Moroccan Government Outlines Major Priorities in 2019 Finance Bill

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Saad Eddine El Othmani, Head of Morocco’s Government

Rabat – The government has prioritized education, employment, health, social protection programs, major economic projects, and investment in the forthcoming 2019 Finance Bill.

Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani published an explanatory note to the 2019 Finance Bill on Wednesday, August 15, in which he listed major sectors and programs that will be central in Morocco’s budget in 2019.

According to El Othmani, the priorities in the 2019 Finance Bill demonstrate the commitments of governmental programs and respond to Moroccans’ legitimate expectations.

El Othmani said the bill follows the directions King Mohammed VI mentioned in his latest speech for Throne Day, delivered July 29.

Education, health, and employment

According to the explanatory note, education, health, employment, social protection programs, social dialogue, and supporting citizens’ purchasing power are among the government’s major priorities.

“We believe in the importance of improving the social status of citizens. In the 2019 bill, we will attach special importance to social policies, especially education, health, employment, and social protection programs. We will also accelerate the success of social dialogue and support purchasing power,” El Othmani tweeted yesterday, August 16.

According to the explanatory note, the projects funded in 2019 aim to combat school drop out rates, generalize primary and basic education, and simplify school curricula to strengthen students’ critical thinking, analysis, research, and self-learning abilities.

In the health sector, the government said it will continue to work towards correcting the issues in the medical aid program RAMED. The government also plans to implement a medical insurance program for professionals, independent workers, and “non-wage earners” in 2019.

The government will also “launch comprehensive and in-depth programs and national policies.” The policies will include a “unified social register,” the third phase of the National Initiative for Human Development, and financial support for divorced and marginalized women and their children via the government’s family solidarity fund.

According to the explanatory note, the government “will make employment a priority in all public policies by creating decent employment opportunities within the framework of sectorial strategies and infrastructure investments.”

The government says it is considering developing funding mechanisms for young people with small businesses and innovative projects. It will also support self-employment and programs aiming at integrating vulnerable people.

El Othmani said his government is working to boost public administration reform to implement the national anti-corruption strategy and to continue to reform pension systems and the tax system.

Promoting investment and major economic projects

According to El Othmani’s explanatory note, the government will provide conditions to promote the economy and support investment and entrepreneurship, as they are among priorities in the draft law.

One of the concerns of the government, El Othmani said, is to accelerate the pace of industrialization and achieve the objectives set out in the industrial acceleration plan.

The government plans to carry out industrialization by increasing the industrial sector’s contribution to gross domestic product, attracting foreign investment, and reducing the trade deficit. The government will also select projects to improve living conditions for the population, especially those in remote areas.

In this regard, the government will complete the preparation of the national water plan and take measures to deal with emergency situations, in particular the shortage of drinking water. The government also hopes to develop alternative energies.