Rabat- In the weekly Cabinet meeting on Thursday, the first day of Ramadan, El Othmani addressed the rise in fuel prices and pledged to combat any attempt at monopolization or price manipulation of consumer products during the holy month.
El Othmani articulated concerns over market monopolization during Ramadan and affirmed the government’s efforts to meet citizens’ needs during the holy month, especially since three major companies in the kingdom—Sidi Ali (mineral water), Centrale Danone (dairy products), and Afriquia (gasoline)— are being boycotted.
El Othmani insisted that the government is invested in providing food products with guaranteed quality, at credible prices, and in sufficient quantity.
El Othmani reminded his audience of the government’s latest initiative, consumer complaint hotline (57 57), dedicated to countering market monopolization and corrupt business: “[The hotline] grants the right to any citizen to report about offenses like fraud, monopoly, exorbitant prices or others,” he stated. “Local authorities will be able to investigate the violations immediately after.”
El Othmani announced that he has been updated on the issues surrounding fuel distribution since deregulation, noting that he awaits the exploratory committee charged to bring a final report on fuel deregulation and the profits of companies operating in the oil industry.
After the final report is presented, the government will take the necessary procedures depending on the results, El Othmani explained. However, two versions of the parliament’s report have already been leaked to the public, revealing contradictory content in the two versions since specific data related to profits of companies in the sector was removed, indicating that the original report was modified.
El Othmani did not make specific comments on the report, which was discussed in Parliament’s Finance Committee Tuesday, other than to say the government would closely review it.
With the ongoing boycott campaign, consumers are angered at the rise in fuel prices, especially those of Afriquia, which owns more gas stations in the country than any other oil company.