Morocco braces for a review of budget law

The coronavirus has imposed the need for an amendment of the budget law that will gear focus to education, health, social protection and digital transformation.

A cabinet meeting was chaired in this respect Wednesday by head of the Government Saad Eddine EL Othmani to discuss the broad line of the new appropriation bill.

The restrictive measures to curb the virus outbreak impacted public finances as the government has to put off taxes hitting treasury revenues.

A special fund that collected donations worth 3.4 billion dollars was geared to alleviate the social and economic consequences of the pandemic including through offering direct handouts to some 5 million households.

Calls have mounted stressing the need for maintaining cash distribution for the needy as the parliament examines a law to better target recipients.

Morocco’s economic fabric is disproportionately hit by the crisis with the tourism sector, accounting for 7% of GDP and directly employing more than half a million, being the last to restart.

The impact will be felt in unemployment as more companies struggle to keep staff amid a sluggish economic activity and drop in both domestic and foreign demand.

Imports dropped 16.9% while exports plunged 20% with over 134,000 enterprises that had to totally or partially stop activity during confinement.

The outlook for growth looks gloomy with the central bank projecting the economy will contract by 5.2% this year.

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