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http://zgm.mn/post/2782/

Mongolia faces needs to boost budget revenue

Experts see possibilities to increase tax income

Mongolia faces needs to boost budget revenue
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http://zgm.mn/post/2782/


Budget revenue of Mongolia is at risk due to tax deficit, deduction, and discounts for mining investors. Furthermore, the Extended Fund Facility program will expire in the coming year, threatening the budget decrease. As a result of the need, officials propose the possibility to increase budget revenue by setting up the right tax policy.

One out of every MNT 10 of Mongolia’s tax revenue goes to discounts and exemptions. In the last four years, tax deduction and exemptions to citizens and entities of Mongolia equal to nearly four trillion tugriks. The volume has increased, and exceeded one trillion tugriks this year. This number is expected to reach MNT 1.2 trillion next year, according to the 2019 budget. Currently, there are over 40 discounts and 180 exemptions nationwide.

As of 2018, there are 1.2 million working population in Mongolia

Taxes are the main source of Mongolia’s budget revenue, which accounts for 80 percent of it. However, the country can not fully obtain its tax. The tax deficit equals MNT 800 billion. As of 2018, there are 1.2 million people, who are working in Mongolia of which 650,000 are paying social insurance. The rest of the working people are receiving social and civil services without paying social insurance. This may lead the country to inequality of social allocation.

More specifically, government revenues are mainly generated from taxation and royalties from the mining industry, but the country provides benefits to direct mining investors by showing VAT and profit discounts. International organizations have also warned the need to organize such tax breaks. According to the World Bank, the detailed study of these preferences, goals, and economic feasibility is required.

In 2017, Mongolia received an extensive bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Since taking the IMF loan, Mongolia has had a good economic situation. When the three-year financial program expires in 2020, the revenue sources will decrease gradually and spell risk to the budget.

In order to expand budget revenue, Mongolia needs the policy which enables the government to identify unregistered and potential taxpayers and enhance accountability in tax administration. The experts also underscored the importance of simplifying tax payments, using electronic invoices, improving taxation and information strategies.

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Charter flight evacuates 171 Mongolians from Russia

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The Moscow-Ulaanbaatar charter flight landed at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport on May 26. According to the State Emergency Commission (SEC), 171 people arrived in Mongolia on the flight and will be isolated for 21 days at the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NCCD). The SEC has also decided to evacuate citizens through Altanbulag port on Tuesday and Wednesday. As of Monday, 11,275 people from 46 countries have applied to return to Mongolia. Specifically, about 2,000 citizens from the Republic of Korea, 1,270 from the United States, 906 from Australia, 560 from Kazakhstan, and 549 from India applied. The SEC had previously announced that it would operate a charter flight to India shortly. Moreover, four more patients have recovered from COVID-19 and were transferred into the next stage of isolation, bringing the total number of recoveries in Mongolia to 37, reported Director of the NCCD at a daily briefing of the Ministry of Health. The recovered patients received treatment for 42 to 43 days. Mongolia confirmed 141 cases of the COVID-19; of the 104 people being treated, 95 are in moderate condition and nine are in critical condition. On Monday, the NCCD reported that a COVID-19 had not been detected in 193 people tested at the NCCD and its affiliated laboratories.

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Constitutional court to conclude law on election on June 3

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The Constitutional Court of Mongolia will make a final decision on whether certain provisions of the Law on Parliamentary Elections violate the Constitution at its plenary session on June 3, 2020, according to the Constitutional Court’s Media and Public Relations Office. In line with the election law, Article 6.1 stipulates that a party registered with the Supreme Court prior to the announcement of an election eligible to participate in the parliamentary election and Article 28.3.1 of the same law provides that parties and coalitions must register with the Supreme Court before the deadline for expressing their participation in the election which means conflicting regulations are enshrined in this law. In this regard, the Constitutional court considered whether these provisions violated the Constitution and decided to suspend them in violation of the relevant provisions of the Constitution on April 22. Since the Parliament considered this conclusion unacceptable, the court is going to finalize the dispute in its plenary session. The Constitutional Court of Mongolia has also decided to postpone the May 27, 2020 mid-session at the request of the Cabinet’s proxy representative. The meeting was scheduled to negotiate whether some provisions of the law on procurement of goods, works and services with state and local funds offenses against the constitution.

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Fuel price lowers amid oil plunge

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  • AI-92 gasoline will be sold in Ulaanbaatar at MNT 1,320-1,400

The Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia (MRPAM) held a press conference on fuel price. Concerning the Brent crude oil plunge in the global market, prices of A-80 type petroleum decreased by MNT 50, AI-92 by MNT 80-100, AI-95 petroleum decreased by 200 MNT, and diesel fuel price reduced by MNT 160 as of May 25.Government Resolution No. 114 specifies that the price of all types of fuel to be reduced by MNT 300-400 due to the fall in oil prices in foreign markets and that it will remain stable further, according to the spokesperson.To implement the resolution, we are working to keep the price of AI-92 type of petroleum stable for eight months. During this period, AI-92 will be available in Gobi-Altai and Zavkhan provinces at a price not exceeding MNT 1,670 per liter. In other words, AI-92 gasoline will be sold in Ulaanbaatar at MNT 1,320-1,400. Retail prices for petroleum and diesel fuel have been falling since yesterday and will be fixed, the spokesperson said. Mongolia has 39 days of oil reserves for normal consumption, the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority reported earlier this month. However, the domestic consumption of petroleum products is declining. Particularly, fuel importers state the reducing consumption of petroleum products due to export disruptions and difficulties in the mining sector. As of May 24, petroleum import has decreased by 20 percent and the import of diesel fuel by 32 percent, according to a preliminary report of the General Customs Administration.

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Mining expenditure may drop as companies cut costs

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  • Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi planned to sell 9.2 million tons of coal this year but reduced it by 30 percent to 6.2 million tons

The Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ), an investor of Oyu Tolgoi (OT) reported that the Oyu Tolgoi underground mine project which was planned to cost USD 1.3 billion in 2020, contracted its spending to USD 1.1 billion mainly due to COVID-19 outbreak. It has also deteriorated open-pit cost from USD 120 million to up to USD 80 million. Oyu Tolgoi project made over 94 percent of foreign direct investment of Mongolia in the first quarter of the year. Petromatad, which has discovered an oil field in the Tamsag basin, has cut its employees’ salaries, reducing the earnings of all directors and senior managers by an average of 50 percent and the salaries of professional consultants by up to 45 percent since the second quarter. In the future, it is possible to cut additional costs depending on market conditions. Additionally, Tsairt Mineral LLC, the main exporter of zinc, has postponed construction work at the open pit this year. As a result, the company said, the plant's supply could be disrupted. The company announced that preparations for an underground mine that will create about 200 jobs have been delayed. Coal companies have also cut their export plans this year. For example, Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi planned to sell 9.2 million tons of coal this year but reduced it by 30 percent to 6.2 million tons.