to the daily Al Massae, the majority in parliament has approved the first part of the 2012 budget law bill. The first part of the draft budget bill was ratified by 138 MPs, opposed by 36, while 12 MPs abstained from voting.
The session was particularly sought by the opposition that had expressed on several occasions its concern about the delay in the promulgation of the 2012 finance law.
When asked about the reasons behind this delay, Mr. Choubani, Minister in Charge of Parliament and Civil Society told MWN that the government went through rounds of consultations with different counterparts in order to promulgate a comprehensive budget bill congruent with the challenges that lie currently on the broad spectrum.
The debate became heated between the majority and the opposition committees, especially regarding the additional subsidies presumably allotted to renovate and expand dependable infrastructure in rural areas.
The opposition deemed the financial measures in the finance bill largely unsatisfactory, taking into account the severe lack of public institutions, vital facilities and job opportunities in Moroccan rural communities.
On the other hand, the minister of finance asserted that the development of rural areas is a top priority for the government.
In response to the opposition’s comments and critics, the minister of finance, Mr. Nizar Baraka made it clear that the 2012 budget bill allocates 20 billion MAD for the development of rural areas including financial support for the mountainous areas and compensatory measures to overcome the losses as a result of the late rainfall in the current year.
The minister of finance added that the 2012 budget bill revolves around three axes: supporting domestic growth, encouraging foreign investment and developing mechanisms for social solidarity and social protection of the underprivileged segments in society.
According to Mr. Baraka, the domestic growth will be achieved through public investments, commitment to the social dialogue agreements and public support for the basic commodities supply.
To encourage investment, the government envisions raising the public investment to 188 billion MAD in order to boost the job market and to support major national projects by bolstering a competitive polarity.
When asked about the microfinance balance, Mr. Baraka asserted that the government intends to maintain budget deficit at 5% in order to reach 3% by 2016. Thus, Morocco can have better control on the public debts along with a financial capacity to sponsor both the public and the private sectors.