Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mongolia Brief January 23, 2015



Draft resolution submitted on establishing diplomatic relations
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav Friday submitted to the parliament Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft resolution on establishing diplomatic relations with some countries.

As known, in December 30 of 2010 Mongolia set a goal to establish such ties with 45 countries through its diplomatic missions abroad. This has been realized in accordance with a goal to have diplomatic relations with all UN members, in frames of the Concepts on national security and on foreign policy and of the 2012-2016 action programme of the government. For the time being, this relationship has been created with 24 out of these 45 states.
Since the government has been obliged by the parliamentary Standing committee on security and foreign policy to continue establishing the ties, an initiative has been approved to have such relations with Uganda, Rwanda, Micronesia, Haiti, Kiribati, Chad and Mauritius through our Embassy in China and Permanent Representative Office to the UN. Joint official notes have been signed as well. 

Ambassador of Mongolia to Principality of Andorra Presents His Credentials to Co-Prince of Andorra Francois Hollande
January 23 (infomongolia.com) A non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Principality of Andorra Mr. Mundagbaatar BATSAIKHAN presented a Letter of Credence to the current President of France and concurrent Co-Prince of Andorra Francois Hollande on January 13, 2015.
At the ceremony, Ambassador M.Batsaikhan conveyed greetings from the state head of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj to the Co-Prince of Andorra and expressed Mongolia’s interest to develop bilateral relations in all appropriate sectors with recently established a diplomatic relation - Andorra.
Ambassador of Mongolia to the Principality of Andorra M.Batsaikhan had also presented a Letter of Credence to the Archbishop of Urgell and Co-Prince of Andorra, Joan Enric Vives i Sicilia in the Episcopal Palace on October 16, 2014.
Mongolia established the diplomatic relations with Principality of Andorra in New York City on November 21, 2011.
However, Andorra’s population is over 85,000 people, but receives over 8 million visitors a year, the state with a tourism-driven economy and free trade zones.
Related:

Bill submitted on joining Antarctic Treaty
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav Friday submitted to parliament a draft law on joining the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS).
Mongolia started sending its experts to Russian, Bulgarian, Spanish, Chilean and Argentinian international research teams on Antarctica in 1972-1974. By this our researchers have contributed to scientific works on global climate change, weather forecast preparation, and sea water and minerals researches.
The ATS regulates international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. The treaty, entering into force in 1961 and as of 2012 having 50 parties, sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on that continent.
The main treaty was opened for signature on December 1 of 1959, and officially entered into force on June 23 of 1961. The original signatories were the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58. The twelve countries had significant interests in Antarctica at the time: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries had established over 50 Antarctic stations for the IGY. The treaty was a diplomatic expression of the operational and scientific cooperation that had been achieved "on the ice".
As of 2014, there are 50 states party to the treaty, 29 of which, including all 12 original signatories to the treaty, have consultative (voting) status. Consultative members include the seven nations that claim portions of Antarctica as national territory. The 43 non-claimant nations either do not recognize the claims of others, or have not stated their positions. 

Some statistics about immigrant workers in Mongolia
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) As of December, 2014, a number of foreign nationals working in Mongolia was recorded to be at eight thousand people from 87 countries. It showed a 892 people and 14 countries decrease against the previous year.
Among the workers with labour agreements, 34.6 percent were from China, 22.9 percent--from North Korea, 7.4 percent--from Russia, 6.4 percent--from South Korea, 5.7 percent--from Vietnam, 4.0 percent--from the USA, and 19.0 percent--from other countries.
Compared to the previous year, a number of workers from Vietnam decreased by 16.9 percent, from the DPRK--14.0 percent, from Russia--11.8 percent, from the USA--10.2 percent, from S.Korea--6.9 percent, and from China--by 3.0 percent.
Some 1730 immigrant workers, or 21.6 percent, were working in construction, 1,624 people,or 20.4 percent--in extractive industries, 1,118 people or 14.0 percent--in processing industries, 1,056 people or 13.2 percent--in wholesale and retail markets and in auto-maintenance, 908 people or 11.4 percent --in educational spheres, 477 or 6.0 percent--in transportation and storage activities, and 1,064 people, or 13.4 percent, were engaged in other fields of activities.

Ulaanbaatar Winter Festival to be organized
January 23 (news.mn) The Ulaanbaatar Winter Festival is going to be held on the 1st of February. The second annual festival is going to be organized at the Tuul River.   
The festival will host competitions in figure skating, ice skating, ice anklebone throwing, archery, and will be open to professionals and amateurs. Winter bicycle competitions, cultural performances, a winter clothing fashion show, traditional games, an exhibition of souvenirs, and hot dishes will be available to festival goers.  
The Tourism Agency of Ulaanbaatar reports that within the Friendly Ulaanbaatar program, foreign tourists who are participating in the festival  will be able to be placed in 4 and 5 star hotels at discounts of up to 50 percent off.  
Related:

Majority of MPs supported eliminating Deputy Ministers
By E. Enkhmaa
January 23 (gogo.mn) Second discussion on the Budget Adjustment for 2015 took place at the Plenary session and due to the differences voting has been conducted on suggestions submitted by the Standing Committee.
MPs B.Bolor, Head of the Budget Standing Committee, S.Ganbaatar, L.Erdenechimeg and B.Choijilsuren suggested start downsizing with positions of Deputy Ministers, where majority of the Standing Committee members haven't supported.
During the Plenary session the voting was conducted among the MPs and 24 members our of 47 supported the elimination of the Deputy Minister positions. There were MPs to remind to make amendments to the laws that regulate the issue of the ministerial positions.
PM Ch.Saikhanbileg on the contrary was on the defensive side citing to the number as the total cost for Deputy Ministers is MNT 300 million, whereas the amount of work done by the Deputy Ministers is far more valuable than the cost. Anyhow, the issues are to pass the third discussion.
Budget Adjustment draft has been transferred to Standing Committee for preparations for the third discussion.

95.76% of Baganuur District Residents Agree to Change Their District Status into City Of Mongolia
January 23 (infomongolia.com) It was yesterday reported that the two-day voting to change status of Baganuur District of Ulaanbaatar into a city-level was ongoing and official results was released on January 23, 2015.
At the voting a total of eligible 16,260 citizens were registered, whereas 77.85% or 12,659 residents have participated, of which 95.76% or 12,094 residents have agreed to change the status of Baganuur District into a city of Mongolia.
Accordingly, the Baganuur District residents’ request along with a Nalaikh District poll summary, which also voted to change its status into a city, will be discussed at the District Citizens’ Representatives Khural (District Council), City Council, and then considered at the Cabinet meeting and submit to the Parliament.
The initiation to develop the new city was included in the Ulaanbaatar City Development General Plan until 2020 as well as in the Document of Development Trend until 2030 and in the Mayor’s Action Plan for 2013-2016.
Under the Plan, it anticipates to develop the Baganuur as a hub city of coal mining, energy, coal processing, nano-technology, construction materials, light and food industry, health care, transportation and logistics with a population of 60,000 by 2030.
Related:

Participants of Dakar 2015 to land tomorrow
By R. Adiyasuren
January 23 (gogo.mn) Dakar 2015 Mongolian participants are to land in Mongolia tomorrow January 24th.
This year Mongolian team participated in various races including motorcycle category represented by D.Boldbaatar, International Sports Master and Ch.Anar, car race was represented by N.Lkhamaa, International Sports Master, U.Byambadelger and B.Surendorj and B.Byambatsogt and D.Jargalsaikhan acted as coordinators for the Hungarian team.
Total of 420 vehicles registered at Dakar 2015 216 managed to cross the finish after 13 days of harsh races.

Former Teammate of Kobe to join Mongolian Basketball team
By B. Ireedui
January 23 (gogo.mn) Mongolian Basketball National Super League second round games have started and continued with fierce games.
The game series coincide with the addition of one more NBA players to the Mongolian team.
Former Point-Guard at Los Angeles Lakers and former teammate of Kobe Bryant is to join one of the Mongolian Basketball teams soon.
Mongolian National Basketball Association is keeping it secret on which team Parker to join.
Smush Parker played at Los Angeles Lakers in 2005-2007, Miami Heat in 2007-2008 and at Los Angeles Clippers in 2008.

MP R.Amarjargal sends inquiry to PM Ch.Saikhanbileg
By E. Orgil
January 23 (gogo.mn) MP R.Amarjargal sends an official inquiry to PM Ch.Saikhanbileg
Concession Agreement is one of the important developments Government of Mongolia has started implementing in past two years in order to decrease the state burden, support the private sectors and advance the public and private partnership. Government for Reform had established Concession Department under Ministry of Economic Development to advance the state services to the public in regards with the infrastructure and basic public services and approved the list of the projects and secured the concession agreements on crucial projects.
In the scope of the above and in accordance with laws MP R.Amarjargal is inquiring PM Ch.Saikhanbileg on the following issues:
·         Report on Concession Law implementation, how many concess agreements were signed in what sectors and their implementation progress and outcomes,
·         Detailed report on Altanbulag-Ulaanbaatar- Zamiin-Uud highway, Fifth Heating Power Plant project and Road Construction Project to connect Ulaanbaatar with aimag centers concession agreement implementation and progress.
·         Reports are required to be in a written form and be introduced at the Plenary Session of Parliament according to the State Great Khural law regulations.

Only 8% of total energy demand is supplied by renewable sources
By B. Erdenechimeg
(gogo.mn) (Ulaanbaatar) Jan 23, today Renewable Energy Forum is holding its 4th conference co-organized by Ministry of Energy and Mongolian Wind Energy Association.
Minister of Energy and MP D.Zorigt opened the forum with his speech, followed by the speech on Renewable Energy Sustainable Development and Future by MP S.Oyun, President of UN Environment Assembly.
As of today Mongolia only supplies 8 percent of the total energy demand with renewable sources, while Mongolia has high potential on utilizing the power plants based on renewable sources such as sun, wind and water.
MP S.Oyun emphasized on reduced costs over the last 10 years as the interest in renewable energy sources have increased tremendously.
Next speech was given by P.Tovuudorj, Head of the Strategic Policy Planning Department at Ministry of Energy on amendment draft on the Renewable Law, to be discussed at the Plenary session this spring.

Commencement date for Coal Mongolia set
January 23 (news.mn) The international Coal Mongolia conference, which is organized each year to increase the competitive capacity of the nation's coal sector, is scheduled to be held from April 9-10, 2015.  
The following issues will be discussed at the conference:
·         Future prospects of the coal sector
·         Investment in the coal sector
·         Infrastructure
·         Legal environment
·         Advanced techniques and technology
The 5th Coal Mongolia conference will be aimed at attracting investment for projects implemented in coal exploration, mining, and processing. 
This year's conference will mark the 5th year anniversary of Mongolia's issuing an IPO on the international market.  
The organizers say they have taken all measures to prepare the conference with the support of the Government of Mongolia at a very high level. 

The economy is slowing, choose your camp: borrow more or tighten belts
By B. Bayartogtokh
January 23 (Mongolian Economy) Minister of Finance J.Erdenbat said the sovereign debt of Mongolia stands at 58.3 percent of GDP. The ‘Solution’ government to which he belongs, has proposed to parliament to increase the debt limit to 70 percent of GDP. The proposal would likewise amend the Fiscal Stability Law with an increase in external debt. Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg characterised the proposal as necessary in the short-term to avoid a balance of payment crisis.
The proposal to increase debt and amend the law has not moved beyond debate. The Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) is against the proposal, as it rather looks to lower the current level of debt representation in GDP. The disagreement incited many independent members of parliament to join their voices with the MPP. Meanwhile, the value of Mongolia’s sovereign debt rises to MNT 13.9 trillion, as of today.
Mongolia’s economic recovery remains elusive. The divide in parliament shows that there is no clear path forward. Formerly high GDP growth slowed in 2013 and 2014, while the expired debt pile has continued to grow rapidly. According to information from the National Statistics Office, expired debt reached MNT 269.5 billion at the end of December last year, an increase of MNT 151.1 billion, or 2.3 times compared to the previous year.
While the debate goes on over the country’s debt, the USD to MNT exchange rate has bounded to MNT 1,936, and the internal economy slips further toward a crisis. In response, this week the monetary policy committee of the Bank of Mongolia increased the interest rate by a digit to 13 percent.
As part of the general debate, Mongol Bank’s Financial Stability Committee presented its ‘Proposal for change in the cumulative macro-economic policy’ to the government. There is hope for stable economic growth if the Solution majority can runs this proposal successfully. Speaking in support, the Director General of the Bank of Mongolia N.Zoljargal stated the importance of increasing the inflow of foreign currency in 2015 to prevent the contraction of the economy, to reduce pressure and weight on the private sector, to protect jobs, and to develop sustainably the economy in the medium- and long-term.
The Mongolian economy is too dependent on the mining sector, which is far from the economic contributor it used to be. For a long time, the mining sector accounted for 90 percent of the inflow of external capital. Over the past three years, the lack of inflow in foreign currencies retracted to the equivalent of 72 percent of GDP, creating the current difficulty of the economy and reducing the MNT by 25 percent. FDI fell USD 6.8 billion from 2014 to 2014, returning figures to the crisis year of 2008. The current level of investment has retracted to USD 845 million.
Mongolia must choose between expanding and narrowing the economy. The Solution government looks to solve the problem today by borrowing from the country’s future based on estimated future income. Although any increased capital inflow in the short-term would turn present difficulties into development, this can occur presently only through either attracted FDI inflow or an increase in the level of debt. For Mongolia, as the possibility of FDI inflow remains uncertain, the immediate solution seems to be to increase external debt to avoid trouble.
Debt will continue to be a problem until the Oyu Tolgoi project (which can produce one third of GDP) is pushed forward by the government. With a USD 5 billion investment, Oyu Tolgoi would be the bridge between the debt of troubles today and economic recovery tomorrow.

Most Mongolians believe country headed in wrong direction
By A. Burenjargal
January 23 (Mongolian Economy) A new survey commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce in Mongolia, USAID, and the Business Plus Initiative, has concluded that there is an overall negative perception of the business environment in Mongolia. The survey posed questions to a sample of 1,500 adult Mongolian citizens in November 2014, on questions relating to Mongolia’s economy, business, foreign investment and politics. Nearly half those surveyed believe Mongolia is headed in the wrong direction, while two-thirds consider the business environment negatively.
While Mongolians welcome foreign businesses, and view the US as an important ally with great potential for commercial relations, citizens are significantly concerned about the state of the economy, unemployment, and corruption. Few see any improvement in the economy over the next six months, as instability, inflation, high fiscal deficits and high foreign debt remain the country’s main obstacles.
When asked about the “best economic partner for Mongolia,” citizens selected the US third after Russia and China. Mongolians also view the private sector as the most trusted institution, while the Prime Minister’s Office and Parliament are seen as the least trustworthy. Most agreed that moving the Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi megaprojects forward, easing constraints on foreign direct investment, and initiating regulatory modernisation would go a long way toward restoring the public’s confidence in the business environment and government. 

Bill submitted on rule of working out draft documents
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Justice D.Dorligjav Friday presented to the Speaker Z.Enkhbold a draft law on a rule of draft laws and resolutions development and submission. 
With 53 clauses in 11 articles, the draft has been worked out together with a consultative group from a project at the UNDP on supporting civil participation in legislative actions. They researched how Germany, S.Korea, Vietnam, Great Britain, Canada and Japan draw up laws and then worked out the final version of the bill.

Deputy PM meets Ambassador of Japan
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) The Deputy Prime Minister Mr U.Khurelsukh has awarded the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Mongolia Mr Shimizu Takenori the "Distinguished Figure of Emergency" title.
At their meeting on Friday the deputy PM said this is the recognition of his contribution the Ambassador made to the emergency sector of Mongolia. He also said our Government greatly appreciates and values the contribution of Japanese government's official aid for development to the contemporary development of Mongolia and the deepening of democracy and reforms. "Mongolia still needs this type of assistance for a certain period of time," he added.
In response, the Ambassador said the Embassy will pursue a settlement on whether the emergency projects such as “Combating Bird Flu” and “Improving the Fire Fighting Capacity of Ulaanbaatar” projects will be continued here. He invited Mr Khurelsukh to the Third World Conference on the UN Disaster Risk Reduction which is expected in Sendai of Japan on this March 14-18. Several years ago, Khurelsukh had participated in this conference when he had been the Minister of Emergency. 

Police head visits China
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) A delegation headed by R.Chingis, the head of the General Police Department (GPD), paid a visit to the People’s Republic of China January 19-23 by invitation of China’s Ministry of Social Security.
On January 19, the GPD head ran talks with Mr Chen Zhimin, the Deputy Minister of the Public Security. They noted that the cooperation between the law enforcement bodies has been actively developing in combating trans-boundary crimes and in ensuring a security and stability near borders.
They also expressed a mutual willingness to strengthen the collaboration in all levels and to keep a safe and stable environment for the bilateral commercial and economic cooperation.
By the visiting programme, the delegation has visited Guangzhou and Shenzhen cities.

Minister at National Forum on Renewable Energy
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) The Sixth annual National Forum on Renewable Energy is running at Corporate Hotel Friday. The Minister of Energy D.Zorigt said in his opening remarks that Mongolia has an abundant source of solar, wind and water energy, as well a possibility of giving an impetus to its energy sector development by a use of modern high tech solutions to process the renewable energy.
“Mongolia has achieved certain progress in exploiting the renewable energy use, having introduced this energy to almost every livestock herding family. We should focus on covering power shortcomings in Ulaanbaatar with a use of renewable energy to reduce the air pollution, and on keeping up with the global development and use of renewable energy by learning from our neighbor in the South," he said.
He expressed his belief that this forum will develop recommendations and comments on what to reflect in the State Policy for Energy. He recalled the President speaking from the panel of the North-East Asian Renewable Energy Conference last June, who emphasized the opportunity to process and export the renewable energy resources of Mongolia through promoting such initiatives as “Gobitech” and “Asian Super Network”. In a scope of these initiatives, Mongolia is forwarding the projects on water power stations of Eg and Shuren rivers. "We seek opportunity to cooperate with North-East Asian countries in the development of renewable energy projects,” said the Minister.
After the opening remarks, the MP and president of the First Session of the UN Environment Assembly Ms S.Oyun gave presentation themed “Sustainable Development and Future of Renewable Energy”. Then the participants discussed some ten presentations on “National programs on Renewable Energy and Observance of Regulations”, “Regulatory policy for renewable energy” and “Solutions for prices of renewable power provision”.

Standing committee does not back draft amendment
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) At a meeting of the parliamentary Standing committee on state structure Friday, a majority of the committee did not back clauses of a draft amendment to the law on government due to some different views of principle.
The draft amendment focuses on a matter on reducing vacancies of some Vice Ministers, it had been backed some MPs at a plenary meeting of the parliamentary session Thursday. A presentation of the draft amendment was made by A.Bakei, a head of this committee.
In connection with the draft amendment to the law on government, the Standing committee also discussed draft amendments to the laws on state service, on regulation of public and personal interests, on prevention of conflicts of interest, on sciences and technology, and on anti-corruption. Then it decided to run their first discussions.  

Minister M.Enkhsaikhan meets US Ambassador
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Mongolia M.Enkhsaikhan Friday met Ms Piper Anne Wind Campbell, the US Ambassador to Mongolia.
The Minister highlighted his duties and then discussed with the Ambassador a tender of selecting an investor for the Tavan tolgoi coal deposit and on negotiations.
Some US companies, who attended here tenders, have been disappointed with their results, then Ambassador said. To this, the Minister said Mongolia always will be open and thankful to the US investors and admitted that Mongolia made some mistakes due to a lack of experience in mega projects.
He added that Mongolia will maintain principles of international standards, transparency and justice when implementing projects. 

"Minerals sphere–2025" discussion to run
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Mining will organize the second session of the Minerals’ sphere-2025 public discussion on this February 11.
The “Mineral resources are our opportunity”-named action will be divided into four sub-discussions: “Minerals’ sphere impact on social and economic conditions of Mongolia”, “Relations with the localities”, “Major projects in geology, mining and oil sectors”, and “Competitiveness of the mining sector”.
Some 300 officials will attend the discussion from the Ministries, agencies and professional unions, and representatives of foreign and domestic companies, as well of the NGOs operating in the mining. 

Ts.Elbegdorj: Mongolia is an open country
January 23 (news.mn) The President of Mongolia, Ts.Elbegdorj, who is participating in the 45th World Economic Forum (WEF) currently being held in Davos, Switzerland, has participated in the World Water Programme conference. The President exchanged views with the world’s political leaders on strategic competition in a new global environment. 
President Ts.Elbegdorj answered questions from journalists about the meetings he has attended so far, issues which will be discussed in the upcoming "Meeting and Discussion of Mining and Metallurgical Policy” at the WEF, and on geopolitical and humanitarian issues. 
World leaders are agreed that economic stability is related to the issue of water resources. How about Mongolia? Did we make some progress on this issue and what have our mistakes been?
There are several issues in which Mongolia is participating in Davos forums.  The main issues are the mining sector, issues regarding infrastructure, governance, corruption, and one of most important issues is the water issue. Water is a very important issue for Mongolia.  Today, participants encouraged and promoted my presentation and views presented at the forum. In Mongolia, economic development is concerned to the mining sector. The state will impose high taxes if mining companies use groundwater and soil water. Instead, there are some methods which allow using reserved water from rain and snow. In addition, there is wastewater from settlement areas. We should promote and encourage companies which are using reserved water. We need to take new measures and steps on this.    
Among issues discussed at Davos, one of the most important issues is mining and the economy of China. You have just participated in the mining meeting. Could you share with us the important issues discussed at this meeting?
The Davos economic forum is the center of attention in the international arena this week. Each year, the forum is opened by an honored person. This year, the forum was opened by Prime Minister of China, Li Keqiang. This proves that the Chinese economy is reliant on the world's economic growth and slowdowns. 
Mongolia is a very close neighbor country to China and a country that has a close economic relationship with China. Thus, the influence of China on the Mongolian economy is very high.
The main issues which we should put attention on in the first stage are issues we discussed during last year’s presidential visit. In particular, we should realize infrastructure investment. If investment in the mining sector is decreasing, or prices for strategically important natural resources are decreasing, we should realize and implement issues concerned with infrastructure, such as building new power stations and railway. On the other hand, besides the mining sector, what are the sectors which will positively influence the economy and which require investments?  In the case of Mongolia, it is the agricultural sector. We need to invest in  the processing and manufacturing efforts of the agricultural sector. In good news, during the last 20 years, and in 2014, plenty of manufacturing and small and medium factories have been launched.  
Importing from abroad is quite expensive, so we need to begin produce domestically.
We need to change policy this way, and take transitional steps. It is very important to pay attention to the issue of making decisions. We should not fail now, if we failed before.
Moreover, it is important not to change commitments and always realize commitments. In addition, we shouldn’t hurt the business environment by making the wrong decisions.
We are an open country, so there are many issues which should be corrected in the state's policy.

Mongolia is not that weak to rob mothers and children
By B. Ireedui
(gogo.mn) (Ulaanbaatar) Jan 23, former PM N.Altankhuyag returned from his sick leave and is attending the plenary sessions at State Great Khural.
At today's State Organization Standing committee session he criticized his successor Ch.Saikhanbileg.
He criticised Ch.Altankhuyag on proposing the cuts on mother and children allowances saying that Mongolia is not weak yet to rob mothers and children and said to stop this populistic approach. Moreover, he went on delayed Budget approvals until late January.
Also he criticized downsizing the number of advisers to the Prime Minister saying that Mongolian Prime Ministers always had seven advisers and suggested to even start talking about cuts on number of ministers, which are 17.

Ministry of Defense to do domestic procurement
By O. Ariunbileg
(gogo.mn) (Ulaanbaatar) Jan 23, Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat and Minister of Defense Ts.Tsolmon have signed an MOU today.
Main focus of the MOU is to do the procurements for the defense forces to be done from the domestic suppliers in the scope of the Government of Mongolia 2012-2016 Program to support domestic manufacture sector.
Minister of Denfense Ts.Tsolmon:
Industrial products are a crucial part of the defense forces in every country and the notion of the defense industry is important. Moreover it is important to include private sectors as well. We have just signed an MOU with Ministry of Industry to support the domestic manufacture. This MOU is the beginning in the effort to support domestic manufactures and give them advantage. In this regard, private sector and domestic manufactures also required to express their initiatives, which will lead to the real outcomes.
Minister of Industry D.Erdenebat:
Domestic manufacture is advancing compared to few years before and are offering variety of products to the market. Defense sector procures over 600 variety of products manufactured by around 60 domestic manufactures. We provision potential to increase the product variety by 500 involving 55 more domestic manufactures. This is an opportunity to advance domestic manufacture and industry in terms of capacities and adherence to the international standards to replace the imports.
CEO of Khos Az LLC (shoes and purse manufacturer) N.Zorigt, representing domestic manufactures:
Although current economic situation is not very favorable for the manufactures, we are keeping our normal operations. We provide 60-80 people with jobs and our company is 100 percent domestic funded.  We are in the process of developing our half-automated manufacture, which is to introduce latest technological advances and produce more varieties of products. Today's MOU signing is a great opportunity for the domestic manufacturers.
Textile Manufacture Association representative:
There is demand from the defense forces and on the other hand there are potential suppliers domestically with 100 percent capacities fulfill that demand. Currently we are employing only half of our potentials. This MOU is the starter for domestic manufactures to start full production.
This is one of the good example initiatives done at the Government level to support domestic markets and manufacturers in this time of economic downturn.

In Japan consumers become suppliers
By B. Erdenechimeg
(gogo.mn) (Ulaanbaatar) Jan 23, National Renewable Energy Forum is taking place right now and the speakers are delivering interesting information regarding the utilization of this green initiative. Mongolians have become familiar with the notion of renewable energy and its resources such as sun, wind and water.
Unfortunately, Mongolia is just doing the baby steps regarding the renewable energy sector. Last year Salkhit Wind Farm commenced its operations with capacity of 50MW with investments of MNY 170 billion. Other than this no more significant initiatives have been recorded lately.
Whereas, in the countryside herders have been using renewable energy sources in their everyday life. 100,000 solar light project have implemented successfully and as a result residents in countryside are using small and medium sized solar panels.

This practice needs to be utilized in the city environment as well as the renewal energy generation is considered as green solution and economically feasible.
For instance, Japan experience shows that consumers are as well the suppliers of the energy. In other words, consumer with private renewable energy source is able to supply the excess energy to the central grid, in turn the consumer get deductions of the consumed energy.
This and other good practices are being introduced and discussed during the forum.

Construction Minister D.Tsogtbaatar Welcomes Turkish Side to Contribute in Development of Mongolia’s Construction Industry
January 23 (infomongolia.com) On January 23, 2015, Minister for Construction and Urban Development of Mongolia Mr. Damdin TSOGTBAATAR received in his office the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Turkey to Mongolia, Mr. Murat Karagoz.
At the beginning of meeting, Ambassador M.Karagoz congratulated the newly appointed Minister and expressed his readiness to share Turkish experience and practices in construction sector, in particular, in the urban re-development projects and programs to implement in Mongolia.
In response, Minister D.Tsogtbaatar mentioned the Turkish side can participate as an important contributor in the development of Mongolia’s construction industry, especially, in the real estate sector.
Today, Mongolian and Turkish entities have been implementing a “Tumen Amgalan” project to construct 3,400 units of apartments under Turkish architectural design in Amgalan area of Bayanzurkh District, UB.

M.Enkhsaikhan Receives Ambassador of Germany
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) The Minister of Mongolia M.Enkhsaikhan Friday met Mr Gerhard Thiedemann, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Mongolia.
At the meeting, the Ambassador said although the Mongolia-Germany ties have been boosting at the political sphere, the bilateral economic ties are still low, and emphasized the FRG Foreign Minister visited Mongolia last year with a big delegation of businessmen, which means Germany wants to boost the economic relations with Mongolia.
“German companies are considering to make investments to the Oyu Tolgoi project together. The OT project is definitely big project at a world level. It is vital for Mongolia to make this project successful,” Mr Thiedemann said.
In response, the Minister said he is confident that the bilateral economic cooperation will expand, and underlined an importance to do many works for the economic ties. Mr Enkhsaikhan said he will do all his best for this, and added it is important to tackle the OT project matter.

Stock Exchange News for January 23
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades on Friday, a total of four million 325 thousand and 688 units of 13 JSCs were traded costing MNT 555 million 168 thousand and 052.
"Khokh gan” /four million 225 thousand and 235 units/, “Genco tour bureau” /41 thousand and 296 units/, “Remikon” /31 thousand and 366 units/, “State Department Store” /20 thousand and 266 units/ and "Sharyn gol” /5,379 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Khokh gan” (MNT 485 million 243 thousand and 305), "Sharyn gol” (MNT 31 million 516 thousand and 600), “State Department Store” (MNT 11 million 720 thousand and 942), “Material impex” (MNT six million and 583 thousand) and "UB-BUK” (MNT five million 465 thousand and 200).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 395 billion 439 million 945 thousand and 378. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,420.73, increasing 31.46 units or 0.22% against the previous day.

Stock Exchange Weekly Review
By B. Khuder
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) Five stock trades were held at Mongolia's Stock Exchange January 19-23 of 2015. In overall, four million 455 thousand and 581 units of 36 JSCs were traded costing MNT 964 million 435 thousand and 680.
"Khokh gan” /four million 314 thousand and 208 units/, “Genco tour bureau” /41 thousand and 916 units/, “Remikon” /39 thousand and 062 units/, “State Department Store” /24 thousand and 260 units/ and "Binse HK” /11 thousand and 885 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value were "Khokh gan” (MNT 493 million and 713 thousand), "Sharyn gol” (MNT 31 million and 911 thousand), “State Department Store” (MNT 13 million 956 thousand and 462), “Binse HK” (MNT nine million 389 thousand and 150) and "Material impex” (MNT seven million and 750 thousand).
The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 395 billion 439 million 945 thousand and 378. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 14,420.73, decreasing 187.52 units or 1.28% against the previous day.

Statistics about People with Disabilities
By B. Amarsaikhan
Ulaanbaatar, January 23 (MONTSAME) A number of disabled people in Mongolia was recorded at 99.6 thousand in December of 2014, which shows an increase of 3248 people of 3.4 percent against the same period of the previous year.
Women make up 45 percent of total people with disabilities. Some 35 percent of them have a birth imparities, and 65 percent have acquired imparities, which consists of people with ordinary diseases (71.0 percent), with occupational illness (10.6 percent), with injuries caused by car accidents (3.9 percent), with injuries caused by domestic accidents (11.2 percent), and with injuries caused by industrial accidents (3.3 percent).
Among the total disabled citizens, 9.7 thousand people have visual imparities, 5.3 thousand people have oral imparities, 8.3 thousand have hearing disabilities, 18.4 thousand have locomotive imparities, 17.0 thousand people have mental illnesses, 10.1 thousand people have multiple imparities, and 30.8 thousand people have other types of disabilities.
As of December, 2014, a number of disabled children totaled to 11.4 thousand, which indicates an increase of 496 children or 4.6 percent against the previous year. Out of the total children with disabilities, 67.1 percent have birth defects.

Additives in yogurts cause quality degradation
By A. Narantsatsral
January 23 (gogo.mn) Dairy products are believed to be good for health. But this is true only if consumed in its original state without any additives.
According to B.Tseren, Head of the Dairy Product Consumer NGO the quality of the dairy products can be easily spoilt with additives that dairy producers use in their products, which in turn has negative effects on human body.
Mongolian producers use additives coded E, while there are no standards that allow to use in yogurts. 
Additives Е440, Е331, Е451, Е1442 have negative effect on human body by slowing the digestion and metabolism and can trigger allergic reactions.
According to B.Tseren, Head of the Dairy Product Consumer NGO caramel, sugar, iron oxide and fat oxides are allowed to be added to yogurts.
Moreover, he explained that yogurt is supposed to act as oxidizer, good bacteria should stay in stomach and act as anti-oxidant and additives can reduce those qualities.
The issue was raised at the State Inspection Authority and the NGO sent an inquiry to the Deputy Head Mr M.Baasandorj. In return the State Inspection Authority stated that there are no capacities to run tests on those additives and there are no proven results.
B.Tseren also mentioned that there are no regulations and standards on use of those additives in Mongolia.

Hakuho breaks sumo record for most career titles
By M. Zoljargal
January 26 (UB Post) Mongolian Sumo Grand Champion, Yokozuna Hakuho, finished the Hatsu Basho (January tournament) with a perfect score of 15 victories on Sunday, winning his 33rd Emperor’s Cup, which broke the record for most tournaments won set more than 40 years ago.
He secured the tournament title two days prior to the end of the basho on the 13th day. He was the only unbeaten competitor in the tournament.
In the last basho of 2014, Hakuho equaled legendary Yokozuna Taiho’s record, who is believed to be the greatest Yokozuna of the post-war era in Japan. Taiho who won 32 Emperor Cups.
Taiho’s record was not beaten for 44 years.
Final day results of Mongolian sumo wrestlers
On the final day of the basho, Hakuho M.Davaajargal won a bout against Yokozuna Kakuryu M.Anand of Mongolia with the yorikiri technique, by driving his opponent out backwards while maintaining a constant grip on his mawashi. Kakuryu finished the tournament with ten wins and five losses.
Yokozuna Harumafuji D.Byambadorj’s final day opponent was Ozeki Kisenosato, which Harumafuji won by pushing Kisenosato out of the ring. Kisenosato finished the basho with 11 wins, same as Harumafuji.
The following are the final day results of Mongolian sumo wrestlers who fought in the Makuuchi Division at the Hatsu Basho.
Sekiwake Ichinojo A.Ichinnorov 6-9
Terunofuji G.Gan-Erdene 8-7
Kyokutenho N.Tsevegnyam 5-10
Tamawashi B.Munkh-Orgil 10-5
Kyokushuho T.Erdenebaatar 8-7
Arawashi E.Dulguun 7-8
Tokitenku A.Huchitbaatar 9-6
Related:

"TALK WIITH ME" - Doug McGay
January 23 (gogo.mn) "Talk with me" is the Star TV Mongolia’s new series about life in Mongolia interviewed by Allyson Seaborn, Australian journalist and lawyer.
Presented in English for overseas viewers and for English speakers living in Mongolia.
We are glad to deliver the next episodes. The guest is Dough Mcgay, Australian surveyor.
He first came to Mongolia in 1997. Currently he resides permanently in Mongolia. He spent his 17 years for founding and funding in Mongolian natural resource sectors. Moreover, he was country manager for Ivanhoe Mines the time of the Oyutolgoi discovery. He was co-founder and executive director of the Mongolian Mineral`s Development Foundation and founder and former CEO of Petro Matad, the first Mongolian company to be listed on an International Stock Exchange. Today, Dough Mcgay working as resource consultant in Ulaanbaatar.
Please enjoy the interview and stay tuned as more episodes are coming soon.

ROKIT BAY: I`m a bad guy who don`t want to do a bad things
By G. Odgarav
January 24 (gogo.mn) He seems to fully put himself into artwork and dedicated to innovation. Even though, he is not promoting himself much by media, his first featured song named "Microphonii Ard" /Behind Microphone/ brought him numerous fans.
I am the broken man.
When listening to your song, it feels like your songs have deep meaning. If you express your inner soul with your songs, then you must have “deep” inner world, right?
When I sing my songs or work on it, I feel like 100% with on my own, I feel like I am alive and doing the rightest thing that I have to do. Every meaning is describing me. Song topics are definitely different, but my opinion is absorbed in some way.
Song lyrics seem that you are a bad guy?
As I said before, I am there too.
I imagined that you are more an introvert and tend to think things?
Everyone`s psychology is different and the mood changes every day. I expressed my current mood in the songs. A year ago, my attitude was critical to everything like my song, but it could be changed today. For me, when I get disappointed or sad, I turn my negative energy into positive.
Can I understand that you relieve by writing song when you are upset?
Yes, of course. I`m more creative when I am going through unstable moments in my life.
What are you working on recently? Let's talk about the specific of your works?
I`m working on my new third album. Music videos will be released, soon. Currently, we`re filming the videos. Comparing to the previous albums, there are less depressing songs and incorporates more fun.
You posted contest to guess new album name by giving out first letters on your Facebook for your fans. Fans seem very interested in it. Has anyone guessed it yet? Can you tell me the name if not a secret?
Anyway, it is a very interesting name. I will add more letters to make it easy when the album releasing date approaches. Generally, no one guessed, it`s very difficult name.
I concluded you as a contradictory from your sharp song lyrics?
I`m generally angry man. I write angry songs when I get upset. 
I think you are expressing your inner soul when you are singing?
That`s the feature of rappers. I write  my own lyrics and rap my opinion. If we rap lyrics written by other, we could not even make sense of the idea.
Your songs are meaningful not just shallow.
Indeed, I don`t like shallow things.
Inside, i am not snobby
You are not interviewed so often. Why?
I don`t like to give interviews in newspaper, magazines or websites. Because, my every single word is edited by journalist and editor. So, it could not express my opinion 100%.
I think you are closed man due to this situation. Artists are open at introducing themselves to the public.  
My fans have enough information about me, but this year, I will pay attention on introducing myself to public more.
I think there is no need of advertisement in good work and real talent. 
That might be. Recently, I planned to keep active my Facebook profile and make more open communication. Otherwise, people seem to think that I am some snobby person.
Yes, you laugh not much that`s why people think that you are snobby.
May be my face sheds such image. People say I am snobby, bu the truth is I am not.
When I see your music videos, I think you are quite good actor.
Music video of the scene is not acting. Expressing my feeling seems realistic. Generally, I try to create different roles at my music videos. As I am not professional actor I cannot convey some roles accurately. My upcoming music video is completely different than before.
Your name, Rockit bay has three meanings?
Rockit Bay means “Rock it Bayaraa” or “Rocket Bayaraa” by hearing or “Raw kit Bay”. Generally, the most meaningful is “Rock it Bayaraa”.
My life is very hard, dangerous and insecure
I heard that you were studying as marketer in US?
First, I went to US for study in business field. I have been studying in many fields. First, I was interested in computer graphic then business. I found music along. I`ve never imagined that I am going to become an artist especially, a rapper. I was convinces I would become a businessman. Then, when you once find yourself, you are forced to make a choice.
In other words, you found yourself in US, right?
Yes. I was a listener before. I was listening hip-hop in rush and listen to understand. I have never imagined rapping myself.
How was it making the choice? Have you ever regreted?
I have never regreted much. The most important thing is that I have learned what I have to learn from University. I have “A” grades at all of my marketing classes. Of course, there was a bit of regret on career after graduation. It is important to learn necessary things from school not just collecting the diploma. I chose to be an artist and dropped from college, but now it seems like I call for the kids to drop from schools. No, I don't. What I chose is my life and it is dangerous and insecure.
What did motivate you to become a rapper?  
Online dis battle was organized among the students at our school. I was always listening to them. Anyway, I wanted to join and I thought that I can. Then, the first battle was an experience and from the second battle I found my technique. Finally, I had no doubt and I had confidence. Eventually, I learned to compose and write lyrics. Then, I released my official song and I thought “this is me”.
How did you change from Bayaraa, who was aiming to study in business in US to five years later rapper Rockit Bay?
Very good question. I think I had found a better version of me by going to US. US experiecne contributed to becoming an individual, to become independent and more open. When I was in Mongolia, I was closed and stressful. Comparing current Bayaraa to previous Bayaraa, I have updated to "version 5" I think.
What was your feeling when you came to Mongolia with new dreams and goals?
I was very excited. Because of my excitement, I had forgotten my bag at the airport. Cars were crowded in very narrow road was the first thing I observed. Also, the smoke was a disaster. 
I finished my first album thinking of my ended relationships with my then girlfriend
What was your first song?
The first song was “Bid hoyor” (Us two). I worked on this song for four months. When I was in relationship with my girlfriend, I wanted to dedicate a song for her. I wanted to express all my feelings when I feel only with her through music and lyrics. But it was difficult. After break up, I released a opposite feeling song. That was “Bid hoyor”.
For me, artists inspired by feeling more different feelings than typical life. 
Of course, yes. I finished my first album with the feeling of breaking up with my girlfriend. I fully concentrated on my album. For the artists, mood is very important. Thus, when everything is satisfied, no artwork is released. Generally, good artwork is done when the artist is at two poles of mood.
When you came to Mongolia, your grandmother listened your first song. Are you the grandmother`s kid?
My grandmother raised me. My grandmother was the first to hear the “Neg Udriin Khaan” (King for a day) and she was nodding. She was 83 and very artistic. She was a tailor. When I was a kid, I used to act with her.
Comparing to other rappers I work three times more
I heard that you once said “Comparing to other rappers I work three times more”?
Yes. Let`s imagine there are 3 people in a group, they write three verses of song and sing one by one. But, I write lyrics, compose, set music version and produce music video. That`s why I said “Comparing to other rappers I work three times more”. I have a lot of things to do. I work definitely more than the artists who are singing using prepared music and lyrics. I`m not boasting, I just want to let public know that I put all my heart to my songs by working on every single detail by myself. Some of my songs are bit weak due to everything is on my shoulders. But the latest songs like “Evderhii hun” (Broken Man), I worked hard.
Share me your thoughts on Mongolian rappers?
We`re in one sector. As I said before, I don`t like doing shallow things. There are many songs, which have weird titles, insensible and taut. For me, listening that kind of songs are meaningful to me, but there are still people who are interested. In fact, rappers who put all their heart with 100% in their songs and it makes them alive are really rare. I don`t like rappers who are motivated by just spending their younger years in exciting and nice way.
What is your purpose of songs?
Let`s imagine that I released song with hidden message. In fact, my songs have such messages. Who can feel can understand my message. A positive effect on the lives of two out of hundreds of listener to overcome the problem when they hear my song is the success for me. So, it is a part of my purpose.
Do you have competitors?
I have not competitive competitors that let me think that he released better song than me and how to win. So, I am competing with myself. I compete myself like I have to do work more efficient than before.
You said that there are very rare rappers who are working hard like you. Could you name them, please?
The only one that I can proudly name is Gee. He is putting his heart and life to work like me. Both of us, hip-hop is not a hobby, it`s a life. I respect him on that side.
If you could not find a mistake from the past, you are not developing
People think that you are quite good actor due to your role from some movies?
First, I played in a movie that based on rapper Tulgat`s life who is living with a big dream and ambition in US. After, I worked efficiently on the film named “Ettsiin zogsool E tseg” (Final destnation point E). The main character of the movie is not same as me. The only interesting thing is that even I was not a single father, I played a role of a father. Feeling the unfamiliar thing was interesting to me.
Do you have a moment from your past that makes you want to kick yourself? 
Looking back, there are many moments. I understand that I used to be bad behaviored when I was a kid. Now I regret about it. Moreover, it`s funny to remember that when I was a young, I was trying to run a business. Generally, I think if person can find a mistake from the past means that person is developing. But, If you could not find a mistake from the past, you are not developing much, there is no change.
Do you like being alone?
I like being alone when I am working on my songs. Otherwise, spending my time with friends is nice. When I start to work I just become very unfriendly.
How do you feel the success of your work?
I have never been afraid of others reaction to my songs. During my work on songs, I know what is bad or what is good. Of course, I aim to release good songs.
When do you get inspired?
I believe in inspiration. People deny inspiration and they think artists must sit and release song whenever. But all of sudden, a verse comes into my head. It may come from during shower or some other interesting ways. Sometimes completely different ideas coming from looking at different things. For example, when I saw a red car, I imagine black microphone. It is the inspiration. At that time, I work very fast, but if I put myself to force, I sit and continue to think.
I haven' felt love for a while.
When was the last time you felt love?
It`s been a while. I don`t really remember. But I will never forget that nice feeling. Almost 6 years ago, I had felt love.
Are people always in love?
I don`t know the definition of love. Sometimes, I fall in love with actress or interviewing girls.
Have you ever written song when you fall in love?
I have never tried. Eventually I might wil.
Meaning, you don`t have love songs? 
Yes. But you never know. I might someday.
You haven't released your new video yet. I heard that you are to it through live performances video through website with assistance from Mobicom?
Yes. Recently, I have done live performances. I will share my video to the public in cooperation with Mobicom corporation. For the performance, I had cooperated with the live band U.F.O. I sang with live music in an interesting way.
What`s your feeling when you know that others are satisfied with your songs?
For example, when I surrounded by my fans and scream from the stage, they scream in turn. It is really nice to feel that energy approaching to each other. Taking positive energy from them and turn it back, take back again and turn it back again. I really don`t know how to say in a word.
Material need is not a problem
I think people wear many masks. They decide what mask to wear depending on the conditions like community, work, friends and family.  When do you act yourself?
Generally, I am who I am. Of course, people don`t always behave on their own, it depends on the conditions. Right now, I am on my own. It is not like that I think of something else in my head like “I will seem nice, if I talk this or sit this way or I seem intelligent when I say this word.” Advantage of finding yourself is that you are no longer bothered by small things. I don`t care what other people think. In that case, life becomes easier. So being yourself is very easy too. 
Key of being satisfied with life is to be satisfied with what you have. Are you satisfied with what you have?
When I feel sad or upset, I think of people who lack something. For example, when I have no money that can be a problem in my life, but there is a one who even have no eyes. But my disappointment of having no money Is nothing compared to him/her. If we compare our challenging issues like this, it would be nothing to you. Thus, material need is not a problem.
Man's character is on display when a person is challenged by money, being drunk orangry. Do you agree with it?
Money can introduce people`s behavior and anger can too. But I don`t agree if being drunk can really reveal one's real behavior. Science can`t explain exactly. Undoubtedly, money can reveal one`s real behavior.
Most people aim to well being. But people are struggling with self by doing the bad things that they don`t want to do or think due to their greed and passion. How often do you conflict with yourself?
That`s me actually. Anger led me to bad behavior. Most importantly, you should know about that. If you act badly on your closest one, you must apologize. I have bad behavior. Therefore, the probability of such is a problem. Despite, you should control your bad behavior. Then, you will live in peace.
How about concluding your self?   
I don`t think I am the good man. In other words, I am a bad man who doesn`t want to do bad things. Moreover, I fight to achieve my purpose. To achieve my purpose, I confront any issues that I face.

Participants of Dakar 2015 landed in Ulaanbaatar
By R. Adiyasuren
January 24 (gogo.mn) "Dakar Rally-2015" races, the co-called Auto Sport Olympics, finished on 18th of January. The race lasted almost for two weeks and the participants had raced about 9,000 kilometres of South America region. 
This year, Mongolia-Hungary joint crew had raced with three cars. Mongolians had successfully finished the Dakar Rally race in car category for the first time and showed historic success in Mongolian auto and moto sport history.
Motorcycle category crew landed at 7.30am while Car category crew landed at 10.25am at Chingis Khaan International Airport. 
This year, we had many to talk including helped foriegn athletes with Mongolian kindness behavior and drew attention of many by wearing fox fur hat. 
Parents and siblings of athletes who showed up Mongolian courage and endurance have welcomed with silver bowl of milk. Besides, mothers were kissing them with grateful tears.
Athletes seemed very satisfying.
We are delivering you the short interview with N.Lkhamaa, racer of car category, International Master. #431 car, coordinated by Sports Masters, B.Byambadelger and B.Surendorj, driven by N.Lkhamaa, International Master ranked at 62th. 
- First of all, congratulations. You have reached the finish line of the Dakar Rally for the first time. How do you feel?
- Thank you. Six racers had participated. Three cars had raced and one of them had finished the Dakar Rally. Coordinated by D.Jargalsaikhan and U.Byambatsogt car had raced with purpose to reach at finish line. I am extremely satisfied that me and my firends O.Byambadelger and B.Surendorj had successfully finished the route of Dakar Rally with car that have state emblem, nationial anthem and Mongolian script.
- Before, you have competed in bike category for 2 years. This year, you participated in car category. What was the difference?
- Car categry was more challenging. although 137 cars started the race only 50% of them finished the route. We ranked 5th at car category while ranked 62th at total result.
- What was the most challenging thing of the race?
- Second day was the most challenging. Our car had crashed and windscreen had broken while driving at  "Fishfish" sand road. Two coordinators were running in front of the car and watching the road. At the second day, we had reached at finish line at 3am. We were glad to not leave the race. 
- You raced with Toyata Land Cruiser 200. Was Toyata Land Cruiser 200 suitable for Dakar Rally?
- Toyata cars are realiable. However, our car`s basic weight was 3.5 tons, heavier than heading cars by 1.5 tons.
- Will you compete in next Dakar Rally?
- Even I hadn`t finished the route, I had raced in motorcycle category for two years. This year, we had reached to finish line. We will decide after making discussions with our sponsers.  
Coordinator B.Surendorj:
- I have competed for the first time. Rally was more tough than I imagined. Even I haven`t think that such a tough. The road was challenging. Due to well preperation we reced good. I am delighted we`ve finished the route.  
May more Mongolian racers compete in Dakar Rally 2016 and we wish them great success. 

Chinese company accused of swindling 3 billion MNT
By B. Dulguun
January 25 (UB Post) Mongolian citizen Ulziisaikhan told Unuudur Daily that a Chinese company swindled four million MNT from her, and that many others are getting ripped off for large sums of money.
The Chinese company in question, Lin Rui, opened a branch named Mongol Lin Rui in October 2012. The company’s office is located behind the Monos Pharmacy west of State Department Store in the Chingeltei District.
Journalists of Unuudur Daily couldn’t find any information about Lin Rui online, so they went to investigate the main office. When the journalists told the front desk that they were from Unuudur Daily, a Chinese woman who was later identified as being in charge of all international and domestic transactions, ran out of the building in haste, completely forgetting to put on a coat. Another staff member reportedly started crying about having chest pains and feeling faint.
According to Lin Rui’s critics, the company professionally scams large sums of money as a pyramid scheme investment. They win customers’ trust by giving them profits for the first few months, and then encourages them to invite friends and family members to join, gaining more profits for the company by making hundreds of investors suffer losses.
Unuudur Daily journalists were told that Mongol Lin Rui has taken in nearly three billion MNT from over 1,500 local investors. Several people outside the office stated that they haven’t received any money from the company for over six months, and are taking turns to guard the office in groups of five to six people, as they don’t know when or where the company employees will run off to. According to the frustrated group gathered outside of Lin Rui, the lives of dozens of people have been destroyed and three people suffered heart attacks after hearing about the scam.
Ulziisaikhan says she lost four million MNT to Lin Rui, but she claims that she’s lost a small amount of money compared to other investors who lost 70 to 80 million MNT, and some who lost nearly 100 million MNT. With the hopes of earning money on their investments, most of the victims took out loans, using their homes, cars, and immovable property ownership as collateral. Now, they are unable to pay off their loans, since the company hasn’t paid them for almost half a year.
The investors reported that the employees of Mongol Lin Rui were very persuasive, and it was almost impossible not to trust them. Employees of Mongol Lin Rui showed video clips and official looking company documents to prospective investors, and affirmed that the company was one of the top five trade companies in China.
“Mongol Lin Rui could be a scam and money laundering scheme instigated by a group of Mongolians and Chinese people,” said the group of angry investors outside the office. They explained their reason for this accusation, “Last year, five people got to visit the headquarters of Lin Rui Group in China, but they only got to stroll around an empty office for a while over the weekend.”
More information on this story will be provided once evidence of organized transnational fraud has been gathered and confirmed.

2015 state budget amendments approved
By E. Oyundari
January 25 (UB Post) The joint parliamentary session last Friday approved amendments to the 2015 state budget.
As MP D.Gankhuyag introduced, the total income of Mongolia’s joint budget is estimated at more than 6.6 trillion MNT, which is equivalent to 27.6 percent of GDP, and the total expenditure of the joint budget is forecasted at over 7.8 trillion MNT, equivalent to 32.7 percent of GDP. He also added that budget deficit is 1.2 trillion MNT, which is five percent of GDP.
In accordance with the approved 2015 budget amendment, excise tax on petrol and diesel increased by 228 billion MNT, income tax of entities by 60 billion MNT, income of privatization of property by 17.9 billion MNT, and personal income tax grew by 7.3 billion MNT.
Moreover, 19.4 billion MNT – the allowance for all mothers who have received the Order of Glorious Motherhood, was additionally allocated to local social welfare funds, 9.1 billion MNT for pregnancy and postpartum allowance, and 13 billion MNT was additionally budgeted for pensions.
Also, nearly 34.5 million MNT was added to investment expenses and a project valued at nearly 68.2 million MNT was eliminated from the budget.

Mongolian Mining Journal names best of the sector
By Ch. Khaliun
January 25 (UB Post) On Saturday, the Mining Journal Awards (MJA) was organized for the fifth time to name the best of the mining sector. The MJA is organized annually by the Mongolian Mining Journal, and based on the independent assessments of judges and total scores, the best are named.
Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC was awarded for “Sustainable Performance”, and Executive Director of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC Ya.Batsuuri highlighted, “It’s not easy to always hear criticism, but we are happy that judges discovered our successes.”
The company has been operating for three years and four months. By the end of 2014, they exported 4.3 million tons of coal, decreasing their expenses by 20 percent. By not passing through Tsagaan Khad (White Rock) customs, they started transporting coal directly from their underground mine to export and save on transportation expenses.
Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC met the criteria of the MJA by maintaining employment sustainably, by opening Tsankhi Town, and by successfully negotiating with the contract mining company of the Eastern Tsankhi to reduce expenses.
The mining sector’s judges appreciated that the company had exported the most in a difficult year, in times when the price of coal declined by up to 40 percent in the market, and for realizing conservation management.
In addition to Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi JSC, one more company received the grand prix with the same score for the same nomination.
SouthGobi Sands Ltd also transferred to savings mode, sustainably maintaining jobs. The company opened a 43 km paved road from Nariinsukhait to Shiveekhuren, supporting local development, and raising funds on the stock market.
The company also successfully implemented its environmental management plan at 98.4 percent, receiving the prize for “Sustainable Performance”. SouthGobi Sands reported at the MJA that the company reduced their direct exploration expenses to more than two times less than expenses in 2012.
The category of “Sustainable Performance” was added to the MJA in 2013, when the economic crisis began.
The total amount of mining exports increased in 2014, and revenue for mineral products also increased compared to 2013, comprising 89 percent of the nation’s exports. The mining sector highlights that in 2014, named “the crisis year”, gold producers delivered 13 tons of gold to Mongol Bank, and the amount is expected to increase in the future.
The category for “Eco Mining” had many participants. In previous years, up to 30 companies competed in the category, but this year’s winner was Monpolymet Group.
In 2014, the company conducted technical rehabilitation on 74.3 hectares, biological rehabilitation on 37.3 hectares, and planted a great number of trees and bushes, involving local people and ensuring them with jobs.
The nine criteria for a nomination in “Eco Mining” were created by the officials of the Ministry of Environment, and participants underlined that the nomination is one of the highest honors, with the most strict criteria of all categories.
For “Best Technology of the Year”, Focus Metal Mining was awarded for deeply processing iron ore and successfully producing final products. The company competed with an iron wet concentrator plant, a strong competitor.
Oyu Tolgoi Ltd was awarded for “Best Responsible Mining”. The company’s concentrator plant worked at full capacity in 2014, processing 27.5 million tons of ore, introducing global safety standards to Mongolia.
For the category of “Best Mine of the Year”, Altan Dornod Mongol Ltd was awarded. The company fulfilled their plans at 100 percent, increasing their sales revenue by 60 percent compared to 2013.
The company also exploited 1,548 kg of gold, adding 3.7 billion MNT to the local budget.
Honorary guest of the 2014 MJA, academic P.Ochirbat said that miners worked very well, but the state’s poor policy has been continuously complicating the sector.

D.Munkhtsetseg: Mongolia receives tons of trash from abroad
January 25 (UB Post) Where there are people, trash and waste are generated. Reducing and recycling waste is the foundation to a healthier living environment. Professor of the environmental sector of the School of Civil Engineering and Architecture at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (MUST), D.Munkhtsestseg, gave an interview regarding this topic.
Our sources say that you are the only expert in Mongolia specialized in waste processing technology. Where did you study for this profession?
In 2000, I graduated as a chemical technician from the Chemistry Faculty at the National University of Mongolia and started working at the Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the Mongolian Academy of Science (MAS). In 2011, I got my master’s degree for waste processing technology engineering from the Faculty of Forest, Hydro and Geosciences at the Dresden University of Technology in Germany.
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science told me I was the only person with this profession in Mongolia when I returned after graduating. Now, there are four others with the same profession. They’re all my students.
Now that you’ve formed your own team, will you be intensifying waste processing projects?
Waste processing technology engineers are one of the most demanded experts of the government. The faculty of environmental engineering sector at the MUST had its first enrollment in 2010. Many important works are awaiting our graduates. Most people expect us to work beside rag pickers near Naran Enger and Ulaan chuluut landfills when they hear of our profession. Waste processing technology engineers are environmental engineers. We produce new products from free materials that are no longer in need and develop technologies for reusing useful waste, preventing them from becoming depreciative.
How much waste does Ulaanbaatar have? Have you researched and made analysis on this?
Approximately 47 percent of Mongolia’s population (around 1,372,000 people) lives in Ulaanbaatar. Last year, 1.2 million tons of waste was disposed at landfills and waste disposal sites in Ulaanbaatar. Open-pit landfills are abundant near the city such as Emeelt and Gachuurt. Our research shows that a ger area resident produces 600 grams of waste a day while an apartment resident produces 800 to 1,200 grams of waste a day. This is merely the amount from households.
In 2004, approximately 193,000 tons of waste was formed from the capital and in 2009, the amount almost doubled to 374,000 tons. This figure exceeded pre-estimation made in 2004. Since then, the amount of waste has rapidly grown through the years.
How does Germany manage its waste issues? What kind of policy does the German government have on waste disposal?
Germany is the leading country with highly advanced waste processing technology. Germans consider waste as economic raw material for saving natural resources. They take many measures such as producing biogas from wastes to use it as a secondary raw material for production, renewable energy and heat source, as well as bury waste to ensure no harm to the environment. Waste disposal and processing is managed by legislations passed by the government and municipality. The public strictly follows regulations specified in these legislations. Germans are charged fees depending on their waste amount so they try to create as little waste as possible. Producer companies are responsible for disposing their expired products.
What should Mongolia do to minimize waste?
The fundamental plan for waste management is to reduce and prevent the generation of waste. This work is exercised with short and long-term strategies. Experts in this field are focusing on consumption across the world since waste is generated from people’s needs. For instance, countries can rationalize on packaging and containers, and encourage people to use reusable shopping bags. Waste shouldn’t always be burnt.
Are you suggesting that waste should be sorted and specific technologies should be used for waste disposal?
That’s right. For example, radioactive and explosive waste mustn’t be burnt. They should be made less dangerous through complex chemical processes, including disinfection and neutralization, before disposing with combustion technology. Suitable processing methods are used after they are categorized as household, construction, production and hospital waste, and separated by their source – wood, metal, plastic and so on. Mongolia is processing liquid waste with mechanic-biological method. We haven’t gotten to processing solid waste yet. It’s in fact possible to produce many types of products, including fertilizers, gas, energy and heat, via chemical and deep-processing.
Marine litter is another urgent global issue. Although Mongolia is a land-locked country, it has large lakes. Have you researched the waste level near lakes and rivers like Khuvsgul Lake and Tuul River? How should they be cleaned?
Annually, 25,000 tons of packaging, bottles, cans and plastic products pollute lakes, seas, and oceans. A research shows that approximately 150,000 tons of fishing nets and gears were lost in oceans. Nearly 50,000 seals become trapped or entangled in these marine litters and die every year in the Pacific Ocean.  Litter disposed into oceans decreased slightly since the Basel Conventionon the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal was approved. Previously, developed countries used to have their waste disposed in less developed countries or have it dumped at the bottom of seas and oceans.
It’s important for Mongolia to not pollute Khuvsgul Lake, our source of clean water. Currently, we don’t have a definite analysis or study about marine litter and its amount. Mongolia doesn’t have a specified personnel for researching this. I think our new experts can focus on this topic. Legal regulation is top priority for preserving unpolluted, clean rivers and lakes. High penalties should be set up for littering near rivers and lakes, more trash bins need to be set up, and regularly spring cleaning should be done.
Has Mongolia disposed of hazardous waste from foreign countries?
Such cases occur to countries that haven’t joined the Basel Convention. The USA transports and dumps its hazardous waste in African and Asian countries since it’s not part of the Basel Convention. Mongolia joined this convention, hence we prohibit trans-boundary movements of hazardous waste. Yet, Mongolia receives some wastes under the pretense of grant aid, relief goods, and second-hand products. For example, old electronic products, clothes, furniture, and cars. These products become waste after some time as their usage time expires. This has become one of the reasons for the increased waste amount in Mongolia.
The main driver of the economy of Mongolia is mining. Toxic chemical agents, including mercury and sodium cyanide, are spilled during mining procedures. How can these hazardous chemicals be removed without harming people’s health?
Despite the lack of transparency on mining waste, almost everybody knows it’s harmful to our health. A complex technology is required for processing waste from mining. Western countries have already developed technologies for processing toxic chemical agents such as sodium cyanide. They combine neutralizing and precipitation methods for heavy metals through mechanical means.
The public is conflicting on whether the green trash bags distributed by the capital city are necessary. Do you support the distribution of green bags?
Most of countries across the world throw out trash in bags. But I don’t think this method is urgently called for in Mongolia because the regulation and payment system in Mongolia is lacking. Waste structure and its components in residential areas are also extremely different, not to mention that Mongolia doesn’t have a waste treatment plant for final removal.
Are you saying that distribution of trash bags is unnecessary when Mongolia hasn’t established waste treatment and recycling plants?
Waste treatment plants and especially recycling facilities should be built in densely populated areas such as Ulaanbaatar, and Darkhan-Uul and Orkhon Provinces. Despite our small population, Mongolia separates and processes plastics, paper, cardboard and wood mechanically, and supplies it to china. This shows that Mongolia can extract several raw industrial materials from waste. The Central Waste Water Treatment Plant has resources to produce biogas from sewage sludge and turn it into fuel as well as a relatively small heat and electricity sources.
In 2009, I did a research on the structure, volume, and the condition for removal/ disposal of waste in the city and local areas.
Are you able to use your research work into practice?
I’ve introduced the membrane bioreactors device from Germany. This device helps multiply microorganisms adapt to excrement, and performs dual filtering with micro filters to purifies 99 percent of waste water. At the moment, our team has purified 80 to 87 percent of waste out of water through standard trial tests. Membrane bioreactors device can be used for cleaning toilet seats, green facilities, water fountains, and cars.
Can water cleaned with this device be used for drinking purposes?
Mongolia hasn’t got a standard that enables us to use processed gray and black water for drinking. Scientists at the MUST are working towards establishing these standards in Mongolia.
Have you tried drinking purified water from this device?
Director of the producer company verified that water cleaned with membrane bioreactors device is safe to drink and can be used for drinking purposes. Purified water from our team’s trial test hasn’t been drunk yet. Certain period of time is required since we’re multiplying and adapting microorganisms that will decompose excretion. By the end of spring, we’ll be able to completely purify waste water. When that time comes, we’ll be able to drink purified water tested by our team.
Source: http://mongolnews.mn/1g4y

Top morin khuur players awarded
By B. Tungalag
January 26 (UB Post) The Union of Mongolian Composers, Mongolian National Center for Morin Khuur (horse fiddle), Ikel Morin Khuur Foundation, and Khan Music morin khuur manufacturer awarded nine top morin khuur players of Mongolia on January 22.
The top nine morin khuur players are founder of the Mongolian Morin Khuur Ensemble and People’s Artist Ts.Batchuluun, morin khuur player of the State National Song and Dance Academic Ensemble People’s Artist Ch.Batsaikhan, morin khuur maker B.Enkhbold, morin khuur teacher of Borjigon Theater of Govisumber Province D.Natsagdorj, solo morin khuur player of Mongol Tuurgatan Theater of Tuv Province Kh.Azjargal, morin khuur player of Zavkhan Province S.Tumenbayar, morin khuur player of Domog folk group D.Shinetsog, instructor of the State University of Arts and Culture P.Munkhjin, and morin khuur teacher of the Dance and Music College Yo.Batbayar.
The top nine morin khuur players above were awarded for contributing to morin khuur development by composing music for morin khuur, promoting morin khuur to the world, and continuously producing morin khuur art.
Khan Music company promised to make morin khuurs worth 1,500,000 MNT to all nine award recipients.
One of the top nine players, P.Munkhjin said, “I have been playing morin khuur since I was seven. Morin khuur fills the empty space in my heart. I will do my best to promote morin khuur to the world.”

Mongolian manufacturing dreams crushed by the banking sector
January 26 (UB Post) If a recent report from the National Statistical Office is correct, it seems that most of the commercial banks in Mongolia might soon close their doors. We can find pawnshops on the corner of every building in every district in Ulaanbaatar, which means that pawnbrokers are seeing strong business while banks suffer.
The National Statistical Office of Mongolia (NSO) reported that according to data from local banks, the amount of non-performing loans was 625.7 billion MNT by the end of 2014, showing an increase of 5.7 billion MNT (0.9 percent) from the previous month and an increase of 59.9 billion MNT (10.6 percent) compared to the same period in 2013.
As the Mongolian President said, commercial banks in Mongolia are working like pawnshops. They just care about their interests and benefits, not thinking about the consumer’s satisfaction.
Pawnbrokers check every cleft of earrings and rings, and every scratch on cell phones and televisions, exploiting people with high interest rates on collateral loans. When the deadline for loan repayment passes, pawnbrokers just sell people’s collateral without warning, and many of the pawnbrokers never return the lost money to owners.
Parliamentarians wanted to draft a law on the issue, but lobbies of people who have become rich through the pawnshop business stopped the draft before its first discussion was held.
The same issue applies to commercial banks, they just think about how to get more money from consumers, instead of thinking of their satisfaction. It can be proven through many examples.
Mongolia dreams of becoming a manufacturing country. A policy was even created and a ministry established dedicated to pursuing the goal, and a project named “Supporting Export, Replacing Import 888” was initiated. But unfortunately, the criteria of commercial banks operating in Mongolia are really high and discourage businesses. They just focus on collateral requirements and real estate, instead of valuing people’s ideas and their desire to do something.
Therefore, we need to increase the independence of banks, which are surviving day by day thanks to rich people’s savings, and regulate them to have active capital for bearing risk. Domestic banks have become barriers for foreign banks that can become investors in major projects and programs supporting and valuing Mongolian ingenuity.
Consumers choose the best among the competition in a free market. Banks should benefit while having the ability to bear risk and invest in big projects or programs. The world’s largest banks operate on this principle, while in Mongolia, the biggest banks with capital have insurmountable criteria. The banks with less capital list a bunch of reasons why they can’t offer loans, directing the blame at the government.
In these times, talking about manufacturing development will always be only a dream.
We need to refresh the banking sector
Last week, Mongol Bank raised its policy rate to 13 percent, citing the increase of the USD exchange rate and the MNT’s depreciation.
There are murmurs that some commercial banks that can’t bear risk have stopped approving loans. In particular, they are following a principle to not issue eight percent interest rate mortgage loans, because the banks are not benefiting from these low interest mortgage loans.
The criteria for mortgage loans are quite high, but thanks to these loans, thousands of young families have apartments. Of course, some of them can’t repay their loans, repayment will take a long time, and deadlines must be delayed. It’s obvious, but if Mongolian banks refuse to issue mortgage loans, they should give foreign banks the opportunity to enter the domestic market.
There are lots of foreign banks with tremendous assets that want to operate in Mongolia, supporting domestic production. They just want us to open the domestic market to them, but we are insisting that we can do it by ourselves. We isolate the Mongolian market, but we need to think about why we are saying that mortgage loans are not efficient and that we will not issue those loans.
In the opinions of only some banking officials, opening the market to foreign banks will influence Mongolia’s national security, and bankruptcy in the banking sector shouldn’t limit people’s choices.
It’s an appropriate time for banks to understand that if they can’t provide loans to people, they need to step down.
We are offering our salaries and properties as collateral, and then take out loans, but banks are earning interest from our loans. The issue of taking only interest has been touched upon several times. If you have taken out one loan, you can’t apply for another within the same year. If you take out a loan from one bank, you can’t go to another bank for more loans. When you use an automated teller machine, you pay fees ranging from 100 to 500 MNT. The fee for inter-bank transactions has surged from 300 to 2,000 MNT.
After collecting a bunch of documents, you can receive only salary loans of up to 10 million MNT.
Only five or six banks that would consider herder’s livestock as collateral, or that fairly values people’s property, would be enough for a low-population country like Mongolia.
We need banks that can invest in nationwide developments, that can correctly value people’s income, that support people without real estate, that support production, and that value intelligence instead of only property. We need banks that consider projects and programs collateral and not only property.
If we have such banks, as many as possible, then we will be able to develop domestic production and become a wealth-generating country.
It may also open more opportunities for the wealthy to invest their money in the stock market, instead of just placing their money in banks and living off interest from savings.

Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg Distracted for over Month
By D. Jargalsaikhan
January 26 (UB Post) It has been over month since Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg’s cabinet was approved by the parliament. Having not been able to achieve what they promised to do, the government that offered solutions not only grew bigger, but also became distracted. Meanwhile, the MNT rate against USD, which mirrors how the economy is doing, soared from 1,880 to reach 1,940.
Although Ch.Saikhanbileg established a general, but objective, diagnosis for economic conditions and proposed direct measures such as cutting expenditure, supporting the private sector, promoting investment, and properly managing debt, he is currently stuck; unable to actually carry out those actions with consent from the relevant authorities.
The primary cause of the current government’s distraction is the parliament. It is because members of parliament have all been infected by populism, and have been approaching everything by thinking only about how they can get re-elected in the upcoming election. Therefore, they are hindering the making of decisions required during a crisis situation, which ultimately holds back the long-term economic growth of Mongolia.
DEFICIT IS A PRIMARY FISCAL INDICATOR
When the last government was replaced, the 2015 budget was approved with no clear owner. That is why they are making amendments to the budget after only two months of its approval. The newly appointed ministers have noted that the economic conditions are worse than imagined.
The major indicator for not only the quality of the public budget, but also the capability of the parliament, is the extent of deficit, rather than the total amount of budget revenue and expenditure. This was understood by the government after the 2008 economic crisis. This is why there was a decision to set the debt ceiling at two percent of GDP under the fiscal stability law, which was implemented in 2013. Furthermore, it was put into law that the the external debt ceiling was not to exceed 40 percent of GDP.
However, the budget deficit today equals five percent of GDP, not two percent, while the external debt ceiling is 60 percent of GDP, not 40 percent. The new finance minister has discovered that the previous government was providing inaccurate information about external debt. The sudden hike in the exchange rates has also influenced the debt ceiling being penetrated by the dollar bullet. The bullet would naturally go upwards, since the government has been issuing a lot of bonds without designating their specific use. Having raised a loan of 2.3 billion USD from foreign capital markets, the government has been paying six million USD each month, which means more than 70 million USD a year.
The Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), which has taken its time to make decisions, has recently entered the coalition government. The MPP has supported another “Zaisan-ing” (To Zaisan: An action by the Mongolian government to break the law and then change the law to avoid consequences), and passed a law to extend the debt ceiling to 60 percent. It can be clearly seen that this political party has become very good at doing this.
Just like how a household economy works, a country must also live on what they create and earn. However, the “actors” of parliament are talking about raising the debt ceiling to 10 percent of GDP (S.Byambatsogt, the MPP’s caucus leader, plays the leading role) and extending the external debt ceiling to 70 percent of GDP (roles being played by other MPP actors). It looks like a desperate series of borrowing more to pay back existing loans is about to begin. The two political parties are not capable of doing anything other than borrowing more to settle debts.
After his appointment, Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg was confident about seeing reality objectively and resolving long-standing issues in a prompt manner. When he first addressed the parliament, he quoted Winston Churchill, a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, about offering blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Nevertheless, only after a month and a half, the Prime Minister is talking about raising the debt ceiling, which will have phased reductions over time, to acquire foreign loans. The parliament did not support measures to cut budget expenditures and reduce social welfare spending.
The important moves that started with the stated intentions of the Prime Minister have been stopped by the “actors” of parliament. Those moves included ending the provision of 20,000 MNT to children from households whose monthly income is more than several hundred thousand MNT, providing the 70,000 MNT student stipend to only those who have a high GPA, providing a pension equal to one’s service when a civil servant retires, stopping the provision of money granted to mothers of the Mother’s Honor medal if their children have grown up, and restricting government involvement in the business sector. These were timely actions that came with no other choice.
MEDICINE HEALS YOU DESPITE ITS BITTER TASTE
It can be said that Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg currently lacks a quality that was demonstrated by another former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. It should be said, that despite facing strong opposition from the people and receiving harsh criticism, Margaret Thatcher implemented major spending cuts, such as privatizing state-owned enterprises, reducing taxes, and stopping the provision of milk for children. As a result, the private sector was greatly catalyzed and the economy was revived quickly (read more on http://jargaldefacto.com/five-lessons-from-thatcherism/).
Ultimately, accountability goes to the Prime Minister, not to the “actors” of parliament. If Prime Minister Ch.Saikhanbileg realizes this, his government can truly offer solutions. Otherwise, if his government depends too largely on the parliament and gets distracted, the country will not be able to get out of the recession and his government will end up becoming another “comedy”.
The economy can be revived and the trust of investors can be earned by taking measures other than cutting budget expenditure and increasing taxes, such as dramatically improving the business environment for the private sector, supporting fair competition, turning state-owned companies into publicly-owned companies, and stopping all kinds of government subsidies. The current fall in exchange rates is caused by a deficit of capital, which is caused by a lack of trust. These deficiencies can only be fixed by the confident vision of the government and its actions to support the private sector.
Otherwise, Mongolia will become a lost, debt-ridden country, where a few populists rule the nation in turn, while the government becomes richer as the people get poorer. Those who have the means to do so will start abandoning the country.
A doctor often faces the need to perform surgery in order to save the life of a patient, despite how much pain the operation could cause. In this crisis, the Prime Minister must be smart, knowledgeable, and decisive.
Trans. by B.AMAR

Update on AFCCP activities since the end of 2014
By M. Zoljargal
January 26 (UB Post) Director of the Agency for Fair Competition and Consumer Protection (AFCCP), T.Ayursaikhan, held a meeting with journalists for the first time since his appointment and reported on ongoing inspections focused on ensuring consumer rights.
Lawsuit filed against Energy Regulatory Commission
The AFCCP filed a lawsuit against the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) of Mongolia for rejecting the proposal to charge six companies with a 189 million MNT fine for raising electricity rates last year without notifying the AFCCP, defying regulations.
Power distribution companies are obliged to report electricity rate increases to the AFCCP before they become effective. The ERC reported changes the last time they raised rates in July 2013, however, they increased rates three times last year without giving the AFCCP any prior notice, which pushed the agency to impose a fine.
Defrauded real estate buyers to receive compensation
The AFCCP also filed a lawsuit against construction companies which sold apartments that were smaller than they were reported to be. Over 70 companies were found to have been overcharging their customers in a similar way, which resulted in approximately 3.5 billion MNT in losses to apartment buyers.
The companies have issued compensated of 1.5 billion MNT to the victims of fraud so far, while the remaining compensation will be repaid after the court has announced its final trial decisions.
Of the 3.5 billion MNT in damages, 1.5 billion MNT is attributed to three major construction companies.
The AFCCP’s inspection of apartment buildings came following over 700 complaints to the agency regarding overcharging.
National Circus privatization case taken to court
The agency’s lawsuit against administrators of the National Circus for using the building for inappropriate purposes has been taken to court.
The AFCCP reported that the circus was first privatized on the condition that the original purpose of the building would remain in place after privatization. However, the recent launch of a night club attached to the circus and the reduced number of circus performances has resulted in public opposition.
The agency proposed to the State Property Committee the annulment of the privatization and returning the building’s ownership to the state as a result of the illegal operations. The AFCCP later requested a court trial for the case, as it hasn’t received a reply from the committee.
Commercial bank inspections begin
A trial was held for AFCCP allegations against local commercial banks charging illegal service fees equal to one percent of loans taken out by bank customers.
Administrators of 13 banks opposed the allegations and submitted a complaint to the court, which later found the banks guilty on December 25, 2014. The court ruled that customers who took out loans within the last three years be free to request compensation for the service fees, but bank administrators have opposed the ruling and report that they will file for an appeal.
Following the decision, commercial banks will soon have to lower their loan service fees.
“It is certain that commercial banks will appeal the court decision. If the Supreme Court confirms that charging one percent of each provided loan is illegal, customers will be able to receive a refund of the fees paid,” said T.Ayursaikhan.
Several other banks have been inspected by the AFCCP, as residents complained that some banks are violating the Competition Law.
The inspection revealed that the annual profit of some commercial banks was between 25 to 30 percent, while it should range between 10 to 15 percent, according to international standards in the banking market.
If profits are less than ten percent, it results in deficits for banks, and if profits are above 15 percent, it causes financial damage to customers. The average annual profit is 25 to 30 percent, or 80 to 100 billion MNT, in Mongolia.
The inspections are not complete yet and the results of investigation of normal profits have yet to be officially announced.

No comments:

Post a Comment