Morocco says may launch subsidies reform in June

By REUTERS
January 5, 2013 12:23

 
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RABAT - Morocco is prepared to start reforming its expensive system of subsidies for food and energy in June if a political decision to do so is taken, the minister in charge of the issue said.

State subsidies on food and energy shot up to 53 billion dirhams ($6.25 billion) in 2012 - 15 percent of total public spending - from 48.8 billion in 2011 and 29.8 billion in 2010, as the government spent heavily to ensure social peace in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere in the region.

In a step supported by the International Monetary Fund, the government now aims to repair its finances by reducing the subsidies and shifting the focus of spending to the poorest Moroccans.

The reform is politically sensitive in a country which saw street protests demanding democracy and better economic management in the wake of the Arab Spring.

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