New York - Charafat Afilal, Minister Delegate to the Minister of energy has been under fire since she made a statement on Tuesday in which she fiercely defended the pension Moroccan Ministers and parliamentarians receive after their retirement.
New York – Charafat Afilal, Minister Delegate to the Minister of energy has been under fire since she made a statement on Tuesday in which she fiercely defended the pension Moroccan Ministers and parliamentarians receive after their retirement.
There has been an ongoing debate in Morocco on whether Moroccan Ministers, MPs deserve to receive a monthly retirement of up to MAD 35,000 and 20,000 at the end of their mandates respectively, while civil servants in in several government sectors receive less than MAD 3,000 after 40 years of service.
Echoing the debate taking place among Moroccans, TV host Mohammed Tijini asked the Minister on his show Dayf Al Oula on Tuesday whether it supports the position of people who call on the government to reform the law on MPs and Ministers’ pensions.
“While people work hard for 40 years to qualify for retirement, other people work as parliamentarians and ministers for five years and enjoy a happy retirement. In this time of crisis, it is desirable that the Ministers and MPs set an example by forgoing their pensions,” Tijini asked.
The Minister dismissed his question as “populist debate” that does not deserve that she dwells on it.
“This is a populist debate. MPs pay contributions for retirement and ministers receive a pension because the late King Hassan II decided to reward their hard work,” she said.
“Several Ministers relinquish their pensions when they have other paying jobs,” she added. Afilal went to add that this debate is “futile,” and asked the TV host to debate on issue that are more important.”
The Minister’s comments stirred a heated debate on social media with many Moroccans criticizing the “condescending” way in which she answered the question.
“This is not a populist debate. This is very much a worthy discussion in a country where public service is more of a solid financial investment,” Mohamed Brahimi, a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Boston told Morocco World News.
Brahimi challenged her claim that some Ministers forgo their pension and called on the Minister to provide the names of Ministers who made this step.
“I still challenge her to give us the names of those ministers who she claims have forsaken their pension,” he added.