The first forecasts for the PLF 2020 are starting to fall. Indeed, the government has just dedicated its last Council to the preparations for the next budget. In this sense, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Benchaaboun, announced that economic growth should reach 2.9% in 2019, adding that the growth rate of non-agricultural activities should amount to 3.3% against 2.6% in 2018. It was one of the big announcements during the presentation to the Governing Council.
Mr. Benchaaboun reminded that the PLF 2020 issued following the directives mentioned by the last royal speeches, the Government Program, and the Guidance Note of the head of government. Moreover, he said that the current Financial Bill is affected by critical economic challenges due to the tensions facing many regions around the world and the slowing economic growth in Europe.
He emphasized that national economic growth supported by domestic demand, and the control over the budget deficit must continue in 2019 to reach 3.5% against 3.7% in 2018.
According to the Minister, the control of the budget deficit is achievable despite the social measures taken in 2019, in particular, the agreement resulting from the social dialogue with a total cost of more than 14 billion dirhams ( MMDH), of which 6 MMDH for the year 2019 only. The Kingdom’s treasurer also cited the weight of the expenses of the Compensation Fund (18 MMDH) in a context marked by the rise in prices of butane gas, as well as the cost of social programs with the generalization of the Tayssir Program in rural areas, the increase of university scholarships, the strengthening of Ramed and the continuation of programs to support widowed women and people with disabilities.
The Minister’s presentation was also devoted to the implementation of the program to combat spatial disparities and the worksite of advanced regionalization, noting that budget allocations for the regions amounted to more than 3.6 billion dirhams.
In another register, the budget deficit is controllable despite “economic efforts in favor of companies,” especially after the decision to make 2019 the year of settlement of the question of reimbursement of State arrears under VAT for the benefit of companies estimated at 40 MMDH in early 2019. The treasurer of the Kingdom said that all these indicators explain a lot of the decision of the rating agency S & P Global Ratings to raise from “negative” to “stable” the “perspective” of the Kingdom’s long-term debt rating.
In this sense, the Minister of Economy and Finance expressed the commitment of his department to ensure that the general guidelines of the PLF 2020 perfectly fit with the royal directives and the conclusions reached by the governing Council.