February 1, 2023

Consumer protection associations were not satisfied with the results of the government in the field of monitoring outlets at the level of quality and prices, since the actions, in their opinion, do not correspond to the amount of abuse typical of the Moroccan market in conditions of high prices for many basic products.

The Moroccan government has made it clear that it attaches great importance to the issue of price control and the quality of the products offered. During the current year, it monitored 10,623 outlets, submitted violation reports to the courts, and seized tons of damaged products.

Daily price tracking is limited to only 64 products across the Kingdom, according to official figures released by the Department of Commerce, a number that civil society is calling for to increase by providing the material and human capacity of monitoring services. .

And government oversight figures for the current year have almost doubled, as 5,359 price-advertising shop visits were satisfied in 2021, resulting in 335 instances of violations being tracked, compared to more than 8,000 cases of fraud this year.

Bouazza Harati, president of the Moroccan League for Consumer Rights, said the numbers are “weak and citizens’ expectations in this regard are still high”, adding that “this does not mean underestimating the work of institutions, but they need to do more.” ”

Al-Harati said in a statement to Hespress that “monitoring services require a lot in terms of scope, material and logistical capacity”, noting that “most of them do not have vehicles that facilitate the process of close monitoring.”

The human rights activist pointed out that “The Ministry of Commerce, for example, is responsible for the monitoring process under Law 31.08, but it only has 80 people assigned to this task,” noting that “the number is very meager and cannot meet the aspirations of the government.”

In the same context, Al-Harati urged citizens to act appropriately by filing legal complaints with the competent authorities, “instead of being content with complaints on social media or in private councils.”

The president of the Moroccan Consumer Protection League stressed that “monitoring should cover not only food, but also industrial and other goods”, urging citizens to be vigilant and avoid shopping in alleys or unauthorized shops.

Omar Sektani, general secretary of the Moroccan Consumer Forum, said Thursday’s statement by Mustafa Paytas was “unrealistic and does not reflect the expectations of the citizen or the consumer as the weakest link in the production equation.”

Al-Saktani added that “the rise in prices is constantly increasing, while the government has not taken any effective measures to alleviate the suffering of the consumer,” highlighting the “exacerbation of monopoly and abuse in the marketing of basic materials.”

The same university professor warned of “an increase in the sale of spoiled produce, a proliferation of products that do not meet quality standards, and a proliferation of clandestine slaughter.” complicity of the bodies exercising supervision, as well as lack of evidence of violations and ignorance of protocols”.

A Hespress writer recorded that the numbers mentioned by Paytas are “frightening and insufficient”, noting that “the government has not given real answers, and the citizen is waiting for decisions on prices, stepping up monitoring and providing products at reasonable prices.”

Al-Saktani also emphasized that “consumer protection associations are ready to express their opinion, and also work on the ground through outreach, receiving complaints from citizens and forwarding them to the competent authorities, but do not interact with initiatives.” put it down.

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