The House of Councilors adopted by majority the draft budget law (PLF 2019) at a plenary session.
The project was endorsed by 42 councilors and rejected by 22 others, while four members abstained.
The same House had earlier in the day approved the first part of the PLF 2019, by 45 votes to 24 and four abstentions.
On this occasion, the pro-government groups affirmed that the finance bill is the culmination of the government’s efforts, particularly to control spending and the deficit rate and to ensure the continuity of major projects.
They also welcomed the social significance of the PLF, citing among other things the adoption of a series of incentives in the social field, the support given to private enterprise in a logic of promoting employment as well as ‘to people with special needs.
Opposition groups, for their part, deplored the fact that the text was “a mere reproduction of the previous finance laws from both a structure and content point of view”, while questioning the social dimension of the project as presented the executive.
“The project does not meet the expectations of citizens and the needs of society, nor the need to reduce the tax burden or support the national economy”, they said, regretting in this regard the lack of interaction from the government with the proposed amendments aimed primarily at promoting greater tax fairness and social sectors such as health.
The Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Benchaaboun assured Monday, in response to interventions by various groups and parliamentary groups in the same chamber, that the government interacted positively and objectively with the amendments made to the project by the groups of both the majority and the opposition.
He explained that of a total of 219 amendments tabled, 156 were withdrawn (72% of the total) and thirty-three of them were eventually accepted.
These social amendments, which consist in preserving the citizen’s purchasing power, mainly concern the exemption from VAT with a discount on medicines, the price of which exceeds by virtue of a regulatory text the amount of 588 MAD excluding tax, and the increase in the amount of food allowance vouchers issued by employers to their employees.