Expert calls on Lakjaa to look into distributor profit margins

The return to the fuel subsidy will require an additional 60 billion DH from the State, said Fouzi Lekjaa, in response to oral questions from parliamentarians on Monday in the House of Representatives on the measures taken by the government to preserve the power of citizens’ purchase and mitigate the impact of rising commodity prices.

According to the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy and Finance, the return to compensation, which is not possible or must be done jointly, will be “ to the detriment of education, health, security and investment policies” and especially “ the implementation of construction sites and major projects, intended to improve the daily lives of citizens at all levels“.

Fouzi Lekjaa’s response did not go unnoticed by observers. What does he mean exactly? Should the citizen bear the cost of the reforms and these big projects in addition to the taxes and duties he pays on a daily basis? Wouldn’t there be other solutions in front of the government than to deliver such a response “frustratingwhen the socio-economic situation in Morocco is catastrophic?

Asked about it byMoroccoLatestNews UKthe academic and president of the independent center for strategic analyses, Driss Effina, believes that we must first go back to the period of the reform of the compensation fund, operated by the Benkirane government in 2015.

This reform was accompanied (on paper) by a number of commitments that the PJD government knows very well. At the time of Benkirane, there was a clause which refers to the case where fuel prices reach an unbearable level for the economy. In this case, measures were put in place and everyone apparently forgot about them.es,” says the economist.

Indeed, by launching the reform of the compensation fund, in particular the decompensation of hydrocarbons, the State has undertaken to guarantee the supply of the market with a good quality product while keeping an eye on prices. To avoid any unfair competition that could arise, the government could base itself on the law on competition and freedom of prices as being the legal framework to avoid this kind of practice.

The parliamentarians did not have the courage to mention the profits of the distributors

Returning to Fouzi Lekjaa’s statement, the academic believes that the minister “remains a technician and not a politician in the government. He holds this language as a technician who does not take into consideration the political and socio-economic effects”. “He is carrying out a purely technical mission“, he argues.

Even in developed countries attention is paid to the social impacts of rising fuel prices, particularly in the USA and Japan. There are trends, and policies put in place to limit the consequences of this increase on the economy. During this session of oral questions, there were no parliamentarians who had the courage to tell Lekjaa loud and clear that the winners in this affair are the distributors and the State. Distributors through their profit margin and the State through the tax burden that weighs on this sector“, explains the university.

As a result, Effina continues, “we have solutions before us which must be applied immediately without affecting the actual reform of the compensation fund which was carried out at a given time and without affecting the investment commitments which are linked to the social security planhe says.

Among these solutions, suggests Driss Effina, “it is quite simply necessary that Fouzi Lekjaa, through the Ministry of Finance, asks distributors to reduce their margin. A measure that even applies to Japan for fuel distributors in the event of a price increase“.

Second solution, he continues,the State must reduce all that is tax burden and customs duties applied to the different types of energy products“.

The Head of Government must decide on this reform

The solutions are therefore in our hands and we must apply them. Today, everything has been passed on to the end consumer. It is sad what is happening. It goes beyond the liberal market. We are destroying our economy, and we are creating tensions that may have unforeseeable consequences.“, deplores the university.

In addition, Driss Effina believes that it is up to the Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, to “to decide on the subject of the reform of the compensation fund instead of leaving this responsibility to Lekjaa, because in any case, it is not up to him to give this answer“.

According to the academic,parliamentarians did not fully understand the statement by Lekjaa, who spoke in place of the head of government. They were supposed to have a political answer and not a technical answer which could be given even by a head of service, a head of division or an administrative director, since the answer was purely administrative. We must not forget that we are managed by a political government and not by an administration“recalls the economist.

While insisting on the application of the commitments that accompanied the reform of the compensation fund, Driss Effina maintains that the time has come for the government to take a stand on this subject and adopt the continuity of the State in this reform project. .

We are not the first country to be affected by this crisis. We are not the only ones affected either. On the other hand, there are many countries like us, which have no oil and which are highly developed. These countries do not let the price of oil control the pace of their growth as is the case here. We must therefore react“, concludes the university.

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