Morocco to cut investment spending to hit deficit target: document

Aziz El Yaakoubi
Morocco's Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum in London
Morocco's Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum in London October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

By Aziz El Yaakoubi

RABAT (Reuters) - Morocco will cut its 2013 investment spending by at least 10 billion dirhams to keep the budget deficit close to 5.5 percent of gross domestic product as promised to international lenders, according to an official document.

Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane has told all government departments October 31 was the final deadline for new state investments, according to the government document, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

The budget minister and a government spokesman declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Morocco is under pressure from international lenders to repair its public finances hit by the Arab spring revolts, the euro zone crisis and drought. But it must also balance growth and social stability in the North African kingdom, where people are accustomed to heavy public spending.

The 2013 budget set aside 58.9 billion dirhams for public administration investments, but the government had already cut 15 billion dirhams in April to reduce pressure.