A national program had been implemented, during the last two years, to fight against informal trading activities through the integration of informal traders in the official channels.
Many measures to curb informal trade were taken by the Ministry of Trade in consultation with the Ministry of Interior, Director of Markets and Trade Activities Organization Amara Boushaba told APS.
During the Council of Ministers of February 2011, President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika had instructed the government to "simplify" the procedures of the transfer of small informal trade on public space to other better arranged sites, in "consultation" with associations and representatives of population.
The measures taken aim particularly at "developing a plan for the integration of informal players into formal economy, the organization and the creation of regulated trading spaces and the regularization of the legal status of unregulated markets," he said.
They also intend to "regulate and curb informal trade activity through the involvement of all services, work out operational measures and build new infrastructures," he added.
Among the measures proposed by the Trade Department, Boushaba broached the inter-ministerial directive (domestic trade) of March 2011, addressed to prefects for setting up a prefecture commission, to examine ways and means to address this phenomenon.
This directive provides for urgent and appropriate measures to curb informal trade, making the inventory of informal sites, the number and the identification of the informal traders, in addition to the drawing-up of a plan for their integration into regulated trading spaces.
It also provides for the contribution of local authorities to building new trading infrastructures and the reorganization of some existing structures. This measure was supported by the Ministry of Interior, which has received a budget of DZD 4 billion.
Reducing the informal trade in Algeria is also reflected by the rehabilitation of existing infrastructures. The Ministry of Trade has devoted for this operation DZD 5.9 billion.
According to a survey by the National Statistics Office (ONS), the number of population working in the informal sector in Algeria has "more than doubled" in 10 years, moving from 1.6 million in 2001 to 3.9 million persons in 2010, nearly half (45.3 per cent) is active in the sector of trade and services.