A

Жижиг

A

Дунд

A

Том
http://zgm.mn/post/956/

Baabar: I am ready to take responsibility for my articles

​State has so much money but lacks the wisdom to spend it​

 0 сэтгэгдэл

A

Жижиг

A

Дунд

A

Том
http://zgm.mn/post/956/

-You published 10 articles under the Adventures of Foreign Investment. Is the series finished now, or will you continue it further?

-Although there are many things I want to say, I will not write such articles again. I am not a decision maker. I am just an independent person. I am just telling you my opinion. I just want to say how this nouveau riche disease is causing a harm to the future development of this country. Let the ones, who can understand this, understand this. Poor countries are developed by foreign investment. It is because they do not have start-up capital. Today’s developed countries such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan are all developed because of the U.S investment. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshida was a pro-American and made political compromise through 1952 agreement and in return, attracted investment. Korea was one of the poorest countries of the world in 1962 when Park Chung Hee took power. He sent Korean troops to Vietnam and gained the Americans’ trust and attracted investment. Taiwanese also attracted investment when they used Mao as a threat and stood by the U.S side. War ravaged in Europe developed quickly because of the U.S investment known as the “Marshall Plan”. When asked the soviets if they wanted to be involved in the Marshall plan, they refused and did not allow Eastern Europe to join this plan. Everybody knows what happened. 1978’s open door policy of Deng was a struggle to attract investment. After 20 years, Taiwanese invested about USD 150 billion in China only. America became the global superpower because of investment. Its liberal market, freedom, equal opportunity and democratic system attracted global investment and brain. Now, the US still leads the world in terms of foreign investment for over a 100 years. Recently, China began to be ranked after the U.S. Each country is competing with each other for foreign investment.

-Can countries be able to develop using foreign investment?

-Everybody can live happy if they earn enough money. What is harder than earning money is how to spend it. Norway is a country with enormous wealth of natural resources. They set up a fund using revenue surplus and expanded it further and created much capital. This country with 4 million population can withstand a crisis of 40 years without any problem. It has the lowest corruption index. Nigeria has more than 10 times the wealth than This country. Any party that takes power through election or state coup attempt to rob and plunder as much as possible from the wealth generated by the natural resources and then run away. Here is one example: during the 1973 crisis, oil price suddenly skyrocketed. When military took power, they immediately decided to build a new capital and placed a massive cement order all over Europe and Soviet Union for construction and infrastructure development of a dream town, which is 600 km away from Lagos. Cement demand per capita was estimated to be several times larger than the U.S. Until today, there has been no new capital and no construction and no road. It was just another way of the authorities to plunder and rob newly found wealth.

-Is Mongolia now on the same path as the Dark Continent?

-From those people who spoke about that, how many of them actually went to Africa and/or saw their statistics? I believe those are the people who cannot even tell where Africa is on the map. Almost all countries of Africa are new; therefore, lacks experience. On the other hand, these countries are made up of many tribes and ethnic groups; thus, they have too much internal conflicts. They do earn huge sum of money; however, they spend it on war, conflicts, corruption and bribery. However, not all African countries are like that. Botswana is one of the fine examples of a developing country. Rwanda lost almost 1 million people during the 1990 civil war. This became an important lesson for them and now, they have become the leading example of development. In 1979, 25 out of the 50 countries of Africa had state coups and today, there are no such phenomena and majority of these countries have democratically elected governments. Compared to this, we have 2222 years of statehood and ancient culture and left our legacy in the world history.There are three countries that are homogenous. These are Japan, Poland and Mongolia. Although there are such advantages, the others are developing and we are deteriorating.

If Rio leaves Mongolia, it would mean the entire world will leave us

-They say a global economic crisis has begun. What is your take on this?

-We all know what crisis and poverty are. When political system that relied on debt for existence has collapsed, we ended up with nothing but salt in shops. State leaders begged over 200 times for investment; however, nobody noticed and we were starving. There were many media talks about leasing South Gobi to Japan for 99 years. Inflation reached 360 percent and the currency notes became empty papers. Politicians competed with each other on how many US Dollars they brought in by organizing consultation meeting with the donors. We begged around the world talking about Dzud (heavy wintering) disasters. One of the example was during 2008 global crisis, where all economic activities were halted and merchants in the market were complaining “there is no one to buy our products even when we offer discounts far below the prices we purchased”. It was not that long ago.

-People are saying foreign investments have stopped in our country. Is that true?

-Within the last decade, Mongolia became rich for the first time in its history. From the poorest country of the world, we instantly reached the “average” level and led the economic development indicators during the last few years. Did we suddenly became a hard-working people? No. This is the benefit of the rapid development of China, and foreign investment. Copper price surged and coal also became expensive. Thanks to this, the coal revenue far exceeded the Erdenet Mining Corporation. Within one decade, the GDP increased by almost 10 times. Oyu Tolgoi, which is not yet fully commissioned, makes up around one third of the entire revenue of this country. With this money, they really had a good time organizing parties. Just imagine! The budget of Ulaanbaatar increased by 15 times during the last decade. Many dog statues have been erected in the city. Vodka money distributed to the public already exceeded the GDP. “National corruption sector” grew astronomically high. it is probably inevitable because the state has so much money and lacks the wisdom to spend it. We lost a historic opportunity. Individuals and countries does not always have such opportunities. The parliament has blocked foreign investment. It covered all sectors ranging from minerals to communication to construction and regulated the corrupt officials to give permits. Corrupt officials that chase away investors and demand bribery are being elected and becoming key decision-makers. Investors anywhere are very sensitive. They are taking a risk with their huge capital. Those who were about to invest escaped and those who invested abandoned their investment. and those who already made significant investment stayed behind as a collateral. We ended up with several holes that have dug manually and geologists became unemployed. An acquaintance of mine has a drilling company and employs about 70 people and paid about MNT 2 billion taxes to the state. Now, he is working with his employees, cleaning up the streets of Ulaanbaatar and plucking out weeds in order to not dismiss his employees. They should be drilling in field by now and paying taxes to the state. We have a good examples of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Although Kazakhstan is not a democratic country, they are quite open in terms of foreign investment. This agricultural land of frontier area of Soviet Union has become one of the potential development zones of Asia today. The Kyrgyz people fought in small gold mine of Kumtor for almost 20 years and staged an overthrow of several governments that claimed lives of many people. Each time a new government is formed, they put new strange demand to the investors. Those who invested in such place, suffers so much and those who observe this, try to stay away from this place. Specialists say, much bigger deposits can be found; however, who will invest here in this scary place?

-Then, what do we do now?

-We have a parliamentary governance. However, foreigners does not always understand this. They think the president decides everything. They are now waiting for the next election. They know very well who pledged and promised to chase out, demolish, destruct, review, cancel and change. We talk about Rio Tinto; however, 50 large shareholders of this giant company are largest global companies and banks. If they go away from Mongolia, it would mean the whole world will leave us. It was said once that we are going to be one of the richest countries of the world; however, it changed to we may end up becoming a beggar soon. I am not trying to scare anyone. This is the reality. We are fighting with each other over a huge wealth, which more than enough enough for all of us. Shale was ignored until today. But now, there is a new technology that uses shale for energy production. High quality shale has been found in Mongolia. This is another source for new war in our country. There are already articles appeared in newspapers that say shale is dangerous, toxic and may lead to corruption and bribery. Now, the whole country will talk about shale. This is the next target for those patriots who do not even know what shale is. The environment is destroyed by us, rather than foreigners. Who is polluting the Orkhon river? Who is polluting Yuruu and Kharaa rivers? Who dug throughout the country looking for gold and made it polluted and fragile in the first place?

-You touched many uncovered issues and opened up many cases with criminal nature in your series. However, you did not name anyone. Why?

-The majority of our authorities are corrupt and thus, they cannot talk about these fearing their corruption will be discovered by other corrupt officials. I am not a maniac of eating or getting a bribery. I did not do anything illegal. I am able to take care of myself without having to steal. Therefore, I am not afraid of anyone. Those who do not like me, may stab me in the back. Now, if I say “for the sake of motherland and public”, I may look like those so-called patriots. However, I truly love this country without having to announce it superficially. Also, I am not a backstabber. I will not lodge complaint to court and police. In this series of articles, I mentioned about 10 large cases with a criminal nature. I am ready to take any responsibility if these are proven false. However, there are many organizations responsible for inspecting crimes or at the very least, compensate for the public.

Interviewed by Orkhon.J 2013.6.9

A

Жижиг

A

Дунд

A

Том

Ts.Davaasuren: OT sat idle for 5 years after power plant permit

​Review of working group on OT may include termination penalty of PSCA ​

 0 сэтгэгдэл


Earlier this week, the Minister of Energy Davaasuren Tserenpil gave an interview to a local media outlet “iToim.mn” on recent scandalous deals in the energy sector, including the Power Sector Cooperation Agreement (PSCA) with Oyu Tolgoi, and expressed Mongolia’s position on them.

-Will the Government renegotiate Eastern Energy System agreement? Why was the contracted get terminated?

-The agreement violated the article 7.3 of the Investment Agreement, which states to draw electricity from the territory of Mongolia within four years of operation. In other words, the Parliament-consented agreement was hard to amend for the Cabinet without having to negotiated with the Parliament. Thus, the agreement was terminated. Arnaud Soirat, Chief executive of Copper and Diamonds of Rio Tinto Group, said some uncanny remark that the company will establish the plant if the Cabinet issues a demand to draw electricity domestically within four years. That mister still do not understand the Investment Agreement. They accepted that responsibility under the investment Agreement. They were obliged to draw electricity within four years after commencing operations due in 2017. I do not understand what this mister meant by “issuing a demand”.

Generators with over 240MW cannot be installed in Mongolia

-It seems that the location of the power station is currently under discussion?

-I am curious about that. They received a 5-years permission to build the station at the mine from our ministry in July 2012. The permit was expired in 2017. Nothing has been done within that period. They should stop playing with the Government of Mongolia. They did not lift a finger before the Southern Region Power Sector Cooperation Agreement. The 2014 Tavan Tolgoi negotiation was also the same. Therefore, the Cabinet decided to terminate the contract.

-Will the Tavan Tolgoi coal-fired power station project continue?

-The Parliament and Cabinet expressed their position that Mongolia will build the power plant based on Tavan Tolgoi residual coal deposits. It is up to them to select the three options proposed through the Investment Agreement.

-Although Oyu Tolgoi promised to draw power from Mongolia within four years after commencing operations, they violated the agreement. Will they be held accountable for that?

-The Government established a working group on some issues concerning high loan interest, tax act and violation of investment agreement. The group may report their review on that.

-What about Baganuur power station? Are there are talks on terminating the agreement? There are rumors that the Government will go under MNT 512 billion debt if the contract is terminated.

-As for the compensation, there are talks about potential risks with that amount. It does not mean we are obliged to pay them. The thing is, some compensation may come up after the contract termination. It does not mean the power station’s high technology is not incompatible to Mongolia. They are planning to install high-capacity generator that are not suitable for Mongolia’s system. Generators with over 240MW cannot be install in Mongolia. Because we manage our system by drawing 240MW power from the Russian Federation. We will not be able to manage higher generators. The contract was negotiated regardless of the incompatibility. We demanded the investors to install a system compatible with Mongolia. We did not discuss any termination of contract.

-Democratic Party’s group in the Parliament made a statement demanding the Cabinet’s dismissal. What is your position on this?

-Cabinet penalized the related officials regarding the issues around the Ministry of Road and Transport Development. The officials themselves resigned from their position, acknowledging their responsibility.

A

Жижиг

A

Дунд

A

Том

Salary discussion may return as Labor Minister hints of a draft

 0 сэтгэгдэл


Cabinet held its regular session yesterday and approved the appointment of Khaltar Luvsan, Vice President of Ulaanbaatar Railway Joint Stock Venture, as the Deputy Minister of Road and Transport Development. The session also touched upon the establishment of Development center for the Disabled, electoral budget of the repolling and national program on children’s dental care. After the session, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Chinzorig Sodnom informed that he is planning to organize a trilateral meeting with the Government and Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions. He then highlighted that he will be presenting a bill on salary raise to the Cabinet next week.

GOVT TO BOOST EMPLOYMENT BY TRAINING THE DISABLED

At the initiative of the Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, the Cabinet issued a resolution to establish a Development Center for the Disabled (DCD). In doing so, 35 employees of Rehabilitation and Training Center will be transferred to the the DCD without having to allocate extra financing from the State Budget. According to statistics, 103,630 people, which equals 3.3 percent of the entire population, is currently disabled and 42 percent of households that have a disabled member are poverty-struck. Only 28 percent of disabled people between the age of 15 and 59 are employed and 43 percent of 6-18 years old children are illiterate.

MNT 390 MILLION ALLOCATED FOR REPOLL

Cabinet approved to allocate MNT 390 million for the repolling in the 42nd electoral district at the session. The electoral budget will be financed from the Cabinet’s reserve fund, of which MNT 228.1 million will be spent on the Parliamentary repolling, while the remaining MNT 162.5 million has been allocated for the reelections of Citizens’ Representative Khural of Bulgan, Dornogobi, Dornod, Sukhbaatar, Orkhon, Khentii, Zavkha and Gobi-Altai aimags according to the Cabinet.

NATIONAL PROGRAM ON CHILDREN'S DENTAL HYGIENE

Healthy Teeth - Healthy Children program to be implemented nationwide in 2018-2022. The program financing of MNT 37 billion is expected to be allocated from the State Budget, foreign aid, investment, public, private sector partnerships and other sources. By maintaining sustainable financing and developing cooperation of multiple sectors, the program aims to improve the quality of children’s dental care service and reduce dental prevalence of children by 30 percent and cavity by four points. The decision is related to the increased dental problems among children. A study conducted in 2011 shows that around 87-96 percent of 5-6 years old children 65.3 percent of 12 year olds and 67.5 percent of adults had cavity and experts perceive the number has increased in recent years. Presently, a total of 1049 dental clinics operate throughout the country, of which 77 percent of them are state-owned. The Cabinet highlighted to supply necessary equipment, workforces to local clinics and support welfare and insurance for the public.

A

Жижиг

A

Дунд

A

Том

Economy grows 6.3 percent on the back of consumer sector

​Average income of households rises 13.7 percent compared to last year​

 0 сэтгэгдэл


National Statistics Office released the preliminary results of social and economic situations of 2017. Driven by the upswing in tax revenue, goods and services, the economy grew to MNT 8 trillion, a 6.3 percent growth. In details, service sector grew 5.8 percent to MNT 184.9 billion, wholesales and retail - 9 percent to MNT 73.7 billion, net taxes on products - 21.4 percent to MNT 192.1 billion. The monthly average income of household jumped 13.7 percent year-over-year, to MNT 1.1 million. Key drivers were the average salary growth of MNT 46.4 thousand and MNT 28.5 thousand or 41.7 percent raise in income from non-agricultural production and services. The household expenditures averaged at MNT 1.1 million, which is MNT 96.7 thousand or 9.7 percent higher than the same period of last year. This was driven by an increase of MNT 73.1 thousand or 9.7 percent in non-food expenses and services and other expenditure. In the first 7 months of 2018, total equilibrated revenue and grants of the Government Budget reached MNT 5 trillion, and total expenditure and net lending amounted to MNT 4.8 trillion. As such, the budget balance totalled MNT 291.3 billion in surplus. Another highlight was the 33 percent surge (year-over-year) in tax revenue, reaching MNT 4.5 trillion. Specifically, value added tax revenue hiked 34.1 percent, income tax - 31.5 percent, excise taxes - 68.5 percent, social welfare income - 20.5 percent, others - 33 percent and revenue from foreign activities jumped 39 percent. The State revenue accounted for 79.6 percent of tax revenue, 10.3 percent of non-tax revenue, 7.3 percent of the future heritage fund and 2.8 percent of stabilization fund. In the first 7 months of 2018, total expenditure and net lending of the General Government Budget amounted to MNT 4.8 trillion, increased by MNT 271.9 billion or 6.1 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. The General Government expenditure and net lending accounted for 84.3 percent of current expenditure, 11.8 percent of capital expenditure and 3.9 percent of net lending. In addition, inflation increased by 5.5 percent in July.


A

Жижиг

A

Дунд

A

Том

Deputy of “Absent” ministry appointed

​Vise President of Ulaanbaatar Railway to serve as the Deputy Minister of Road​

 0 сэтгэгдэл


Board of Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) convened yesterday to discuss the replacement for the Deputy Minister of Road and Transport Development and appointed Khaltar Luvsan, Vice President of Ulaanbaatar Railway Joint Venture Company. Aside from Mr. Khaltar, Amarsanaa Baatar, who ran in the Parliamentary election, and Galsandondog Damdin, former Governor of Khovd aimag, were named as potential candidates. Last week, the Cabinet dismissed the Minister of Road and Transport Development, his deputy and state secretary. Although the minister’s dismissal has to go through the Parliament, the Cabinet has the right to appoint and dismiss the deputy and state secretary. In addition, the Cabinet has appointed Mergen Rentsen, Head of Policy Implementation and Coordination Department of the Ministry of Road and Transport Development (MRTD), as the State Secretary of the Ministry. Resignation of Bat-Erdene Jadamba, former Minister of MRTD, is yet to be confirmed as the law requires the Parliament’s approval. Deputy Prime Minister Enkhtuvshin Ulziisaikhan who is also appointed as the Acting Minister of MRTD explains that the decision was a measure to prevent further delay of the ministry. He added that he will pay extra attention to staff selection process. The ministry was also ordered to prepare reports on investment plan performance, 2019 budget plan, construction of Khushig Valley airport, Transportation and Logistics Center in Umnugobi aimag, road construction in Ulaanbaatar-Darkhan-Altanbulag route, rehabilitation of bridges, and winter preparation.