Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mongolia Brief November 6, 2014



Over 20 Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from EU Member States Accredited to Mongolia Visit Ulaanbaatar
November 6 (infomongolia.com) From November 05-07, 2014, the new European Union Ambassador to Mongolia, Mr. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, is leading a group of over 20 Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from EU Member States based in Beijing and accredited to Mongolia, to join the four EU Member States Ambassadors resident in Ulaanbaatar, for their annual meeting with Mongolian officials in UB.

At the start of the visit on November 05, the new EU Ambassador presented his credentials to President Ts.Elbegdorj in a ceremony at Government House. During the credential handing ceremony, EU Ambassador H.D.Schweisgut said, "Having previously served as Austrian Ambassador to Mongolia, I am honoured to be back here again as EU Ambassador, especially during the 25th anniversary year of EUMongolia diplomatic relations.
Over the past 25 years our relations have grown and deepened, culminating in the signing last year of a comprehensive EUMongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which sets a legal framework to enhance political dialogue and promote further economic and sectorial cooperation. I hope to continue to build on this partnership during my tenure and lay firm groundwork for the next 25 years of our relations".
During their visit, the EU Ambassadors will meet with President Ts.Elbegdorj, Speaker of the Parliament Z.Enkhbold, Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission J.Byambadorj, Mayor of UB E.Bat-Uul and other high-level Mongolian officials.
The discussions will centre on further strengthening EU-Mongolia relations and cooperation in many areas such as trade and economy, but also political and people-to-people issues. The EU Ambassadors will also meet with the European business community in Mongolia as well as international organizations.
Last year, a group of over 20 Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from EU Member States was led by then EU Ambassador to Mongolia, Mr. Markus Ederer.

Ambassadors from Congo, Egypt, EU, Hungary and Cyprus to Mongolia Present Letters of Credence to President Ts.Elbegdorj
November 6 (infomongolia.com) On November 05, 2014, Ambassadors from the Republic of the Congo, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the European Union, Hungary, and the Republic of Cyprus handed their credentials to the President of Mongolia, Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ.
After the ceremony President Ts.Elbegdorj received the newly accredited Ambassadors.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Congo to Mongolia, Mr. Daniel Owassa conveyed the Congolese President’s greetings to President Ts.Elbegdorj and noted, “Mongolia and the Republic of Congo enjoy traditional bilateral relations. Although, relations between our two countries slowed in the last few years, as an Ambassador I will work to enhancing traditional relations”.
President Ts.Elbegdorj wished Mr. Daniel Owassa success in his further work and expressed his belief that the Ambassador will pay close attention to enhancing bilateral relationship.
Mongolia and the Republic of the Congo have established the diplomatic relations on December 31, 1966.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Mongolia, Mr. Magdy Mahmoud noted, “The people of Egypt know that Mongolia is a shining example of a successful democratic transition. This year Mongolia and Egypt mark the 51st Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and we will further move forward to expand the relations”.
President Ts.Elbegdorj underlined that in 2015 Mongolia will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of democratic parliamentary elections and conveyed his sincere greetings to the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Mongolia and the Arab Republic of Egypt have established the diplomatic relations on April 02, 1963.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union to Mongolia, Mr. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut said, "Having previously served as Austrian Ambassador to Mongolia, I am honored to be back here again as EU Ambassador, especially during the 25th anniversary year of EU-Mongolia diplomatic relations. Over the past 25 years our relations have grown and deepened, culminating in the signing last year of a comprehensive EU-Mongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which sets a legal framework to enhance political dialogue and promote further economic and sectorial cooperation. I hope to continue to build on this partnership during my tenure and lay firm groundwork for the next 25 years of our relations".
President Ts.Elbegdorj noted, "Within the 25 years of cooperation, Mongolia and the European Union have successfully developed the bilateral relations within the third-neighbor policy. The EU has become Mongolia’s third biggest trading partner.
In April 2013, the EU-Mongolia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed and it was a great pivot to enhancing mutual cooperation. I would like to convey my warm greetings to Mr. Jean-Claude Junker on the occasion of his election as the President of the European Commission”.
Mongolia and the European Union have established the diplomatic relations on August 01, 1989.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary to Mongolia, Mrs. Andrea Cecilia Szilas emphasized that in 2015 Mongolia and Hungary will mark the 65th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship and noted that Hungary is planning to reopen its Embassy in Ulaanbaatar. Ambassador mentioned about the successful visit of President Ts.Elbegdorj to Hungary and said that she will be committed to implementing projects and works considered during the President’s visit.
Mongolia and Hungary have established the diplomatic relations on April 28, 1950.
During the meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cyprus to Mongolia, Mr. Agis Loizou, President Ts.Elbegdorj noted that there are ample opportunities of cooperation in trade and investment sectors, for instance, two countries have great potential to expand partnership in the education field.
Mongolia and the Republic of Cyprus have established the diplomatic relations on December 19, 1973.

“Russian Tourists and Ulaanbaatar” Workshop Aims to
Attract Russian Travelers to Mongolia
November 6 (infomongolia.com) During the Russian Presidential working visit to Mongolia held on September 03, 2014, the Governments of Mongolia and the Russian Federation have signed on 15 documents including Intergovernmental Agreements, Memorandums of Understanding and Protocols.
One of the documents inked was an Intergovernmental Agreement on reciprocal visa-free travel between citizens of the two countries and the Agreement effectiveness enters into force from November 14, 2014.
Under the Agreement, nationals of the two countries will be eligible to travel up to 30 days, but not to exceed 90 days in any 180 day-period and for a stay of more than 30 days, a traveler must apply for an appropriate visa.
Due to approaching date, the Capital City Administration in association with affiliated organs are organizing a workshop themed “Russian Tourists and Ulaanbaatar” at the Khangarid Palace, Ulaanbaatar on November 07, 2014.
The meeting will bring representatives from local tour operators, hotels, restaurants, commercial centers, hospitalities, therapy and recreation centers, as well as cultural and art places interested to welcome Russian travelers, and will focus and given advices by experts on Russian tourists’ behavior and interests, what they prefer to go sightseeing, shopping and other services to like, because as soon as visa-free term enters into force, it expects more travelers from Russia are to visit Mongolia.
Moreover, as part of preparations, a website for Russian tourists will be launched soon and at the tomorrow’s meeting this issue will be discussed comprehensively, besides travel brochures, Russian-Mongolian conversation handbook and guides are being prepared. Also, in order to attract Russian travelers, a TV series about UB and country destinations will be broadcasted on main TV channels of Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude and Chita cities of the Russian Federation.

Mongolia and Czech agree on cooperation in social welfare
November 6 (news.mn) Mongolia and the Czech Republic signed  a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare of Mongolia and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Prague, on Wednesday.
The MoU was signed by State Secretary for the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection B.Otgonjargal and First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Petr Šimerka.
State Secretary B.Otgonjargal noted during the MoU signing ceremony, “This MoU will play an essential role in extending bilateral cooperation in social welfare between the two countries, and play an active role in building an intergovernmental agreement on  bilateral cooperation in welfare,”
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to Czech Republic D.Zumberellham and other government officials were represented at the meeting.
The parties also exchanged opinions on the implementation of projects in accordance with the MoU, and on how to intensify bilateral cooperation between the Mongolian Ministry of Population Development and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Prague.
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Mongolia's Initiative on Think-Tank for LLDCs Reflected In Vienna Action Plan
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Mongolia's initiative on establishing an international Think-Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in Ulaanbaatar was supported at the Second UN Conference for LLDCs and has been reflected in the Vienna Action plan for 2014-2024.
The conference, which completed on November 5, developed the Vienna Action Plan after careful observations over the Almaty Plan for the last decade. General issues outlined in the Plan are the matters of infrastructure, facilitating trades, economic diversification, value-added production industry, agricultural development and a development of regional integration. The Plan aims to improve sustainability and sufficiency in the development of LLDCs.
Reflecting the initiative on the Think-Tank in the Plan is of great importance in terms of supporting its establishment in our city, studying unique needs of LLDCs, protecting their interests on international arena.
A head of the Department for International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation of Mongolia G.Ganbold attended a sub-conference themed “Linking LLDCs to the regional infrastructural network” to present our Government's measures for the transportation, energy and information technology. Our delegates also held meetings with some representatives of other LLDCs and touched upon matters of cooperation in establishing the International Think Tank.

Mongolian Students of University of Agriculture to Conduct 6-Week Practice in Netherlands
November 6 (infomongolia.com) On November 05, 2014, Mongolian State University of Agriculture (MSUA), the University’s Department of Agricultural Industry and Economy, and Dumons Farm LLC have established a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate.
Under the MoU, selected 10-15 students of the MSUA will be conducting an industrial practice in the Netherlands for the period of 6 weeks, where agrarian sector in the country is highly mechanized and the food-processing industry accounts for 21 percent of the Netherlands' total export value, the second worldwide in value of agricultural exports.
Last year, former Dutch State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Mr. Hinderk Bleker visited Mongolia in July 2013 and during the visit, he pledged to support Mongolia’s livestock farming.
In this regard, the above three parties have negotiated to implement a project introducing Holland style livestock farming in some Sums of Tuv Aimag including Sumber Sum. Under this project, Mongolian authorities strive to create a proficient staff in the animal husbandry sector and thus, the trilateral MoU is set to carry out the project.

"LookWe” Special Edition Published for Diplomatic Relations
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) Such an edition of the Chinese magazine has been published at support from its agency and Mongolia’s Embassy in Beijing dedicated to the 65thanniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the People’s Republic of China.
The two countries have been realizing various works in culture, tourism, economy and investment spheres in a scope of the “Year of Mongolia-China Friendly Exchanges”. As  one of these actions, the special edition contains articles about Mongolia’s history, tourism, economy, investments and a development of relations with China.

Minister Meets UNICEF Regional Director
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Health N.Udval received Thursday the regional director of UNICEF for East Asia and the Pacific Mr Daniel Toole and the Resident Representative of the regional office Roberto Benes.
This meeting was arranged in frames of the visit of Mr Toole to Mongolia. The Minister spoke mainly of three matters and proposed cooperation. She said the Government announced 2014 as a Year of Mothers and Children health promotion, "maternal and infant health is a vital issue of Mongolia’s health sphere, it should be regulated by a specific law. So we are developing a draft law on Health of Mothers and Children, and a great support is needed from high level decision-makers are necessary for adoption of this law".
Ms Udval noted that an excessive air pollution of Ulaanbaatar reached a harmful level for children’s development and yet the adequate solution to this problem has not been found. Thus, it urges the Ministry to act, said the Minister and proposed cooperating in this. Another proposal was for collaboration in reducing the risks of children’s death from injuries.
The Regional Director said he sees that a situation is always better when people who care for children heath are women. Mongolia is one of the fewest countries that reduced child mortality rate five times. “I always share your practices with regional countries, and I instruct them to do a good work, but I praise Mongolia on the good works telling you 'let's do better”, said the regional director and expressed a readiness to cooperate.

Ambassadors Present Letters of Credence
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) Mongolia's President Ts.Elbegdorj received on Thursday credentials from Ambassadors of the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of Columbia, Qatar, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The President received them after the ceremony. The Namibian Ambassador H.E. Mr Ringo Abed noted the marking of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations of the two countries this year, and promised to put all efforts to intensify those relations. To this, the President  expressed Mongolia’s satisfaction with its relations with the South African countries, especially with Namibia that has a rapid economic growth. He recalled the time he attended the International Parliamentarians’ Conference in late 1990’s in Namibia. He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation and the Office of the President will support him.
Columbia's Ambassador H.E. Mr Tito Saul Pinilla mentioned about intensifying the students’ exchanges between the State University of Mongolia and the National University of Columbia and about the opportunities of cooperation in business sphere. He also said that the visits of Vice FMs and the consultative meeting between the Foreign ministries were important steps for bilateral ties. The President conveyed his sincere greetings to Columbia's President and agreed with the Ambassador on cooperation in educational and business spheres. He said Mongolia-Columbia relations can be intensified as our country sited its Embassy in Brazil.
At a meeting with the Ambassador of Qatar H.E. Mr Sultan bin Salmin Said al Mansuri, our President emphasized an expansion of bilateral relations in sectors of defense and infrastructure, and further opportunities of cooperation in economy, infrastructure and investments. He also said high level interactions between the countries will be an impetus to prosperous relations.
The President told the Ambassador from the Kingdom of Bahrain that the bilateral relations have been developing well since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1998. The two countries should cooperate in trade, economy and oil sectors, he added. The President conveyed sincere greetings to the King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa.
The Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Mongolia H.E. Mr Ivan Antonio Zerpa Guerrero conveyed greetings of his President Nicolas Maduro to Ts.Elbegdorj. He also sounded Mr Maduro’s dearest will that instructed his Ambassador to develop and intensify the relations in the next 25 years. The Ambassador also expressed a gratitude for Mongolia’s kind support for Venezuela on international arena, especially for Venezuela’s candidature to the Security Council as a non-permanent member. He added that he intends to present a proposal on establishing a Venezuela-Mongolia group in parliament of his country. To this, the President thanked the Ambassador for his commitments and conveyed greetings to Mr Maduro and a success to the Ambassador.

Mongolian Entrepreneurs' Forum Approaches
By N. Khaliun
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) This measure will run on November 10-11 at Chinggis Khaan Hotel in Ulaanbaatar.
It will be co-organized by the School of Business of National University of Mongolia, the Ministry of Labor, "Start up Mongolia" NGO, supported by the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, United Association of Mongolian Employers NGO, and JCI-Mongolia.
The forum is expected to be a platform for promoting knowledge about entrepreneurship, to take entrepreneurship education (courses and research) to a new level, to improve a legal environment for new businesses, to build a national strategy on developing entrepreneurship, to link organizations in the field, and to seek ways to solve challenges Mongolian entrepreneurs face.

Mongolian Film Presented at International Film Festival
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) A Mongolian feature film “Remote Control”, directed by S.Byambaa, has been presented at the Third Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF), which ran October 31-November 2 in Dharamsala of India.
Over 40 films from India, Mongolia, France, Arab Emirates, Spain, the USA, Canada, Finland, Lebanon, Germany, South Korea, China, Argentina, Poland and Sweden have been shown.  
The “New Wave” award-winner of the Busan international film festival, the “Remote Control” has gained positive evaluation from the Mongolians who live and work in India.
Present at the event were the director S.Byambaa and an honored guest to the DIFF the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to India S.Bayaraa.

Documentary about Wedding Traditions Created
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) Aimed to conserve and advertize intangible cultural heritage of Mongolia, a documentary about wedding traditions of Bayad ethnicity was developed.
The art director of the film P.Temuujin has opened a "Land of Northern Bayad" exhibition at the “Art House” gallery of 50 photographs taken during the film making. 
The film script is based on the doctoral work of E.Erdenetsetseg, a head of Department for Art Studies of the University of Art and Culture. A director is J.Norolkhoo, the State Honored Figure of culture. Initiator of this project culturist A.Altangerel said our traditions and behaviors are changing as the society changes, and that this thought led him to create this film. "There is no Mongolian documentary that presents cultural heritage. A greater part of the wedding traditions of the Bayad is similar to those of other Mongolian groups”.
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Who is Mongolia’s next Prime Minister?
By S. Batzaya
November 6 (Mongolian Economy) There are many blaming the ruling Democratic Party for the fall of the current Government. Although the opposition Mongolian People’s Party had repeatedly made demands for the dismissal of the Prime Minister, the ruling party retained enough power to hold onto its own authority. That is until yesterday, when Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag—the longest tenured DP Prime Minister in history—was dismissed as head of government, in a vote in Parliament that passed 36 out of 66.
The Democratic Party has 31 seats in parliament. In addition to their ruling status, they had maintained a majority alliance with a partner in the Justice Coalition, an additional ten members. Despite a powerful block, there were many splintering factions within the Democratic Party. After back to back years of economic failures that most blame on the government, internal party squabbles finally reached their breaking point this week. Eleventh hour discussions over the past few days and nights fell short of reaching a party consensus. The fracturing of the factions was clear in yesterday’s vote, when seven members of the DP did not show up for the proceedings, while eight more who were present voted against the party line in favor of the Prime Minister’s forced resignation.
MP S.Bayrtsogt says: “Back in 1996, When the DP was the ruling party, they took their government down a few times during their term. Now the DP must be responsible for the consequences of the situation. I hope that this is not the beginning of a deep political crisis.”
Independent parliament member Ts. Davaasuren says: “Sustainability is the priority, and needs to be supported more than anything else. Being stable does not mean no control and no responsibility. Ongoing preservation of sustainability should be the majority of the DP’s focus” 
All sides are agreed—the new government must be responsible and ensure stability, for the PM’s resignation alone won’t save Mongolia from its current economic difficulties. Yet for now, DP members remain more concerned with slicing the cake evenly amongst themselves until their term ends. Meanwhile, time is running out on the status quo.
MP S.Oyun says: “I see that N.Altankhuyag is trying hard. But it is not politically sound for the majority party to support a measure brought up by the opposition group to be used against their own. This is not healthy progress—for the minority of parliament to decide the resignation issue.” 
Deputy Minister and Acting Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva says: “the DP should consider whether the government resignation is in step with national interests or whether it will deepen the economic and social crises that have already spread now.”
For better or for worse, the Democratic Party took down their government with their own hands. Who’s next for PM? Some publications suggest that parliament speaker Z.Enkhbold might be up for the job, but he has so far stayed mute on the issue. If actions speak louder than words, however, the fact that during yesterday’s vote his Shonkhor faction friends weren’t present might suggest an action signaling ambitions. 
It is now up to parliament to choose the Prime Minister and Cabinet members, as directed by the Government Law of Mongolia. There is expected to be a new wave of cronyism as ministry appointments at the top are reshuffled. Weakened and needing allies, the Democratic Party must decide whether to cooperate with the Justice Coalition or the Mongolian People’s Party to achieve their aims. Expect negotiations, hard compromises, and the unexpected. Policymakers have 30 days to make the appointments—let’s hope they can all make up their mind quickly, so that they can return to their real job of helping the country move forward.

Stock Exchange news for November 6
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Thursday, a total of 3,228 shares of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT 10 million 887 thousand and 330.00.
"Merex” /1,000 units/, “E-Trans Logistics” /950 units/, “State Department Store” /515 units/, “Darkhan Nekhii” /261 units/ and "Sor” /140 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Darkhan Nekhii” (MNT four million 799 thousand and 720), "UB-BUK” (MNT three million 84 thousand and 480), “Gobi” (MNT 898 thousand and 480), “Atar Orgoo” (MNT 680 thousand) and "APU” (MNT 463 thousand and 600).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 548 billion 938 million 700 thousand and 850. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 15,477.02, decreasing 22.15 units or 0.14% against the previous day.

Opposition party votes from 26 ousted the Government's ruling party of 50
November 6 (news.mn) The 27th PM of Mongolia has been ousted, two years and three months since forming the "Reform Government".
PM N.Altankhuyag was defeated by 36 MPs, with 54.5 percent of the votes of no confidence, out of 66 MPs who attended the vote.
Twenty-six of those MPs who voted no confidence were opposition MPP caucus members and another 10 MPs were DP caucus members, including R.Amarjargal, R.Burmaa, J.Batzandan, Kh.Battulga, M.Zorigt, B.Narankhuu, and L.Erdenechimeg, and Justice Coalition members G.Uyanga, D.Battsogt, and L.Tsog, who pressed the reject button. Just one day before the motion for a no confidence vote, DP caucus members agreed to vote in favor of the PM to retain the Government, but showed no confidence for the PM on voting day. The DP rules include articles to dispel members if a vote by a caucus member results in the ousting of a DP led government.
Now there are questions about whether or not the party will dispel members or reform the government with other parties and coalitions.
Seven members of the DP caucus, whose votes were vital to retain the PM, were absent from the vote.
In the past two years, petitions calling for the resignation of the PM and the Government have been submitted five times. Four of them were submitted by the MPP opposition party.
April 12, 2014  - Demand for the resignation of PM N.Altankhuyag
July 12, 2014 - Demand for the resignation of Finance Minister Ch.UIaan and Economic Development Minister N.Batbayar,
April 7, 2014 - Demand for the resignation of Justice Minister Kh.Temuujin by MP O.Baasankhuu
May 29, 2014 - Demand for the resignation of Economic Development Minister N.Batbayar
October 17, 2014 - Demand for the resignation of PM N.Altankhuyag 
Parliament spent 93 working days discussing these issues.
PM N.Altankhuyag appeared to be in disbelief about the ousting until the last reject button was pressed. Until then, he was the head of the government of the ruling party with 50 seats.
N.Altankhuyag did not win in the 2012 parliamentary election. But became the majority leader with 34 seats in parliament. He formed the Reform Government, along with 11 Justice Coalition members, two members of the Civil Will-Green Party, and three independent members, and the opposition MPP of 26 was left out of the government.  But the opposition MPP of 26 made the Reform Government the ruling party, with 50 seats lost.
After his ousting, N.Altankhuyag handed down the State Stamp to Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva, who will head the government until a new PM is appointed.
Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva said, “The Reform Government worked successfully in a short period. I hope the next generation will keep the values that have been created in the time of our cooperation. The people of Mongolia value everything you did for the country.”

Government Bond auction results
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAMEO Auction for three years maturity Government Bond was announced November 5 at face value of MNT 30 billion and each unit was worth MNT one million.
Face value of 13.0 billion /out of 43.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold to the banks at premium price and with average yield of 16.750%.

Results of Government Securities Auction
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, November 6 (MONTSAME) Auction for 52 weeks maturity Government Treasury bill was announced November 5 at face value of MNT 60.0 billion.
According to the Bank of Mongolia (BoM) news published the same day, face value of 30.0 billion /out of 30.0 billion bid/ Government Treasury bill was sold at discounted price and with weighted average yield of 16.347%.

Hunnu Air halts Hong Kong flights amid economic downfall
November 6 (news.mn) The Hong Kong –Ulaanbaatar flight by Mongolian domestic airline Hunnu Air was delayed on November 3rd.  Local reports say that the domestic airline has been unable to pay the aircraft lease rentals for months, due to a severe financial crisis being faced by the company.
Hunnu Air made a statement, saying, “The company apologizes to our passengers for delaying the Hong Kong-Ulaanbaatar flight on November 4th, 2014. The company will arrange hotel stays and flights to take the delayed passengers on a MIAT flight on November 4th."
The company commented about the delay, saying it was caused by a misunderstanding and disagreement between the renter and rental company.
It refused to give details, as the company is under negotiations with the rental company in Hong Kong.
The company announced it has halted its Hong Kong flights amid the economic crisis, on Wednesday.
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The collapse of the ‘New Government for Changes’
By B. Khash-Erdene
November 6 (UB Post) The self-proclaimed “New Government for Changes” collapsed, as Parliament voted to dismiss Mongolian Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag on Wednesday for alleged corruption and “messing up the economy”.
During the session, 54.5 percent (36 parliament members) voted to dismiss Mongolia’s 27th Prime Minister, including eight members of his own Democratic Party, and 10 declined to vote. All the parliament’s members of the Mongolian People’s Party, the opposition, were present for the session and voted against Altankhuyag.
Mongolia’s economy grew by 17.5 percent in 2011, the year before Altankhuyag took office, but growth has since slowed to 6.3 percent this year. Altankhuyag’s advisor, L.Gansukh, is currently being investigated for corruption by the Independent Authority Against Corruption.
Deputy Prime Minister D.Terbishdagva has temporarily been placed in charge until a new prime minister is elected. Altankhuyag handed in his official seal to Terbishdagva on Wednesday.
Mongolia’s politics are at a sensitive stage, as the dismissal damages confidence in the Mongolian economy among international mining companies and other major investors, which Mongolia is heavily reliant on.
Shortly before his dismissal, Altankhuyag started a controversial reshuffling of the cabinet, which was met with six resignations by former ministers. Parliament has also yet to finalize next year’s budget, the plan for which has been seen as being too lavish by most MPs.
The obvious question now is who will become the next Prime Minister of Mongolia, but key candidates don’t seem too eager for the job, especially after the abysmal performance of the previous cabinet.
Rumors have spread among the public that Speaker of Parliament Z.Enkhbold would become the next prime minister, which was swiftly rebuked by Enkhbold himself, who said, “I have no desire to become Prime Minister.”
As the ruling party, the Democratic Party of Mongolia must form a new cabinet within 14 days, under Mongolian law. The party’s policy also states that the head of the party is to be appointed as Prime Minister. This prompts Altankhuyag to also give up his position as the head of the Democratic Party, since his party members played a pivotal role in his dismissal, most of whom were from the “Shonkhor” faction.
Other favored candidates include Cabinet Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg, who is deemed most likely to follow the policies of Altankhuyag’s cabinet. Rumors within the Democratic Party also point to E.Bat-Uul, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar, who is one of the key individuals that helped shape the Democratic Revolution of Mongolia in 1989. He is seen by many to have transformed Ulaanbaatar for the better in just two years, despite his much criticized “green garbage bag” plan, which failed to clean up Ulaanbaatar streets as promised. But some think that would not win an election among the Democratic Party’s National Coordinating Committee.
Another favorite candidate, who has displayed his vast ambition numerous times is MP “Genco” Kh.Battulga, who gave up his position as the Minister of Agriculture and Industry in Altankhuyag’s cabinet in support of the “Double Deel” bill, which hoped to eliminate multiple posts in Parliament and cabinet. This move has been viewed by some in his party as a betrayal, meaning he has few friends left to support him. Nevertheless, Battulga is viewed as the candidate most likely to form a mixed cabinet of members from the Democratic and People’s Parties.
In all this speculation, most local media believe that there is a deeper plot behind the overthrow of Altankhuyag, and suspicions of conspiracy among the ruling and opposition parties.

J.Bayarmagnai: To reduce air pollution, data and information related to air quality is critical
November 6 (UB Post) The following interview is with expert of air quality at the National Agency Meteorology and The Environmental Monitoring J.Bayarmagnai, about the air quality in Ulaanbaatar and what the agency is doing to reduce air pollution.
How was the air quality in Ulaanbaatar last October?
According to the data of last October, the average amount of sulfur dioxide in Ulaanbaatar was in the average level, which is 9 µg/m3, the amount of nitrogen dioxide was above the average level, at 41 µg/m3, the amount of big dust particles was higher than the normal level by 1.8 fold, at 184 µg/m3, while the amount of small dust was below the normal level, at  54 µg/m3. The amount of ozone and the carbon dioxide were in the normal level.
Between October 13 to 25 in Ulaanbaatar, the air was more polluted than other days, especially in the area of ger districts. People can get information about the air quality by visiting the websites www.tsag-agaar.mn and www.agaar.mn.
What is your agency doing to reduce air pollution?
In Ulaanbaatar and in the biggest settlements in provinces, we measure the amount of six substances that are common pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, dust and carbon dioxide. According to this measurement, we collect some data about the major sources and substances that pollute the air, the location where pollution appears a lot and the time when the pollution has highest and harmful to human body. These information and data help us do some works to reduce the air pollution. Every year our agency collects all those data and we summarize the results. I think these kinds of data are an important information to fight and reduce air pollution. If we could make some analysis on the results of air quality, it would help solve the problem.
Is the measuring standard same as highly developed countries?
In Mongolia, we use two general methods, chemical analysis and automatic measurement that determine two to six substances that pollute the air. Overall, 10 employees work and monitor the automatic measurement, while four experts analyze the air quality by chemical analysis. In rural areas, 23 experts determine the amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide through chemical analysis, while in some provinces, big particle dust and carbon dioxide are determined by an automatic apparatus. In the future fully automated working condition is required.
When is the highest rate of air pollution observed?
During cold days, from October to April people start using their stoves and the usage of stove lighting increases. As a result, the amounts of sulfur dioxide and dust increase drastically. Especially in December, January and February, air pollution is highest. In the morning, from 7-11a.m. and in the evening from 5-12 p.m., the substances that pollute the air reach its peak point.
We all know that air pollution affects negatively on humans health. As you are an expert, what would you recommend to protect ourselves from pollution? Is it possible?
At the times I mentioned above, children, the elderly and people who have respiratory and cardiovascular diseases should spend less time outside and must wear protective masks. People who spend most of their time at home and at the office should plant plants and clean the air in the room as much as possible. In all seasons children must play away from the areas where dust occurs a lot, for example big roads, when they are outside. And I would like to say that if people can use the air quality data and information in their daily lives, they can protect themselves from pollution to a certain extent.
What can people do to contribute to reducing air pollution in the city?
It is very important that each person be involved in air pollution problems because pollution affects us all. There are some ways to fight air pollution. For example, to use fuel that releases less harmful gases, if possible buy newer cars, get the car serviced regularly, use public transportation, and save electricity. People who live in ger districts must follow the proper instruction when using their stoves, get involved in the projects related to reduction of air pollution, minimize the heat loss of their houses, and if possible, use electricity as well as processed fuel.
Organizations must use more eco-friendly technology and install smoke filters. That way, if we work together, we can reduce air pollution.
Source: Undesnii shuudan

Sh.Ulziibayar: I only wish to create compositions that’ll promote Mongolia globally
November 6 (UB Post) This is an interview with internationally recognized composer of the Mongolian State Philharmonic Orchestra, Sh.Ulziibayar, about his achievements, career and other related topics.
Sh.Ulziibayar regularly participates in international competition as a representative Mongolian composers. He is a graduate of the Mongolian State University of Culture and Arts (MSUCA) and his latest achievement was the special prize won from the Second International Competition of Contemporary Music – Composer of the XXI Century. He previously won third place at the 16th 2 Agosto International Composing Competition held in Bologna, Italy and a special prize at the Fourth International Competition named after S. S. Prokofiev, organized in Moscow.
Sh.Ulziibayar’s works have been received well globally but his home country isn’t giving him any attention as Mongolia’s cultural and arts policy haven’t been effective for some time, no longer rewarding composers. He continues to compose while adjusting to current conditions and opportunities, without demanding systematic reform for young composers.
Since 2010, songs and compositions by Sh.Ulziibayar have been selected for Morin Khuur Festival as well as the Golden Autumn Festival. He has even seized the coveted “Goo Maral” award.
With which composition did you win the Second International Competition of Contemporary Music – Composer of the XXI Century?
I participated with my concerto for morin khuur and symphony orchestra that was composed in 2010. This piece won the Golden Autumn Festival. Morin khuur player of Domog Band, D.Shinetsog, won first place at the International Franz Schubert Choir Competition in Vienna, Austria by playing this piece. Later, he played it at the State Palace of Mongolia. It is a successful piece, performed in many places.
I heard about the Second International Competition of Contemporary Music – Composer of the XXI Century from fellow composer Ts.Erdenebat. After hearing about his participation, I also tried sending my composition. My first concerto won a special prize for successfully infusing traditional music with contemporary music.
To partake in competitions, do composers have to go to the respective country? Can they just send their video?
Yes, we can only send our videos. I sent my music sheet with a video uploaded on Youtube. This competition has six judges. The general judge is Sergei Slonimsky, the best composer living in this generation. He’s 80 years old and composed 30 symphonies. He is currently teaching at Saint Petersburg Conservatory.
Have you composed any new music pieces this year?
I wrote my second concerto for morin khuur and symphony orchestra. This piece has three classical episodes. Musician of Morin Khuur Ensemble D.Jijiddorj performed it with folk artist Ts.Batchuluun as conductor. This summer, I composed two movie soundtracks, “Tsen Togoruu” (White-naped cranes) and “Home Country Calls Me”. Last year, I wrote “Orgilluun Orchestra” introductory for Morin Khuur Ensemble, the Mongolian Symphony Orchestra and Bayan Mongol Jazz Orchestra.
Did the Mongolian State Philharmonic Orchestra have composers before? Since when did this position become available?
The Mongolian State Philharmonic Orchestra did have this position before. Composer Jantsannorov worked in this position. No one was hired for this position for some time until I received an offer and began working in 2012.
Since you work at the biggest integrated orchestra establishment for professional music arts in Mongolia, you must have more advantages over other composers, right?
It is an affluent establishment consisting of three different orchestras. I feel closer to Morin Khuur Ensemble because I used to play morin khuur when I was young. It’s beneficial for me since I get to know more about symphony orchestra music and write music for it. Composers have to be knowledgeable about symphony orchestra music and be capable of composing music for it. Lately, I’ve been interested in jazz music. It’s wonderful to be able to connect and work with all of them in some sort of way.
This year, the Golden Autumn Festival will not be organized. It must be disappointing for composers?
This is the first time in history that it’s been cancelled. This is a tragedy. Composers used to harvest their works only once a year and the best among them were chosen and bought by the National Foundation. A total of 50 million MNT is spent in total, which is the price of one composition. Mongolia takes five to six compositions a year for this price. We did discuss about increasing this money before. Yet even the festival isn’t going to happen. The Golden Autumn Festival was included in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s cut back on extra expenses.
Is the Golden Autumn Festival a small festival that can be included in cut backs?
It’s a large scale event and has significant value. This is the only opportunity in the year that lets composers get their large pieces played by an orchestra and have the audiences listen. These sorts of pieces aren’t public songs that can be played anywhere or be played by a musician by themselves. Within the framework of the Golden Autumn Festival, the symphony orchestra performs compositions without payment from composers only once. I think it’s very regrettable.
To composers, what competitions are considered equivalent to something like the Olympics and World Championships for athletes?
I’ve already won that sort of competition.
Do you mean the Composer of the XXI Century competition?
I seized third place at the 16th 2 Agosto International Composing Competition held in Bologna, Italy in 2010 with my “Toccata Variation” piece for piano and orchestra. The general judge for this competition was famous Italian composer Ennio Morricone. This competition wasn’t included in the government resolution attachment so nobody in Mongolia cared. Mostly sport competitions were written on that attachment. For arts and culture, only M.Glinka and P.I. Tchaikovsky’s competitions and circus competitions were included. It didn’t have a single competition for music composers.
Can’t this regulation be renewed?
At the time, I thought it should be renewed and after researching, I submitted a list of competitions for composers. However, it wasn’t put to work. Composer Ser-Od had also submitted a similar list.
In recent years, your compositions have been put in the National Foundation, haven’t they?
That’s right. My works are being included whenever the National Foundation purchases my compositions.
Which music piece did you sell for the highest price?
The National Foundation spent 10 million MNT from its annual limit of 50 million MNT for purchasing compositions on my “Duruu” contemporary ballet music. Overall allotment is equal but symphony, opera and ballet music are valued higher.
You seem to absorb national musical instruments and melody in your work. Can this be described as the defining feature of your compositions?
That’s the reason why my pieces are acknowledged at international competitions. They attract attention because they infuse national culture and traditional characteristics into contemporary music. It will not be great if it consist of one quality.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
I travel and study. I learn many things from being close to nature.
When do you work most actively? Most Mongolian composers create their best pieces when they’re young.
If I find a piece to work on, I am absolutely hooked on it and work hard to complete it. If I don’t get new ideas, I will carry on doing nothing for some time.
Is there a composition you started but haven’t completed?
Yes. Pieces with bad starts really don’t progress.
Can you clarify on bad starts?
It means it can’t be develop further. Compositions will flow well if the right notes are found. These sorts of instances are common. Only those who’ve tried composing will understand.
Do you compose on request? Is it difficult to write music consistent to people’s requests?
More than the difficulty, more responsibility is given. I give my best not disappoint the person that entrusted me with a request. I consider this as a good opportunity for producing a good piece while getting paid. I wrote my first concerto for morin khuur and symphony orchestra for D.Shinetsog at his request. Although I didn’t get a prize money, this piece won the Golden Autumn Festival and achieved an award at the International Franz Schubert Choir Competition.
To compose a concerto, symphony, opera, or ballet, how much time and effort do composers dedicate?
General planning can be developed quickly but the mechanical works take up a lot of time. Everything must be adjusted to every symphony and orchestra music. We have to calculate if the melody we want to portray is overwhelmed by other sounds. Considerable amount of time is spent on this procedure. A month or more is required. Large pieces aren’t written through emotional stimulus like songs. The effort dedicated for making large pieces can’t be measured because you have to work precisely, drown deeply into the music, and be fired up about it emotionally. We have to listen to large pieces over and over again, which sort of makes you lose the initial feel.
Can composers produce good pieces with only talent?
Education is important. It’s necessary to be capable of viewing things from the bigger perspective. There are people who’ve created fantastic, mind-blowing melodies but don’t develop them further and there are composers who don’t have fantastic melody but see the bigger picture. Composers have to have a broad-range of feel.
What kind of music do you want to compose?
I want my pieces to be useful to others. I want musicians to play my music and the media to broadcast their concerts so that many people can \ listen to them. I used to listen a lot of Russian composers’ works when I studied in Russia. Since returning to Mongolia, I’ve been listening and learning from the best Mongolian composers such as B.Sharav, N.Jantsannorov and Z.Khangal. I mainly listen to classical music from the second half of the 20th century. I also listen to new and unique music but not the ones that are too avant-garde.
Source:  mongolnews.mn/1cns

Athletes leave for the 4th Asian Beach Games in Thailand
By B. Tungalag
November 6 (UB Post) The farewell ceremony for Mongolian athletes who will participate in the 4th Asian Beach Games, to be held in Phuket, Thailand from November 14 to 23, took place on November 5.
President of the Mongolian National Olympic Committee D.Zagdsuren, Vice President of the committee J.Khatanbaatar, President of the Mongolian Sports Press Union Ch.Otgonbaatar and Head of the Sports Policy Management Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism N.Bakyetjan participated in the farewell ceremony and wished them luck.
Athletes of 45 countries will compete in 17 sports categories at the Phuket 2014 Asian Beach Games.
The Mongolian team includes 50 athletes and officials. Mongolia will take part in eight sports events including beach wrestling, beach basketball, ju-jutsu, kurash, muay thai, sambo, petanque, and beach modern pentathlon.
Mongolian athletes will compete in Muay thai, beach modern pentathlon and pentaque for the first time.
During the farewell ceremony, N.Bakyetjan underlined the new rule in government resolution no.64 to grant cash prizes to the team that takes part in the Asian Beach Games.
N.Bakyetjan handed the Mongolian national flag to wrestler Ts.Azbileg.

Representatives of the City Council need to remove their ‘Double Deel’
November 6 (UB Post) Representatives in the Ulaanbaatar City Council are employing a “double deel” standard, not just ministers and members of the parliament.
The concept of “double deel” means one person is appointed to two different roles that create a conflict of interests.
In accordance with the law, the City Council is a legal subject that has who are elected through free elections and are responsible for resolving social and economic issues in the best interest of citizens.
The City Council has the authority to approve the City Governor’s action program, discuss reports and evaluate them, check the fulfillment of decisions made by the council, approve the city budget, and set the amount of some taxes and fees. But today, many representatives of the City Council are leading executive level government organizations that have to report their activity to the council.
It is a big concern because the City Council has 45 members, but more than half of them are working in executive governance and running their own businesses in addition to their City Council work.
For instance, City Governor E.Bat-Uul, his five deputies and advisors working in the City Council. How fair can the evaluations and conclusions drawn about the Governor’s work be?
More money is spent on double deel employees because the representatives of the City Council receive monthly cash bonuses. They also have extra expenditures, including private cars, cell phones, assistant officers, and advisors.
The President initiated a bill to ban members of Government from becoming Members of Parliament. The bill was discussed several times and was not approved. Recently, another Member of Parliament was appointed to a position, but voluntarily resigned due to his position on the “double deel”.
Consequently, inter-governance principles fail and the work of the state is lost.
City Council representatives wearing a “double deel”
1. Ulaanbaatar City Governor E.Bat-Uul
2. Deputy Head of Roads, Transportation and Infrastructure of the Ulaanbaatar Governor N.Gantumur
3. Deputy Head of Employment and Social Protection of the Ulaanbaatar Governor Ts.Buyandalai
4. Deputy Head of Ecology and Green Development of the Ulaanbaatar Governor T.Bat-Erdene
5. Deputy Head of Urban Development and Investment of the Ulaanbaatar Governor S.Ochirbat
6. Deputy Head of Social Development of the Ulaanbaatar Governor Ts.Enkhgerel
7. Director of the State Housing Corporation A.Gantulga
8. Deputy Head of Trade and Development Bank D.Khurelbaatar
9. Head of Water Supply and Sewage of Ulaanbaatar S.Unen
10. Deputy Minister of Health and Interim Advisor of Ulaanbaatar Governor J.Amarsanaa
11. Governor of Sukhbaatar District D.Badarsan
12. Deputy Head of the Ulaanbaatar Heating Network Company and Executive Committee Member of Ger District Re-planning L.Naranbaatar
13. Head of the Ulaanbaatar City Investment Authority L.Narantuya
14. Governor of Bayangol District D.Orosoo
15. Head of the Public Transportation Corporation Ts.Odontungalag
16. Interim Advisor of Domestic Inspection of the Ulaanbaatar Governor Ts.Altantsetseg
17. Director of the National Auto Transportation Center T.Boldbaatar
18. Head of the Ulaanbaatar Incorporated Company D.Enkhsaikhan
19. General Director of APU Trading D.Enkkhsaikhan
20. Head of the Auto Trade Complex D.Baidrag
21. Head of Finance Department at APU Trading B.Tuvshin
22. Project Manager of the Urban Services and Ger Area Development Program and Manager of Khan Ger Resort L.Saintugs
23. Governor of Chingeltei District D.Ganbold
24. Deputy Governor of Songinokhairkahn District R.Dagva
25. Director of the National Park B.Saranchimeg
Source: http://mongolnews.mn/1cvm

State budget debate leaves Parliament desperate to find 40 billion MNT
November 6 (UB Post) The renewed 2015 state budget draft is facing many issues, despite only having ten days until the time limit for passing next year’s budget. The State Budget Standing Committee ended their second meeting on Tuesday.
Revenue of 7.2 trillion MNT and expenditures of 7.6 trillion MNT were estimated for next year’s balanced budget report. A deficit of some 490 billion MNT was approved, as equivalent to two percent of the GDP. The economic climate has changed drastically within the past year and the state budget hasn’t yet reached its estimated balance.
The government made amendments to the framework of the 2015 state budget report and state budget perspective for 2016-2017, and came up with methods for reducing the gap between revenue and expenditures in the newly submitted draft, which were ultimately rejected.
The parliament demanded that the government find ways to raise 40 billion MNT for tallying budget revenue in next year’s budget report.
The Vice Minister of Finance, S.Purev, explained the ministry’s position regarding the state budget, which is being discussed without the Minister of Finance, stating that the ministry “tightened its belt” as much as it could. A working group of the Economic Standing Committee proposed increasing funds for mining, energy and the portfolio of the Minister of Finance by specific amounts. Some members opposed, saying that the ministry’s belt has actually been loosened. The working group suggested some amendments, since it’s impossible to change the budget report in order to conform to the budget draft.
MP and Minister for Mining D.Gankhuyag asked, “The parliament gave the government rights to issue a five billion MNT bond. The other side isn’t increasing its debt or renewing the Fiscal Stability Law. Bond debt can’t be issued as expenditure because it was announced that changes to the law can’t be made. Wouldn’t this create conflict? Next year, how many jobs will become available?”
Vice Minister of Finance S.Purev answered that jobs will grow by 2,200, as several schools and kindergartens will become operational in 2015.
MP S.Byambatsogt inquired, “Remaining bond interest payments will be paid starting in 2017; 703 billion MNT must be paid in interest next year. What kind of savings will be established for this? Is it consistent with the law to discuss a state budget that isn’t consistent with its budget report or perspectives?”
General Auditor of the Mongolian National Audit Office (MNAO) A. Zangad replied that the MNAO reviewed the budget draft, reported conclusions and provided recommendations. The conclusion, sent to the parliament, mentioned violations against the law on fiscal stability and the 2015 state budget report. He then informed that the government didn’t fix their error when they resubmitted the state budget draft. According A. Zangad, it’s possible to correct this error during meetings.
Vice Minister S.Purev added, “Bond debt was issued as expenditure in next year’s budget. This made GDP loss seem as if it had reached seven percent so the parliament rejected. This was included in related laws, but to do this, it’s necessary to make changes to the Fiscal Stability Law. Five hundred billion USD has to be paid for bond debt in 2018. Eight percent of this amount, equivalent to 56.4 million USD, will come from the state budget and the remainder will be provided with funds from projects that were funded by the Development Bank on repayment terms.”
On the other hand, MP S.Demberel commented that opportunities for earning revenue were well mobilized and it would be difficult to raise an extra 40 billion MNT. He warned about the potential risk of revenue shortfall if this situation continues, and claimed the economy would improve if the state budget isn’t approved with deficits.
“The Minister of Finance aims to approve balanced budgets. This way, savings will be created. We cut back on enduring costs when developing the draft. On top of savings, recurrent cost was increased by some 900 billion MNT. Sixty percent of this amount will be allotted to salaries,” said S.Purev.
MP L.Enkh-Amgalan strictly questioned, “The state budget is designed to overcome an economic crisis with little loss. Has this objective been fulfilled, or was it pushed onto the parliament to resolve? Can’t the 30 percent of recurrent cost used for the government’s Special Fund be reduced? There were 20 organizations that increased their expenditure, determined in the 2014 state budget, by 76 billion MNT. What’s the reason for this? Isn’t this a corrupted budget? [In the draft] it says 210 billion MNT will be raised from monitoring and penalties. When it’s been said that monitoring will be reduced to lessen burden on businesses, do you think this is possible?”
S.Purev said the previous draft wasn’t accurate and had to be reapproved. He explained that budget expenditure was increased because some projects weren’t included. According to MP A.Zangad an audit is being conducted, especially on operations of the government’s Special Fund, and in total, six funds were reviewed this year. She claimed a similar number of audits will be conducted next year.
MP Ts.Nyamdorj suggested some ways to cut down on budget costs: eliminate the ineffective Local Development Fund, which isn’t monitored; reduce the number of members of the extremely large Judicial General Council of Mongolia; and liquidate Erdenes Mongol LLC, state-owned Mon Atom LLC and Takhar Authority. Later, a vote was organized. The majority of members supported suggestions to match budget revenue to next year’s budget report by increasing it by 40 billion MNT, recalculate actual economic growth and expenditure estimates, and lastly, boost the portfolio of the Minister of Finance by 980 million MNT.
Source: mongolnews.mn/1cvn

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