Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mongolia Brief February 3, 2015 Part III



"New Ulaanbaatar International Airport" meets lack of funds
By B. Erdenechimeg
February 3 (gogo.mn) New Ulaanbaatar International Airport construction project funds of soft loan issued in 2008 is to finish in July. Thus, to ensure the normal construction work flow, additional loan issue needs to be resolved urgently.

The Government agreed on the principles of project "Additional loan agreement on constructing the New Ulaanbaatar International Airport" and that will be signed between the Government of Mongolia and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The State Great Khural is planned to discuss on the agreement with related standing committees. 
The soft-loan agreement of ¥2.8 billion will be paid back within the next 40 years by the Government of Mongolia, for which it has annual 0.2% interest was approved by the State Great Khural in May, 2008. 
In March 2013, during the visit of the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe to Mongolia, it was agreed between two Governments to start its construction. 
It is arranged that the new funds will be equivalent to the previous loan terms and will be funded with soft loan source. 
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Standing committee on state structure meets
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, February 3 (MONTSAME) At its meeting on Tuesday, the parliamentary Standing committee on state structure discussed several issues.
First, the Standing committee considered a matter of amending a composition of the Sub-committee on local governance, and then majority of the members backed a proposal from the Democratic Party’s (DP) proposal on joining N.Batbayar and S.Bayartsogt MPs to the Sub-committee.
After this, the Standing committee discussed a matter of selecting heads of the Sub-committees. There were no questions and proposals from MPs, so the Standing committee’s members backed to select O.Sodbileg to become head of the Sub-committee on list of voters’ names and registration control; and N.Battsereg--head of the Sub-committee on local governance.
The same day, the Standing committee discussed a draft resolution on setting up a working group in responsible for drawing up a proposal to a draft amendment to the law on the Public Radio and Television, and then decided to establish the working group led by M.Batchimeg MP. This working group will include N.Batbayar, S.Batbold, O.Sodbileg and G.Uyanga MPs.
A draft resolution of parliament on agendas to be discussed at the spring session of parliament was discussed at the Standing committee meeting. The Standing committee head A.Bakei presented the draft resolution to the MPs.
The list of agendas has received 11 proposals from the President of Mongolia; 13--from the Standing committee on security and foreign policy; one--from the Standing committee on environment, food and agriculture; five--from the Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and science; six--from the Standing committee on state structure; eight--from the Standing committee on budget; seven--from the Standing committee on economy; six--from the Standing committee on justice; 35--from the DP faction; 12--from the faction of the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP); 25--from the faction of the “Justice” coalition; and some 60--from the cabinet. In addition, S.Oyun, D.Ganbat and Kh.Bolorchuluun MPs have submitted eight proposals to the agendas.
As of present, a total of 119 draft laws and resolutions have been submitted to parliament, and 68 drafts of them are being discussed. 

Minister of Finance to represent Government to CAREC
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, February 3 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Finance J.Erdenebat was officially appointed on Monday by the Cabinet to work on behalf of the Government of Mongolia to the CAREC (Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation).
The CAREC is operated by the member state ministers in charge of financial affairs. Mongolia was represented to the organization in 2012-2014 by the former Minister of Economic Development.
The CAREC was established in 1997 with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Mongolia joined this organization in 2002. The regional cooperation aims to promote the economic integration and economic growth and reduce poverty in the region, and aspires to realize regional projects according to the needs of the countries of the region in road and transport, trade, and energy spheres.

National Committee on Gender Equality renews composition
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, February 3 (MONTSAME) The renewed composition of the National Committee on Gender Equality was approved by the Cabinet on Monday. The committee now includes the Prime Minister as the chairman, the Minister of Population Development and Social Welfare as the deputy chairman, and other cabinet members, vice-ministers and state secretaries as its members.
This change was made due to the new composition and structure of the Government. The Government resolution outlines that a Secretary-General of the Committee will have a vacant post.

Discussion on pension reforms held
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, February 3 (MONTSAME) A discussion concerning reforms for the pension insurance was held Tuesday in the State House.
It brought together members of the parliamentary Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and science; S.Erdene MP, the Minister of Population Development and Social Insurance; department heads of the Ministry; related experts and officials from the World Bank (WB).
Head of the Standing committee on social policy, education, culture and science D.Battsogt made the opening remarks, saying that some 60% of the pensioners in Mongolia have been receiving the minimum size of pension. Moreover, 70-80% of the pensioners are in debt of the pension credit, therefore the livelihood of those pensioners tend to become worse, he stressed.
Regarding the issue of pension insurance reform, Battsogt underlined it is vital to intensify the a reform in the individual’s pension account, to estimate a proper ratio between the commission and pension, to upgrade a method of calculating pensions, to make capital of the pension fund transparent for the public, and to propagandize an importance of the voluntary insurance.
Mentioning that the legal documents on social insurance will be renovated in accordance with the governmental programme, the Minister of Social Welfare S.Erdene said the social insurance sector should be reformed in order to prevent a possible crisis in the social insurance because a deficit of the pension insurance fund is expected to reach 4-5% of the GDP by 2030.
A department head of the Ministry L.Monkhzul delivered a report themed “Reasons and goals of reforming the pension insurance system in Mongolia”. Following it, an expert from the WB Permanent Representative Office Ch.Tungalag shared experiences of other countries on the pension reform issues.
The participants exchanged views on the matter. Then parliamentarians Z.Bayanselenge, S.Ganbaatar and O.Baasankhuu expressed their positions and touched upon the relevant issues.

Bank of Mongolia Releases Main Indicators for Preliminary Balance of Payments for 12 Months of 2014
February 3 (infomongolia.com) On February 03, 2015, the Bank of Mongolia released the main indicators for Preliminary Balance of Payments for 12 months of 2014.
Current account deficit stands at 985.0 million USD, which is decrease of 69 percent from the previous year. This is due to 2,322.7 million USD or 176 percent decrease in deficit of trade in goods, thus showed surplus of 1,002.0 million USD.
Even though capital and financial accounts showed surplus of 813.1 million USD, this is a decrease of 43 percent or 625.0 million USD from 2013. This was caused mainly by reduction of 74 percent of foreign direct investment to Mongolia which equals to 1,556.3 million USD.
While, portfolio investment showed surplus due to Samurai bond, decline in deficit of other investment was triggered by swap agreement between Bank of Mongolia and People’s Bank of China, external borrowings of Development Bank of Mongolia and higher enterprises’ trade credit assets.
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Bandy team competing in World Championships
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, February 3 (MONTSAME) The national team of Mongolia for bandy is competing in the B division of the 35th Bandy World Championship kicked off on February 1 in Khabarovsk, Russia.
Seeded in the B Group with teams of the Netherlands, Germany, China and Somalia, the Mongolian team defeated China and Somalia on the first day of the tournament. Currently, the Mongolian team has collected four points with two wins and one lose to Germany. By the schedule, Mongolia will play against the Netherlands on Tuesday.
As of present, the Netherlands’ team is topping the B Group at the B Division with six points, and the Mongolian and German teams are being listed on the second place with four points.
The national teams of Belarus, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA are competing in the A division of the Bandy World Championships.
The championships will continue until February 6.   
Link to article

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