King Mohammed VI chaired, Wednesday at the Royal Palace in Rabat, a Council of Ministers, which was dedicated to the general orientations of the draft finance law for the 2021 budget year and the adoption of several draft legal texts and international agreements, says a press release read out by spokesperson of the Royal Palace, Abdelhak El Mrini.
At the start of the Council, the Sovereign was informed by the Minister of Health about the progress of the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by China, with regard to Morocco.
The health minister affirmed that there is regular contact with the concerned companies as well as with the Chinese government, which are showing goodwill on the matter, stressing that things are moving in the right direction.
Afterwards and in accordance with the provisions of article 49 of the Constitution, the Minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform, gave a presentation on the general orientations of the draft finance law for the budget year 2021.
The minister underlined, in this regard, that this bill was drawn up following the Royal High Guidelines contained in the Throne Speech and that of the opening of the legislative year, which laid out the roadmap to face the economic and social difficulties triggered by the crisis and build up the fundamentals of a strong and competitive economy and a more inclusive social model.
He also stressed that this project was developed in a difficult international context marked by the crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic and social repercussions, in particular on the activity of several sectors.
The general orientations of the finance bill for the 2021 budget year are based on the following axes:
First: speeding up the launch of the national economy recovery plan: the government will work within this framework to put in place all means to strengthen the exceptional financial effort announced in the Throne Speech. Preserving jobs and integrating the informal sector will be the top priorities.
It will also concern the rapid implementation of all the mechanisms likely to ensure the necessary effectiveness for the interventions of the Mohammed VI Investment Fund. The government will continue to promote public investment to reach 230 billion dirhams, taking into consideration that 45 billion dirhams will be mobilized under this Fund.
So as to allow young people to have access to funding sources, a new dynamic will be given to the “Intelaka” Program, while benefiting from an exemption from Income Tax for 24 months of salaries paid to young people when they are first recruited, on the condition that their employment contracts are set for an indefinite period.
Second: Beginning of the generalization of Compulsory Health Insurance: through the acceleration of the adoption of amendments relating to the legislative and regulatory framework, which will above all make it possible to establish compulsory health insurance for the precarious categories that currently benefit from the RAMED regime, and speeding up the generalization of coverage for the benefit of the self-employed category and those who practice liberal activities.
The government will support the generalization of compulsory health coverage by upgrading health services through the increase in the budget dedicated to the health sector in 2021 by nearly two billion dirhams to reach more than 20 billion dirhams.
Third: Reinforcement of the exemplary nature of the State and the rationalization of its management: through the acceleration of the implementation of the High Royal Guidelines by the launch of a profound reform of the public sector, the treatment of structural dysfunctions of public establishments and enterprises with the aim of achieving greater complementarity and coherence in their missions and improving their economic and social effectiveness.
In this regard, two bills will be drafted, the first relating to the creation of a National Agency whose mission will be to strategically manage the State’s participations and to monitor the performance of public establishments, while the second bill concerns the reform of public establishments and enterprises.
The minister concluded his presentation by saying that the growth rate of the national economy will reach 4.8% and that the budget deficit for 2021 should be reduced to 6.5% of the country’s GDP.
The Council of Ministers then adopted the draft organic law amending and supplementing the organic law relating to the appointment to higher functions. This project aims to add « l’Agence Nationale des Registres » and « la Société de Garantie et de Financement de l’Entreprise » to the list of strategic establishments and companies, the appointment of which is discussed by the Council of Ministers.
His Majesty the King has approved three legal texts relating to the military domain which include:
– A bill on trust services for electronic transactions aimed at establishing a more inclusive regime that allows the digitization of the majority of electronic transactions and ensures greater flexibility for a wide use of electronic signatures and the fixing of different levels of electronic signature that are compatible with the quality of electronic transactions and add other trust services including electronic seal and electronic time stamping as well as electronic registered delivery services and website authentication.
– A draft decree setting out the conditions and procedures for issuing authorizations for marine scientific research in waters under national jurisdiction. The text specifies the regulatory framework applicable to marine scientific research activities and their encouragement in our country and associates Moroccan authorities and researchers in marine scientific research conducted by foreigners, while ensuring the preservation of the interests of the Kingdom and the country’s national security and sovereignty. The text also provides for the creation of a National Commission for Marine Research.
– A draft decree setting the composition and the operating mode of the commission for reform of the personnel of the Auxiliary Forces: its main purpose is to establish the attributions of this commission by adding a representative of the Moroccan Pension Fund and reinforcing the presence of the Auxiliary Forces corps in the person of a senior inspector officer of 1st class. It also aims to allow the commission to hold its meetings at the headquarters of the Regional Commands in order to provide a local service to the members of these forces.
As part of the implementation of the relevant Royal Vision on the expansion of the Kingdom’s partnership networks and the diversification of their areas of cooperation, the Council of Ministers approved five international agreements, including two bilateral and three multilateral.
The bilateral agreements relate, on the one hand, to the amendment of the free trade agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Turkey, which aims to remedy the dysfunctions that have impacted trade balance between the two countries over the past few years, and the protection of emerging or fragile industries, and on the other hand, the privileges and immunities enjoyed by members of diplomatic missions between the government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the government of the United States of America, in accordance with the 1961 Vienna Agreement.
As for the three multilateral conventions, they relate to the opening of Morocco to new economic spaces and the completion of its accession to the African Union contractual system.
These conventions relate respectively to the accession to the statutes of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the African Road Safety Charter and the Pelindaba Treaty for the Establishment of an African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. These last two conventions are part of the strengthening of Morocco’s presence within the system of joint African cooperation and the sharing of its experience with African countries in these two important areas.