The subsidy, decided by the State, to help road hauliers to support the rise in prices at the pump, would not have produced the proposed effect, according to professionals. Unions called to strike last Monday and set an ultimatum of 10 days to the government to discuss the solutions they offer more suited to their sector are getting impatient.
Will road freight transport unions carry out their threat of a general strike announced last Monday? The UMT, CDT, UGTM and UNTM had given the government 10 days, from May 23, to find a solution to the continuous rise in fuel prices. There are now five days left and the government’s reaction is still waiting, the subsidies granted being considered by some parties to have no effect on the purchasing power of Moroccans or on the accounts of professionals.
Contacted by “Le Matin”, the freight carrier Mounir Benazzouz describes the situation of professionals as “critical” and the state subsidy as “inadequate”. “This bonus was decided at a time when the price of diesel was around 11.80 DH per litre. The price has since increased,” recalls Benazzouz. But it is not so much the amount of the subsidy that bothers this professional, but its raison d’être. “The subsidy is not a solution. We are waiting for serious discussions with the Head of Government to submit real solutions”, shares this professional. Among them, the purchase at a rate dedicated solely to goods transport professionals: 0.70 to 1 DH/litre less compared to the public rate.
This possibility would exist today in Morocco, according to our interlocutor, and would be intended for companies with dedicated storage areas. The idea is therefore to set up lines dedicated to professionals in existing service stations or, outright, to create service stations entirely reserved for professionals in the transport of goods. “This type of service station exists abroad, like the famous AS24 station, where truckers can fill up,” notes Benazzouz. And to add: “Each year, we file a document with the Commercial Court, state 9124, which lists, among other things, all of our annual diesel consumption”. For his part, Boujniba Boumediene, regional vice-secretary general for the Oriental region of UMT-affiliated road hauliers, explains that the subsidy is not one of the priorities of professionals in his region, nor is the fuel price cap for somewhere else. “Capping prices would not only benefit professionals, but also other categories such as owners of luxury vehicles,” this operator explained to the newspaper “Le Matin”.
Instead, he prefers to speak of a reference price indexed to the price of diesel, a claim shared by many freight carriers. “In this way, the rise in the price of diesel, like its fall, can be passed on to the reference price”, explains our interlocutor. This option has been proposed to the guardianship, in addition to 16 others, shares the Deputy Secretary General. Of these proposals, “5 have been retained for the moment: the establishment of a reference tariff indexed to diesel prices, the adoption of the goods manifest, which protects all stakeholders (customers and carriers ), the regularization of the situation of certain types of trucks, the regulation of the transport capacity of vehicles and the establishment of conditions, such as training for a period of 6 months to obtain approval”, recalls Boumediene.