Soaring diesel prices: transport professionals call for a rapid release of direct aid

Since last Wednesday, the prices of various fuels at the pump have shown new increases. Prices have soared, exceeding 14 dirhams per liter for gasoline and approaching 12 dirhams for diesel. A situation that raises the concern of transport professionals. Testimonies collected in Casablanca.

For the past few days, the bills at the service station have been on the rise. Yesterday, Wednesday March 16, 2022, the price of a liter of diesel came close to 12 dirhams, posting up to 11.91 dirhams per liter, an increase of 60 and 70 cents compared to March 4, 2022. to him, exceeded the bar of 14 dirhams, reaching 14.16 dirhams in some stations, with an increase of between 1 dirham and 1.20 dirham.

These increases are of particular and increasing concern to transport professionals (small and large taxis, freight transporters) who have been bearing the brunt of market fluctuations since the liberalization of the sector in 2015.

A team dispatched by Le360 went to Casablanca to meet taxi drivers, young and old, and road hauliers, who did not hide their anger and incomprehension, faced with this increase which they describe as dizzying and unbearable.

Mustapha Chaâbane, taxi driver in Casablanca and member of the regional office of the Moroccan Labor Union (UMT), insisted that fuel prices have risen sharply lately.

“We do not know how far these increases will go, which we cannot, moreover, pass on to our customers. While drivers used to earn up to 100 dirhams a day, today they can only get half that amount, or even less sometimes,” he says.

“The taxi owner collects his daily receipts. It is rather the driver who is most affected by this price increase. We have additional charges to pay, and it is really difficult for us to adapt to this new increase. I receive 70 dirhams for two days of work, and that is equivalent to nothing,” laments another driver from the economic capital, somewhat dejected.

“We hope that the direct aid promised by the current government can quickly be put in place, because it is our only escape route in the face of this unbearable rise in diesel prices”, testifies Said Fakhreddine, driver and member of the office. of the Moroccan Labor Union (large taxis).

Same story with road hauliers who are worried about the impact of fuel price increases on the future of their business. “This rise in diesel prices is really problematic. Today, it is difficult for us to remunerate our drivers, since the revenue received does not even allow us to meet the fuel costs alone,” explains Hamid Bardad, truck owner.

“The trucks are no longer moving. The cash inflows collected are no longer sufficient to pay customers. For a simple trip, you have to pay 400 dirhams for diesel and a minimum of 100 dirhams for the driver per day. What will be left to gain in this case? Nothing. Today, if the truck drivers are no longer moving, it is not because they are on strike, it is because the activity is deteriorating more and more, and we are confused as to the future of the profession”, concludes El Miloudi Mdiouart, general secretary of the union of owners, truck and port crane professionals.

It should be recalled that this new increase comes two days after the government’s decision to support transport professionals, who are bearing the brunt of the impact of soaring prices at the pump.

An electronic platform will thus be launched within 15 days, announced the government, represented by the Ministers of Transport (Mohamed Abdeljalil) and Budget (Fouzi Lekjaa), during a meeting with representatives of unions and transport associations. , held Monday, March 14, 2022, in Rabat.

“The government will intervene through the granting of support from the next few days to reduce the effects of soaring prices and ensure that the supply chain of citizens is maintained in good conditions”, had said. namely the Minister Delegate in charge of the Budget, Fouzi Lekjaa.

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