What will the Moroccan economy gain from privatizations?
Al Jazeera Net - Rabat
The Moroccan government needs about 27 billion dirhams (about $ 2.8 billion) to cover the extra social and economic costs of the 2019 budget.
The Minister of Relations in Parliament, civil society and government spokesman Mustapha al-Khaliji said in November that the government would provide this amount from taxes and partnership with the private sector. However, about 6 billion dirhams ($ 632 million) of the amount will be received by the government through Privatization of two state-owned enterprises.
For this purpose, the government has prepared a bill that will enable the company to transfer the Tahadarat thermal plant located on the outskirts of Tangier and the Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech from the public sector to the private sector. It is expected to be presented to the Chamber of Deputies after it was approved by the Finance and Economic Development Committee in the same council on November 16 Last November.
This legal action comes in the context of monitoring the privatization program within a new vision that will enable the opening of the capital of some public companies that are active in competitive sectors, which have reached a stage of maturity, in addition to providing them with the necessary standards.
The choice, according to a memorandum by the Minister of Finance, Mohammed Benshaboun, attached to the draft law, is based on the economic and financial feasibility of the institution concerned, which must also have characteristics that ensure a sound and sustainable financial situation with minimal cost and development potential, as well as new financial resources and capacity. On the innovation that a potential buyer can provide.
In fact, Morocco has set up a program to privatize dozens of public institutions since the beginning of the 1990s, and since 1993 has managed 120 operations, according to a member of the Finance and Economic Development Committee of the House of Representatives Abdullah Hamel.
He added in an interview with Al Jazeera Net that this operation enabled Morocco to generate financial revenues estimated by the same source at AED 103 billion (about $ 11 billion), directed by successive governments to serve different social and economic fields.
|Moroccan government awaits House approval of privatization bill (Reuters)|
Hamel believes that the process will ensure important financial resources, which will reduce the budget deficit, which is expected to fall from 3.7% to 3.3%, in addition to opening up the Moroccan capital to invest in productive sectors, especially the energy and hotel sector, and what this means Increase in job positions.
Many observers agree that Morocco's involvement in a privatization program since the early 1990s has been dictated by international economic changes in particular and by the increasing social burdens, especially the financial burden, to ensure the continuation of support systems, as is the case with the CFC system.
But the question that arises after the expansion of the list of public institutions joining the private sector, will the day come and governments will not find what will be offered for sale at a time when their needs for financial resources have increased? In other words, is privatization an ideal option to ensure that budget holes are blocked?
In this regard, the researcher of economics at the University of Mohammed I Bujdah eastern Morocco Bakai Mohammadi said that the gradual withdrawal and the total state of some vital sectors will eventually lose the ability to intervene in the economic sphere, especially as the sectors concerned governed by the rules of supply and demand.
He said in an interview with Al Jazeera Net that if the government says that its motive in the new privatization process is to provide the financial possibilities for the general budget, the proposed privatization institutions are working in vital areas, which may explain - and Moroccan researcher - the desire of the government to respond to the aspirations of foreign capital that Looking for productive and non-risky sectors to invest in.
Interestingly, according to Al-Bakay, in light of the suffering of the Third World in general with energy security, and under the investment of the Moroccan state large capital in the field, the company is running the thermal plant to produce energy for privatization.
As for the Mamouniya Hotel, the government recognizes through the memorandum of the Minister of Finance that it has a return. How can this be justified with its desire to privatize it while the state can guarantee continuous revenues from keeping it within its property, and even proceeds from its sale to the private sector will not change much in the budget The state, according to al-Bakai.
Deletion from privatization
If the current government has proposed two privatizations, the bill also proposes the deletion of other companies from the list to be privatized, which was developed earlier, a textile composite company in Fez, the Mortgage and Tourism Bank, the Coal and Wood Marketing Company, Al-Salifa Al-Salih, in addition to the Asma and Ibn Tomart hotels.
This is attributed to the failure of all attempts to convert these companies into the private sector since the start of the privatization program. Some of them are under liquidation or in view of problems related to the liquidation of real estate owners or disputes related to users.