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http://zgm.mn/post/1282/

President Battulga: Child protection remains inadequate

​President holds the 2nd meeting on child protection with related officials​

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http://zgm.mn/post/1282/


Monitoring the implementation of child protection actions, President of Mongolia Battulga Khaltmaa held the second meeting with the related officials yesterday as scheduled during the previous meeting on August 30. After studying their reports, the President inquired the related agencies for faults and delays.

1335 SIX-YEAR OLDS WERE UNABLE TO ENROLL INTO SCHOOL

President: -I ordered the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sport (MECSS) to prepare the standards for child protection and conduct safety inspections. What has been done in this regard and why hasn’t the standards prepared yet?

MECSS: -We have approved the standards of preschool education institutions in cooperation with the UNICEF. The implementation guidelines have been sent to every kindergartens nationwide. They have started sending their ability to install the standard with their own assets. The study is expected to finalize next month.

President: -11 percent of secondary schools have high risk, 31 percent - medium risk and 57 percent - low risk according to the Environmental Safety Assessment. There are no riskfree schools. The potential victims to the risk is children. Are there any opportunity to make them risk-free?

MECSS: -There are 65 secondary schools under high risk, of which 15 are in the Capital and the rest being in local areas. Majority of the current secondary schools were constructed in the 1970’s. Some buildings are aged over 50 years. We will focus on renovating constructions under the risk assessment.

President: -Enrollment of sixyears olds is becoming a growing problem in local areas. Several parents have already issued complaints on school accessibility. How are you planning on solving this?

MECSS: -As stated by the Law on Education, we are delaying the enrollment of six-year old children by one year. The enrollment of a total of 1335 children were postponed in this regard.

President: -This is not a solution. Every single six-year old child will not live in dormitories. This has to be settled within legal frames. Another problem is daycare centers. Who is responsible for their standards?

MECSS: -There was a decision to operate day-care centers at schools. The ministry cannot monitor private day-care centers. We have submitted a request to the National Authority for Children and the Cabinet and are revising the standards and requirements.

PRIOR NOTICES CAUSE INEFFECTIVE INSPECTIONS

President: -I have received several complaints about retail stores selling expired and/or unidentified products. General Agency for Specialized Investigation (GASI) inspection concluded that they were “unable to settle”. Aren’t there any surprise inspections?

GASI: -Law on State Inspection and Examination identifies planned and unplanned inspections. The planned inspection has to be notified near the end of the previous year, while the unplanned inspections require complaints or requests, as well as five-days of prior notice

President: -Prior notices will result in ineffective inspections. The law has to be reviewed.

GASI: -This is also our facing issue. It is impossible to find any violations with prior notices. Our inspectors are willing to conduct unplanned inspections if the law is revised.

700 PEOPLE BECAME VICTIMS OF CAR ACCIDENTS SINCE JANUARY, OF WHITCH 40 PERCENT WERE CHILDREN

President: -A serious incident occurred on social media last week. How is the action on cybercrime prevention?

National Police Agency (NPA): -The UNFRIEND movement against cybercrime reached over 6.1 million people in a double counting. In cooperation with the Communication and Information Technology Authority, the preparatory works of an influence campaign is currently underway. Also, the NPA has established a unit to fight against cybercrime.

President criticizes Cabinet's lack of response to capital punishment

At the end of the meeting, the President concluded the reports of Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, Authority for Family, Child and Youth Development, MECSS and Education Department of the Capital as inadequate and complimented the GASI, NPA and Traffic Police Authority for their effective actions. He then highlighted the growing numbers of child abuse and its recurrence, which is around 2-3 cases per day, and warned to focus on the issue. He remarked, “I submitted a request to revive capital punishment on child abusers; however, the Cabinet did not respond yet.”

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Construction of Tavantolgoi power plant to begin in 2020

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The Government of Mongolia and Oyu Tolgoi (OT) LLC have signed “Energy Regulatory Coordination” on 31 December 2018. According to the agreement, the construction of the Tavan Tolgoi power plant will start from March 2020 and be completed by 2023.

When the Tavan Tolgoi power plant with a capacity of 300 mWh commences, the power supply of OT will be improved along with the integrated power supply system of Mongolia. As of 2018, the OT mine project has paid approximately USD 150 million for generating electricity from Inner Mongolia's energy system annually. Tavan Tolgoi thermal power station will keep the invest in Mongolia. Furthermore, when the OT underground mine is commissioned, energy consumption will increase by 30-40 percent from current levels.

The plant will provide water from the Naiman valley and will use minimize water consumption via using an air cooling system for power plants. The Tavan Tolgoi power plant planned to use 1.2 million tons of coal annually and will use the thermal coal, which does not be exported and left at the  mines. The remaining coal will be in circulation in the economy, according to the spokesman.

Also, 200 permanent jobs will be created, following the increased housing and social buildings and improved urban development.

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World Bank report underscores importance of strong fiscal foundation

Mongolia’s capital expenditure has been among the highest in the world in 2010-2016

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According to the World Bank’s report on public expenditure, Mongolia’s over-expanded budget policy altered fiscal discipline. Therefore, the World Bank highlights the need for adequate fiscal resources by accumulating savings during economic growth.

“With high public debt, low tax rates and high exemptions, the Mongolian economy remains extremely vulnerable to external factors, including shifts in global demand, commodity prices, and exchange rate and interest rate shocks. There is a clear need to strengthen fiscal buffers through increased savings during years of prosperity,” said Andrei Mikhnev, World Bank Country Manager for Mongolia.

At an average of about 11 percent of GDP in 2010-2016, Mongolia’s capital expenditure has been among the highest in the world. However, the returns of this spending have been low due to poor project selection, long delays in implementation, high-cost overruns, and low maintenance budgets.

“The report lays out key actions the country can take to enhance the efficiency of public investment. Development and implementation of a national road map to improve the efficiency of these investments is the top priority,” said Jean-Pascal Nganou, Senior Country Economist and a lead author of the report.

Given Mongolia’s highly volatile revenue performance, the report also recommends reducing the dependence of government revenue on the mineral sector by embarking on a gradual reform of the tax system. This includes measures to increase low statutory tax rates, revise the number and size of tax exemptions, and broaden the tax base. The report illustrates that VAT and excise taxes in Mongolia are regressive in nature as their burden is larger among the poor than among the non-poor.

It also highlights special spending needs in health and education – key sectors that play an essential  role in the country’s long-term development and the fight against poverty.

The report highlights the urgent need to strengthen the pension system to meet the needs of Mongolia’s aging population. The government set the target for a maximum state subsidy for pensions of 2 percent of GDP by 2030. However, due to measures allowing many workers to purchase a pension for life at retirement age at a fraction of the cost that other workers have paid during their work lives, reducing herders’ retirement ages, and others, the current subsidy of 2 percent of GDP is projected to rise to 6 percent in 2030 and 11 percent in 2050 unless reforms are undertaken.

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World Bank: One in three people remain poor in Mongolia

Poverty rate fell by 1.2 percentage point since 2016

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The poverty rate in Mongolia, which was 29.6 percent in 2016, lowered to 28.4 percent in 2018, declining 1.2 percentage point. The National Statistical Office (NSO) biannually conducts the poverty indicators of Mongolia in cooperation with the World Bank. The two organizations have collaborated on poverty assessments through the Household Income and Expenditure Survey and the Living Standard Measurement Survey since 2002.

In 2018, the poverty gap was estimated at 7.2 percent, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points from 2016. Poverty severity has decreased to 2.7 percent from 2.9 percent in 2016. During the period between 2016 and 2018, the poverty rate declined by 4.1 percentage points in rural areas but increased by 0.1 percentage points in urban areas. While the poverty rate remains high in rural areas, with two-thirds of the total population of Mongolia living in urban cities, poverty has become more concentrated in urban areas. The percentage of the poor population in urban areas has increased from 62.1 percent to 63.5 percent in 2018. Also, more than 40 percent of the poor lived in Ulaanbaatar in 2018.

As of 2016, 29.6 percent of Mongolian citizens were living below the poverty line, indicating that one in three people or roughly one million people live in poverty. The rate, which was 21.6 percent in 2014, increased by 8 percent in 2016, showing 275,000 povertystruck people over this period.

The poverty line that indicates the amount of money required to provide the basic needs was MNT 146,000. In 2014, those who have moved above the line were back in poverty due to the negative impacts of the economy and society. The economy grew by 20 percent between 2012 and 2014, while the economy grew by 3.6 percent in 2015 and 2016. As a result of 2016, the GDP growth slowed by 1 percent. At the time, the deficit reached MNT 3.6 trillion due to the collapse of commodity markets in the world.



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World’s top innovation company leaders meet Mongolian innovators

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During the Innovation and Investment forum organized by the Parliament Speaker Zandanshatar Gombojav, the leaders of the world’s top innovation companies came and viewed Mongolia's innovation project and product launches. Participants in the forum exchanged views on how to exchange international experiences in order to strengthen startup firms and to support innovation products with banking and financial institutions.

Mr. Zandanshatar initiated the forum in May, after visiting academic institutions of some universities and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences to discuss innovative projects and products with competitiveness and seek solutions. The forum also intended to exchange experience in innovation projects and products successfully implemented in the market.

The Parliament Speaker highlighted in his opening speech, “According to the World Economic Forum in 2017, Mongolia is ranked 11th in the Global Human Capital Report by intellectual property, while ranking 111th in the knowledge of exported products out of 130 countries worldwide. This indicator shows that Mongolians have a high intellectual capacity, but we are left behind on using the knowledge and value-added products. The forum aimed to push the dissemination of innovation, as well as the possibility of involving scientists and private entrepreneurs to science-based development.”