Public finances are often strained during crises. After two years of covid-19 and a war in Ukraine, Morocco has managed to get its head above water and find balance by adopting an emergency aid strategy, and many projects will ensure stability. of the state in the long term. Update with Noureddine Bensouda, Treasurer General of the Kingdom.
MoroccoLatestNews. What impact can a crisis like the war in Ukraine have on public finances in Morocco?
Noureddine Bensouda: “The prices of raw materials are increasing, the prices of everything energy is increasing, and then even in terms of the supply chain there is a slowdown, so transport costs are increasing and suddenly the bill for Moroccan companies or for the Moroccan state increases.
But there is also on the other hand, in relation to our exports, the good behavior of OCP’s exports, so there are pluses and minuses, we have to adjust and today’s state requires a a certain agility, an understanding and a lot of solidarity.
This solidarity is fundamental to dealing with this crisis, and I would like to salute the solidarity that exists in Morocco between economic operators, between citizens and they demonstrated it at the time of the covid-19 crisis with everything they have contributed to the Covid Fund which was established by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him”.
Should States reflect in advance on this type of crisis, which is bound to grow and multiply in the future?
“The State must act on two aspects, there is the urgent side, this is what happened for example with the covid crisis or what is happening in Ukraine and which requires rapid intervention. The anticipation you are talking about is the structural reforms that are fundamental to the stability of our country.
The generalization of social protection which was initiated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI is fundamental. Improving the health sector is fundamental, the reforms that are carried out in the education sector are fundamental, and also everything that is happening in terms of energy.
A State works to deal with the emergency and the crises that occur, but it anticipates and is part of the long term through the structural reforms necessary for our fellow citizens. But there is also an evolution of consciousness and I was going to say this surge of solidarity. A state is all of us. We all participate in the stability of the State, and therefore our contributions, our presence, our economic dynamics, our way of managing, our way of ensuring quality public service for our fellow citizens also helps to establish this stability.
When you have a CHU that works very well and that you are received and cared for, it is something positive for stability, and the same thing if you have quality education. The role of the State is at the same time to regulate, to put the financial masses and to organize the interventions of all partners”.
And in this current situation where we have more cautious households to spend and undertake, how do we plan for this in terms of public finances?
“It’s normal that households sometimes find themselves in difficult situations, that there is a kind of anxiety about income because it varies according to the economic situation, but when you have provided a service quality public (education, health, transport, etc.) there is less impact on households. That is to say that at least this part is assured. But the economic dynamic, the stability and the fight against job insecurity and also all the jobs that are created by economic operators make it possible to give visibility to these households, to employees and to young people.
The issue of young people is also fundamental today, because we have universities and schools that bring out a lot of high-quality students and we have to find jobs for these young people. So lowering the unemployment rate gives more opportunities. And I have something to say, it is the possibility that must be open to these young people to have internships, whether in private companies or public organizations, because often a young person when he comes to a company private, he is told do you have experience. So the message to get across is that all of us as public or private managers must always open our doors so that these young people can have an internship and learn a trade and that gives them a better chance of finding work. ‘use “.
How do we manage to reduce the budget deficit by 0.6% after 2 years of Covid?
“After the covid-19 crisis, everyone went back to work, there was an economic recovery, economic operators started to work normally, there is mobility which has resumed, the he opening of borders, export and import, all of this has improved economic dynamics.
This dynamic inevitably generates in terms of public finances an increase in customs and tax revenues, but at the same time what has happened with this crisis is the increase in expenditure to support the population. The compensation line has increased a lot because it was necessary to first support energy prices, maintain commodity prices, and so on so that there are no exponential increases that do not allow households to cope with this soaring price”.