The President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) Ahmed Réda Chami, called for the development of an integrated and realistic strategy aimed at reducing the size of the informal economy in Morocco. In his speech at the opening of a study day at the Chamber of Advisors devoted to the presentation of the results of two reports prepared by the EESC on “the informal economy in Morocco”, “this strategy must be supported by tangible measurement indicators, according to the type of obstacles that have been recorded and according to the category of actors in the unorganized sector.
The two institutions chaired this Monday, December 13, 2021, a conference on the informal economy which concluded with a partnership agreement aimed at developing mutual cooperation, particularly in matters of referral. The EESC president underlined that unregulated economic activities allow large segments of the population to find a source of income and escape unemployment.
However, at the same time, it worsens precariousness in the labor market, deprives workers of their rights to decent work and social protection, creates unfair competition for organized enterprises and harms the national economy, because significant tax revenues are lost to the state. Chami said that estimates from national and international institutions indicate that a percentage of between 60 and 80 percent of the active population working in Morocco, engages in activities that fall under the informal economy.
Also, the ESEC proposes to gradually reduce the share of informal employment to 20% of total jobs in Morocco, noting that this remains close to the average for many developed countries. The same official stressed that the desired percentage should include, in particular, subsistence activities as well as unorganized productive units with limited capacities. In addition, a more stringent approach must be adopted. It will aim in particular to eliminate illegal and veiled activities and the practices of unorganized production units in competition with the organized sector.
On the other hand, Ahmed Réda Chami recommended removing legislative, regulatory and administrative barriers, reviewing obsolete legal texts or showing their inapplicability which prevents integration into the organized sector. In this regard, the President of the EESC suggested improving the status of “autoentrepreneur” by raising the maximum threshold for the annual number of transactions. He also called for a review of the mechanism of the “unified professional contribution” and other additional obligations allowing access to the social protection system.
This, in order to match the amount of the contribution with the financial capacities of each person. Chami also called for the development of a multi-year program to monitor the process of regulating trades and professions and for that of a frame of reference or specifications for each profession that defines the qualifications and skills. required in order to practice it, in order to modernize these professions and facilitate subsequent integration.
He also suggested the creation of spaces for economic activities including production sites offered for rent, ensuring that their surface area and price are adapted to the needs of very small production units. Chami also stressed the need to strengthen control and inspection at different levels, while ensuring that the sanctions are sufficiently dissuasive and proportionate to the level of seriousness of the violation, noting that this recommendation is particularly relevant to non-wholesale trade. regulated and the disguised practices of certain structured contracts.
Chami called for the development of a national plan for the economic and social integration of street vendors, stemming from the integrated strategy that the council proposes to put in place to reduce the size of the informal economy in Morocco. In this regard, the President of the EESC proposes to simplify the legal framework concerning the authorization of temporary occupation of the public domain by street vendors, whether by operating permanent places in urban areas or in semi-urban gatherings. or rural, or by the operation of vehicles, or by the operation of sites on road nodes outside the cities.
Chami also called for taking the opportunity to download the social protection generalization project in order to insert street vendors into the autoentrepreneur system, and allow them to obtain a professional card and also create an open system. occupational hazard. This, in order to allow a large part of this informal category to engage in alternative activities, and to stimulate private investment within the framework of the public-private partnership.