Public portfolio : a relative control of increased level of debt in 2017 : 26/06/2018

Public portfolio : a relative control of increased level of debt in 2017

Mr. Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance, stated, Tuesday June 26th 2018 in Rabat, before the committee of control of public finances in the House of Representatives on the report of the court of auditors entitled : « Public Establishments and Entreprises in Morocco: Strategic anchoring and governance » that public portfolio was characterised in 2017 by a relative control of increased level of debt compared to the period 2012-2015.

During his presentation, Mr. Boussaid noted that the investments of public establishments and entreprises remained relatively constant against an increase in government subsidies which should amount to 30 billion dirhams (MMDH) in 2018.

Mr. Boussaid indicated that Studies and research are in progress to control and deal with the debt of five most indebted institutions, namely the national office of electricity and drinking water, Moroccan highways national society (ADM), railways national office, the Moroccan agency for renewable energy and the special road Fund.

The value added of these institutions remained at a high level, since it represents 8% of the State’s total value added, while their turnover increased, underlined the Minister.

As for the development of the public portfolio and its achievements since the publication of the report, Mr. Boussaid clarified that the number of public institutions reached in 2017 a total of 209 establishments, 43 public entreprises and 472 subsidiaries, noting a control of the growing portfolio, with a decrease in the number of public institutions at the rate of four establishments, a regulation of public entreprises and a rise in subsidiaries (9).

With regard to the distribution according to the participation rate, the Minister noted that the rate increased by 100% for 44% of Public establishments and entreprises and +50% for the remaining 14%, specifying that seven public groups hold 72% of the total sectors, with the CDG « the deposit and management fund of Morocco » (165 chains) and OCP « Cherifian Phosphates Office » (101 branches).

By sector, 43% of public portfolio relate to the social, housing, and the urban planning sectors, against 34% associated with infrastructures, transport, agriculture, maritime fishing and energies and mines and 23% for the other sectors. This portfolio is heavily represented at the local and regional level, with 62% of its workforce, in addition to a growing presence abroad, with 73 branches abroad, which is , according to Mr. Boussaid, sign of " success, "he explained

Concerning the report, Mr. Boussaid shares the recommendations of the Court of Auditors on the need for a clear strategy to rationalize the sector of public establishments and enterprises and preserve their autonomy. He added that his department is urging public establishments and enterprises to refocus on their basic missions and delegate secondary activities to the private sector.

The adjustment of the legal form of the public company to its mission requires a deep analysis of each case, he stressed. He stated that within the framework of the resizing of the portfolio in relation to the strategic vision, rationalization measures have been taken for the dissolution of 122 work centres, replaced by the national agricultural advisory office, in addition to the merger of the universities of Rabat and Casablanca, the reduction of the number of professional chambers from 72 to 40 and education and training regional academies from 16 to 12. As for the reorganization of the financial situation of strategic private establishments and enterprises, the Ministry stressed the need to establish the retirement fund of the National Electricity and drinking water Office and the treatment of accumulated VAT due to the State for public authorities. In terms of governance and transparency, the Minister reported an improvement in the pace of regular deliberation board meetings (94% of councils hold at least one meeting a year), with a focus on the increase in the number of annual accounts of public establishments and enterprises approved by auditors, with gradually less reserves.

Tackling the recommendation of opening up to the private sector and improving the business climate, the Minister believes that the slowdown in the privatisation process is the result of a deliberate choice of public authorities in connection with the strategic vision of sector- based development. The aim is to support the autonomy of the State’s budget in relation to privatization revenues, paid in full and in equal parts since 2011, to the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development and the industrial and investment Development Fund.