Government officials in charge of drafting Morocco’s 2002 budget had no choice but to revise the proposal, following the September terror attacks in the United States. The revised draft was presented and approved by the parliament on Saturday, October 20, reported Al-Hayat.
Initially, the 2002 budget targeted a five percent growth rate in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared with 6.5 percent in 2001.
Following revisions, the Moroccan 2002 budget now targets a 4.5 percent GDP growth rate, a two percent average inflation rate and a three percent financial deficit ratio. The government gestured that it might make another devaluation of the Dirham in the first half of next year.
Budget expenditures will total 165.7 billion Moroccan dinars ($15 billion), a decrease of nearly one percent compared with the total expenditures of 2001. The Minister of Treasury Fathalla Oualalou, estimates the total investments of public sector for 2002 at six billion dollars.
The government has decided to put on hold a number of projects, including the privatization of major public firms. Hardest-hit were the Moroccan export and tourism sectors, which have had to re-calculate their budget projections.
The minister anticipates MD 12.5 billion ($1.1 billion) in privatization revenues in 2002, a 41 percent decrease compared with the privatization revenues of 2001, which totaled $2.3 billion. — (Mena Report)
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