Morocco's parliament approves new gov't program

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-27 06:09:15|Editor: yan
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RABAT, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Morocco's parliament voted on Wednesday in favor of the new cabinet and government program.

208 law makers belonging to the coalition government voted in favor, while 91 from two opposition parties voted against. Another 40 lawmakers from the nationalist Istiqlal Party abstained.

The Moroccan government vowed to reach an average economic growth between 4.5 and 5.5 percent a year during its 2016-2021 mandate, the newly appointed Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani said while presenting his government's program at the parliament last week.

The program pledged to cut the government's budget deficit to three percent of GDP by 2021 and reduce unemployment rate from around 9.4 percent to 8.5 percent.

Othmani stressed that the government aims to ensure sustainable economic model and improve the business environment to join the top 50 countries in the World Bank's "Doing Business" report.

He also insisted that the government will raise cooking gas and sugar subsidies after the previous government removed subsidies on gasoline, diesel and industrial fuel.

After being approved, Othmani's government is expected to hold its first meeting on Thursday, with the 2017 budget bill on the top agenda of it.

The bill should have been approved by parliament last year, but it was not put for vote due to the six-month-long political deadlock.