History of the Moroccan budget

History of the Moroccan budget

The first Moroccan budget in the modern understanding of the word goes back to 1913, which does not mean that an incipient form of financial management had not existed prior to that date.

The "Oumanas" corps

The corps of 'oumanas' was set up under the reign of Moulay Slimane (1792-1822), and wad headed by the Amin El Oumana who was entrusted with responsibilities similar to those of a present-day minister of finance. The Amin received statements from the Amin of revenues, in charge of revenue collection, from the Amin of expenditure, in charge of spending, and from the Amin of accounts, in charge of accounts issued by the different oumanas. These statements were presented to the Sultan who in turn forwarded them to the 'beniqua', which had a function similar to that of a present-day auditor.

There were, in fact, three different entities:

  • "Bit el Mal el Mouslimine", which collected funds prescribed by religious edict, especially the 'zakat' and the 'achour'.
  • the "Dar Adyel treasury" which collected the revenues of the 'melks' or administrative contributions with not prescribed by religion.
  • the "Sultan's treasury", funded essentially with donations made to the Sultan.
  • Budgets and colonial powers

At the end of the last century, European colonial powers had set their sight on Morocco. Under the pretext of servicing outstanding debts and starting around 1904, European powers began to interfere in the finances of the country on behalf of holders of bonds issued that same year. These powers allowed themselves to directly collect revenues such as customs duties, gate and port duties along the coast, to ensure the proper servicing of debts. Later, France took more direct action. As French occupying troops advanced across the country, military authorities took charge of collecting revenues, including revenue of a religious nature, and monitoring all expenditure within the areas under their control, from 1907 in the Oujda region and 1908 in the Chaouia region.

First Moroccan budgets

The first overall budget was drawn up in 1910 but was limited to the Chaouia region. It was subsequently extended to include the Meknes region in December 1912, Rabat, Fez and Marrakech in January 1913, and the Tadla region in July 1913. The General Administration of Finance was set up in July 1912, and its first endeavour was the General Budget of the Cherifian Empire for 1913-1914. The budget was based on all revenue and expenditure forecasts with regard to the eastern region, the western region, debt servicing, and also included forecasts regarding spending on central administration services.

  • expenditure: 23,613,322 Francs
  • revenues: 17,649,024 Francs

It should be noted that it was before 1933 that the budget year reached some stability over a long period of time (until 1995) to match a calendar year.