Rabat - With the holy month of Ramadan around the corner, the Moroccan government is promising a “diversified” market that responds to all the needs of citizens, including stable commodity prices.
Rabat – With the holy month of Ramadan around the corner, the Moroccan government is promising a “diversified” market that responds to all the needs of citizens, including stable commodity prices.
Minister of Interior Abdelouafi Laftit said in a press conference in Rabat on Wednesday that the government will establish a national phone number to receive possible complaints from both traders and consumers concerning the price of Ramadan supplies.
The statement arrives on the heels of the ongoing national boycott, which demands that three sector giants cut the prices of certain products: Sidi Ali bottled waters, Centrale Danone dairy products, and Afriquia gasoline.
Government Ambivalence or Delayed Response?
Surprisingly, the meeting did not mention the boycott or the demands of people, who have been asking the concerned companies to lower product prices for the past two weeks. Rather, Lafit generalized his message, discussing Ramadan supplies and the prices of products nationally, “especially those of high consumption” during the holy month of Ramadan.
To date, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, and Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Boussaid, have denounced the campaign, with Boussaid calling supporters of the campaign “fools.”
However, former ministers Nizar Baraka and Nabil Benabdellah disagree with the ministers’ dismissive stance, identifying the boycott as an urgent call for change that requires serious government consideration.
The government has not officially commented on the boycott, as the campaign’s target companies continue to suffer from major losses in revenues, especially Centrale Danone and Afriquia gas.
The boycotters, however, are not looking for more empty promises, but rather, real price drops prior to the start of the holy month.
Commodity Prices ‘Stable’
In a press release reported by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Laftit verified that presidents of national institutions and ministries, and representatives of prefectures and provinces provided updated data that ensures diversified options in the Moroccan market to meet all Ramadan needs.
Commodity prices “remain mostly stable and at their usual levels except for some products whose prices are changing slightly, mainly due to cyclical or seasonal factors,” he said.
Commenting on the national complaint hotline, Laftit said that the monitoring committee should take the complaints and grievances of citizens and traders seriously and ensure efficient communication with consumers, by informing them of prices and market data, in order to ensure regular supply trends, transparency in commercial transactions, fair competition, and consumer protection.
The statement added that 167 coordination meetings were held in April across the country to monitor prices of products in local markets. Furthermore, an awareness campaign for suppliers, merchants, and owners of commercial services and sales facilities launched recently and will continue throughout the holy month of Ramadan, in order promote the necessary preventive measures to preserve health and food safety, in addition to compliance with legal standards for consumer protection.