DP caucus asks President to veto 2019 Budget Bill
DP members calls for President to veto 2019 State Budget bill
2 сар, 2 долоо хоног өмнө
Following the ratification of the draft bill on 2019 State Budget last friday, the President may put a veto on the decision as he previously requested the Parliament to cut expenditure. Although some of his requests, such as allocation to child protection activities, were fulfilled, the Parliament approved MNT 47 billion allocation for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development Fund, which drew public attention as several parliament members (MPs) allegedly tapped high-sum loans at low interest rate. Another key request addressed by the President during the budget discussion last month was to cut budget expenditure by around 15 percent; however, the Parliament adopted the bill without any significant change at MNT 1.9 trillion in deficit. As for revenue, several MPs and experts criticized that the budget has an optimistic assumption. For instance, coal export, one of the key export items was forecasted at 42 million tons in 2019. Parliament members, including the Minister of Mining and Heavy Industry Sumiyabazar Dolgorsuren explained that the amount is attainable with the completion of infrastructure projects currently being implemented in the main coal export route. “The full repayment of the bonds will begin in 2021.
This will coincide with a decline in the commodities cycle. On top of it, the global economy might face an unprecedented crisis. It is hard to imagine what will happen if all these risks coincide. The Cabinet must forget about elections. It is time to focus on overcoming the looming risks,” previously stressed President Battulga during the discussion on budget bill. He also mentioned that the balanced revenue of the 2019 budget was estimated to increase by MNT 2.4 trillion, of which MNT 1.3 trillion of it would come from mining sector, which constitutes 53.1 percent of the total expected revenue. “In other words, over half of the budget revenue is projected to be generated by the most unwarranted revenue source-it is a risk that could create a big hole in the budget,” Mr. President remarked. With the current scandal around the SME Development Fund and on-going demonstrations against sudden jumps in fuel price and foreign exchange rate, local media outlets are claiming that the President will put veto on 2019 budget. Additionally, the Democratic Party faction in the Parliament, which announced to not attend Parliament sessions until SME Development Fund scandal is resolved, called for the President to veto the bill, blaming the Parliament for approving the budget without the presence of DP members yesterday.