Morocco: Government mulls aid for most hit sectors by night curfew

The Moroccan government is mulling measures to help the businesses that are most affected by the night curfew, notably during the holy month of Ramadan where many workers gain revenue only after sunset, Industry and Trade Minister said.

Cafes, restaurants, traditional tailors and taxi drivers and other jobs in the informal sector have all seen their revenue plummet if not disappear this Ramadan triggering anger and defiance of restrictive measures in other cases.

Most cafes and restaurants open only at night after breakfast during the holy month. A night curfew during Ramadan means they have to shut down for a month.

So far, no measure have been taken to help these affected businesses. Union members estimate that 25% of all Moroccan cafes and restaurants went bankrupt due to the pandemic.

Industry and Trade Minister Moulay Hafid Alamy said that while the curfew decision was a tough one dictated by concerns of averting the outbreak of new virus strains, the government will look into ways to mitigate the impact of the crisis.

Yet, he did not offer a deadline nor details on the scale of this promised help. He said however that the government’s budget is limited and that aid should be conditioned to paying taxes, deploring that Morocco has a large informal sector that shuns tax paying.

Morocco has maintained a steady vaccination campaign but has yet to achieve herd immunity.

So far, five million people have been inoculated in Morocco which expects 10 million Sionopharm vaccine doses this April and next month.

 

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