With the New Year approaching, a strike by butane gas companies looms over the country.
Rabat – Feeling their complaints about the 2019 Finance Bill were ignored, Morocco’s butane gas distributors have promised to stop delivering gas bottles to shops across Morocco beginning January 1.
The gas distributors sent a message to the head of government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, expressing disagreement and complaints about the 2019 Finance Bill which enforces monetary fines on gas distributors who do not secure bills from customers.
Those who do not collect bills from customers will not benefit from the Value Added Tax (VAT).
The distributors complained to the government that some customers may refuse to give the receipts to distributors who will have to pay fines unjustly.
Although the gas suppliers decided not to deliver gas bottles until the government finds a solution, they said they will keep their factories open for customers looking to buy.
The 2019 Finance Bill aims to achieve a growth rate of 3.2 percent in GDP, based on an estimated average price of $560 per ton of butane gas and an assumption of a 70-million-hectare cereal crop.
The government allocated MAD 17.67 billion to subsidize butane gas, sugar, and flour. The figure is a significant increase of MAD 4.65 billion from the 2018 budget.
Drawing from the country’s major boycott campaign in April against high prices of Afriquia gasoline, Sidi Ali (mineral water), and Centrale Danone (dairy products), could the strikes lead to a brand new boycott by the gas distributors?
Butagaz, marketed by the downstream petroleum company Vivo Energy, is the main butane gas supplier in Morocco. The company provides butane gas bottles of 3 kilograms and 13 kilograms.
Founded in 2011, Vivo Energy Maroc has 330 service stations and 600 employees.