Blog

News: Headlines from the Moroccan Press: Monday, April 15, 2019

AUJOURD'HUI LE MAROC
Parliament: El Malki returns to the first Chamber:
And two for Habib El Malki, of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP). He has just been re-elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, at a plenary session at the opening of the spring session of the House, with 245 votes out of 290 cast, against 14 invalid ballots, 18 blank ballots and 13 empty envelopes. The blank or empty votes are probably those of the Istiqlal deputies. Indeed, the Istíqlalian Unity and Egalitarianism Group has announced that it will not participate in the vote. It must be said that the outgoing president was the only candidate for his own succession. He will therefore remain in office for the remainder of the 2016-2021 legislature...

3.6 billion dirhams of budget deficit at the end of March 2019:
At the end of March 2019, the Treasury's expenses and resources situation showed a budget deficit of 3.6 billion dirhams compared to 9.8 billion dirhams during the same period one year earlier, according to the Kingdom's General Treasury (TGR). This deficit takes into account a positive balance of 12.8 billion dirhams generated by the special accounts of the Treasury (CST) and the autonomously managed State services (Segma), according to the TGR in its March 2019 monthly public finance statistics bulletin. The bulletin indicates that ordinary revenues amounted to 63.5 billion dirhams compared to 56.8 billion dirhams at the end of March 2018, up 11.8% thanks to the increase in direct taxes (+11%), indirect taxes (+10.8%) and non-tax revenues (+106.6%), combined with the decrease in customs duties (-6.3%) and registration and stamp duties (-4.7%)...

LE MATIN DU SAHARA
Ceramics: The industrial revolution is coming:
Ceramic professionals are preparing their industrial revolution. This new stage of development and acceleration will be achieved through the creation of a "Berrechid Ceramic Valley". This project concerns the construction of an industrial cluster for ceramics in the Berrechid region, bringing together the main actors involved in the sector's ecosystem, whether they are large industrial companies or SMEs. The objective is to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the sector through innovation. "The cumulative investment for the realization of this cluster is estimated between 2.5 and 3 billion dirhams", Mohsine Lazrak told the "Matin-Éco"...

Capital Markets: The AMMC is conducting studies to integrate the Blockchain and ICOs:
The Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) is working on a project to digitalize capital market infrastructure. Studies are underway to integrate new technologies such as Blockchain, Initial Coin Offering (ICO), Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things... Recall that ICO is a fundraising method that works by issuing digital assets that can be exchanged for cryptomeria. These studies will answer several questions, in particular whether the Moroccan market is ready to adopt these new technologies, how to implement them, how to adapt current regulations or create new ones. A benchmark is also planned in order to be inspired by the success stories of other countries...


LES INSPIRATIONS ÉCO
73% of Moroccans do not trust the tax authorities:
Moroccans are demanding transparency and improved tax services, this is the main conclusion of a survey conducted by the Le Matin group and the IPSOS firm on how Moroccans perceive their tax system. This survey, conducted earlier this month, was presented on April 12 in Casablanca during the third session of the Matinales de la fi scalité, a series of conferences organized by the Le Matin group. This opinion survey was conducted online on a representative sample of the 300-person population. It covered several aspects, including knowledge, the citizen's relationship with the tax administration, tax collection and proposals for reforms to improve the quality of service...

Parliament. The challenges of the spring session:
Resolving disputes between the majority components, boosting parliamentary oversight action, bringing out pending legislation, promoting the adoption of legislative proposals... All these are challenges to be met during the spring session. After his unsurprising re-election as head of the lower house, Habib El Malki faces major challenges in promoting parliamentary action. First, it must use a great deal of tact to resolve disputes between the components of the majority and unify the ranks of parliamentary groups. The first challenge concerns the adoption of the draft framework law on the education and training system, which is at a standstill within the Education Commission...


L'ECONOMISTE
IR: Double penalty for the middle classes:
On the podium of the tax burden, employees take the highest step. Indeed, they suffer the highest marginal tax rate: 38%. The wage tax scale has been based on the principle of progressivity for several years. However, in view of all the other categories of taxpayers (doctors, lawyers, notaries, traders, etc.), employees bear the highest burden through withholding tax. Thus, out of the 42 billion dirhams provided by the IR, payroll taxes represent 73%...

Right of access to information: The telecom regulator is getting ahead of the curve:
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) is leading by example. Its DG, Azzelarab Hassibi, appoints the five officials responsible for receiving requests for information from citizens. A first. This decision comes a few days after the entry into force of the law on the right of access to information on March 12, 2019...


LIBERATION
Driss Lachguar: It is time to move from a conventional approach to a legal and rational approach that makes the lawyer a partner of the judiciary in its mission to consolidate and strengthen justice:
What role can lawyers play today? How can they organize and mobilize to defend their profession and their achievements? How can they listen to citizens and participate in the national debate? How will ittihadis lawyers manage to take up the torch of the struggle to preserve rights and freedoms? It is to these questions, among others, that the usfpeist lawyers tried to provide answers or first answers during the work of their 5th Congress held on April 12 and 13 in M'diq...

Intensification of demonstrations against the restrictions imposed by Algiers on the Tindouf camps:
The number of people in the Tindouf camps who denounce restrictions on their movement to and within Algeria is growing. Indeed, on Wednesday, the "Pacific Hirak", as the pro-Polisario press called it, took it a step further with the exit of groups of residents from the "Smara camp", including several dozen women. After last Monday's release, women and young people from the "Boujdour camp" also called for the repeal of the decision to restrict movement or a relaxation of the measures taken by Algiers and officially attributed to the Polisario leadership...