Clamor mounts against Moroccan petroleum prices hike
A government price hike of petroleum products in Morocco has triggered the anger of several professional associations.
The Moroccan association of fruit producers and exporters (APEFEL) denounced the government decision and warned that the hike will have " serious consequences", as it (the hike) is a "fatal blow for the fruit market.
Heavily indebted small producers will not survive this," said the association staement, adding that farmers are being mobilized to express their anger at the measure.
The association, which defends fruit producers interests, called on the authorities to cancel the increase move and to set up a compensation system.
Petroleum products prices were increased by 4.8 to 10.8 percent as of last Saturday. The price of a liter of diesel went up by 9.3 percent to 5.76 Dh/liter ($1 = 10DH), ordinary petrol was increased by 9.8 percent (8.65Dh/liter), and high grade petrol by 10.8 percent (9.05 Dh/liter).
The price of industrial fuel went up by 4.8 percent to 2,301 DH per ton. Domestic gas, widely used in Moroccan households, was increased from 40Dh a tank to 42Dh.
Moroccan energy and mining minister, Youssef Tahiri, had said the fuel price hike should have been over 50 percent, but the government had to take into account the population's purchasing power. Morocco, which imports all its energy needs, pays more than $ 600 million for the purchase of oil and gas.
The Moroccan Consumers Protection Association (LNPC) joined the mobilization against the government's move. "It is astonishing to see the government increase fuel prices, while we were expecting it to increase salaries," it said.
The hike will be an additional burden for household, who are readying to pay for their children's new school year, that will begin early next week.The Association urged the authorities to show more keenness and cancel the hike to preserve Moroccans' weak purchasing power.
The Confederation Democratique du Travail (CDT trade union, which is close to the Socialist Union of Popular Forces of Premier Abderrahmane Youssoufi) also decried the government's decision to enforce fuel prices raise. The move "will be reflected in a hike in other products prices and will adversely impact the labor classes purchasing power," it said. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)