REMARKS BY H.E. MR. ENKHBOLD MIYEGOMBO, CHAIRMAN OF THE STATE GREAT HURAL,
AT THE OPENING OF THE 2017 SPRING SESSION
OF THE STATE GREAT HURAL (PARLIAMENT) OF MONGOLIA
April 05, 2017 Ulaanbaatar
Your Excellency Mr. President,
Your Excellency Mr. Prime Minister and Ministers
Honorable members of the State Great Hural,
Government of Mongolia exchanged repayment of 580 million USD bonds of the Development Bank by successfully issuing “Khuraldai” bonds and trading it on international markets.
The fact that international investors placed orders totaling 3.3 billion USD for the newly issued bonds showed that Mongolia regains trust of investors while just a few months ago we had little chance of receiving a loan.
The Parliament’s approval of revision of the Law on Development Bank of Mongolia as well as decisive actions aimed at improving the bank’s solvency contributed to achieving these positive results.
Last week I had an official visit to Japan and attended the 136 Assembly of International Parliamentarian Union held in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During the Assembly, I chaired the Asian Pacific Group meeting and met with delegations of many different countries of the world.
They all have appreciated the maintenance of political stability in Mongolia and applauded the actions carried out by state and government towards overcoming the difficulties and expressed their readiness to support Mongolia.
Although these positive outcomes are considered as success, it is not enough to solve existing debt pressure, to reform financial system and get back to sustainable growth. Negative effects from uncontrolled borrowing and unwise spending of recent years still persist.
Government debt of 18.6 trillion MNT that equals to 76.9% of the country’s GDP still remains as of today. Interest payment of 1.3 trillion MNT that equals to 16% of budgetary expenditure in 2017 is planned.
After long and uneasy negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, the Government of Mongolia and Mongol Bank concluded preliminary agreements on implementing the Extended Fund Facility program.
This program from IMF will assist us in conducting reforms directed at improving financial sector governance and strengthening monitoring capabilities.
We are confident that the program will result in overcoming economic difficulties, stabilizing the country’s financial and economic condition, reforming of banking and financial system, attracting investors and improving of citizens’ livelihood.
Using this opportunity, on behalf of the State Great Hural of Mongolia, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to heads of diplomatic missions and representatives of international organizations for your continued support and your valuable recommendations in overcoming these temporary difficulties and deepening of democratic reforms in Mongolia.
In order to commence implementation of the IMF program, several issues have to be debated and resolved during this session of the State Great Hural.
Firstly, budget for 2017 has to be amended accordingly. This budget amendment will provide continuation at new level the policies directed at improving basic budgetary indicators, ensuring of sustainable budgetary income, strengthening fiscal discipline and increasing of effective expenditure.
Along with budget amendments, such issues as gradual increase of some types of taxes and pension age will be discussed during this session.
However, these issues have to be solved with minimal effects on citizens’ livelihood.
Members of the State Great Hural,
Spring is coming to Mongolia. A season of rejuvenation, warmer and milder weather is coming. However, we should remember of unpredictability of this season. We have to work hard in order to overcome unpredicted obstacles. Hard work brings its outcomes, spring is followed by summer.
During his recent meeting with heads of governmental agencies, local administrations and managing directors of state owned enterprises, Prime Minister of Mongolia formulated the government’s scope of works, policies, goals and principles to abide to.
Now, it is time to pass its disease off for our economy which has been already “transferred from the hospital intensive care unit to the ordinary ward”. The foremost task to recover the economy and “discharge from the hospital” must start from this spring and complete by the end of this year.
We cannot lose opportunities on increasing prices of mineral products in the world market, implementing programs with the International Monetary Fund, positive attitudes from the outwards, improvement of state financial responsibility and increasing amount of re-attracted foreign investors.
We must do some certain steps firmly to move and implement major mining and energy projects in this spring.
Mongolia has fully paid the CHALCO debt. We have paid arrears in short time by implementing proper management from the Government.
Therefore, all income from the Tavan Tolgoi coal project will wholly go to the state budget and Mongolians can get benefited from natural resources.
Now on, we need to resolve once and for all the questions such as how and which way to implement this project, with whom to cooperate or should we implement this by ourselves.
It is time to make precise decision and obtain tangible outcome from railroad sector that was only talked about track sizes and wasting assets until now.
The main leverage to direct this task to its right path shall be the resolution of the Parliament on “State policy for the implementation of railroad transportation” which is on the agenda of the items to be discussed in this spring session.
The project to build 1200 km railroad should be started this year and other projects to build 1400 km asphalt roads and 640 m long girder bridges should be continued as well.
We have already approved documents to repair 430 km roads and commence several big projects in power, heat supply and energy sectors.
Therefore, we should start above mentioned and other construction projects as soon as possible.
Only 753 of 3030 tenders were announced by these first three months of 2017. It means just 25 percent of our planned task is implemented.
We all know that when the tender process slows down corruption will rise and state assets will be wasted.
There are many value-added processing projects to stimulate the economy such as “Gold-2” project and feasibility studies of building copper ore and oil refineries, as well as there are many other important seasonal tasks namely spring sowing and delivering livestock.
The Government needs to pay more attention on implementing policies, goals, programs and projects on time with high quality by well-organized and proper management team.
The draft laws on “Investment bank” and “National payments system” should be adopted by the Parliament of Mongolia in this session in order to increase foreign investments to domestic bank sectors, introduce international standards, develop competition, and provide stable, reliable, efficient and seamless national payments system.
Everyday life demands us to develop the livestock sector and improve sustainable source of herder household income.
The draft laws on “Animal health” and “Animal genetic resources” that planned to be discussed in this spring session will bring sufficient inputs to introduce international standards to our animal and husbandry system, strengthen preventing systemsforanimal infectious diseases, export animals and animal products to foreign markets in mid-term, increase incomes from raw materials and products, and improve livelihoods of herders.
Dear Colleagues and Civil servants,
People of Mongolia demand discipline, moral ethics and responsibility from us.
They require that capacity of civil service and civil servants should be kept strong.
People criticize that the number of responsible, educated and experienced civil servants, who are recognized for their honest service to their country are decreasing.
We shouldn’t turn blind eye on this bitter but true demand.
We are getting accustomed to the turnover and appointment of civil servants after every election.
The perception of civil service that drops Party’s name, and misuses family relationship still exists.
Following this, the established order of state work is being lost.
If we don’t change it, we won’t be able to develop and advance even with wealth and resource.
For the past few years, we agreed that civil service should be non-political, fair, transparent, and serve the people.
However, we avoided to identify its’ main cause and its solution, and even if we were aware of it we didn’t take effective action.
A constructive mechanism that ensures the continuity of civil service and professional and sustainable civil service wasn’t established.
It is no secret that corruption and bureaucracy within the civil service still exist due to the inefficient assessment of work performance of government organization and civil servants, and ethics, discipline and accountability are weak.
During this Parliament’s spring session, we plan to revise the Law on Civil Service.
The system of merit-based promotion, demotion, wages and bonuses and accountability will be legalized.
We will also pursue the principle of ensuring the legal environment for validating independence of Civil Service Council, and public involvement in the evaluation of efficiency, accessibility and quality of the civil service.
The issue of keeping civil service free from corruption, bureaucracy and conflict of interest is an integral part of civil service reform and is related to every aspect of the society.
We need to combat corruption that is eating away the prosperity of our country, the future of our people, and the foundation of our existence; otherwise we are all aware that no matter how much money we spend, how well the program is, it will be useless.
Since we all understand, we must fight the corruption now. In this fight, there is no other way than to pursue the most stringent principles.
The National Anti-Corruption Program was adopted during the fall session of Parliament. It has been 5 months since the Government and Anti-corruption Agency were given the task to implement the Program.
We want to see the actual results of constructive work that is being implemented within the framework of combating corruption.
Therefore, I assign the Standing Committee on Justice to report on the implementation of the Program and its evaluation.
Furthermore, we call the Government to conduct a research, study on the laws and regulations related to conducting business sector by sector, e.g. taxation, customs, finance, insurance, registration, licensing and real estate, and void laws and regulations that enable bureaucracy, bribery, and accordingly, improve the legal environment and take action to abide by it in timely manner.
The word “offshore” is being heard everywhere I held a meeting, and people are discussing this issue critically.
Thus, we must amend the law on “Regulation of public and personal interests in public service, and preventing the conflict of interest” without any delay.
I would like to note that I have a firm personal position on this matter which is people who serve the public must not have an account in offshore.
Additionally, I would like to remind our Parliament’s Standing Committee on Law and the Government that the Parliament’s resolution on returning the 49 percent common stocks of “Erdenet factory” LLC, “Mongolrostsvetmet” LLC to state ownership is being implemented very slowly.
Approving a law is one thing, but if it’s not implemented, it’s just a paper. Government organizations and officials must firmly implement the approved laws and regulations, and those laws and regulations must serve for our citizens.
Mongolian constitution specifically states that the Government is obliged to organize the enforcement of law across the country.
The State Great Hural will always demand the implementation of this constitutional duty from the Government.
Also, I would like to remind that the Government is ought to tighten its monitoring of implementation of regulations.
Ordinary citizens, scholars and researchers, political parties, and respected individuals of our society started to voice their opinions and hold discussions on amending some parts of the Mongolian Constitution.
According to proposals that came to Working groups established within the parliament and government, majority of Mongolian citizens think we must amend the constitution.
Thus, we plan to discuss the bill of amendment to the Mongolian constitution during our spring session. It’s worth to mention that this issue must be handled with extreme responsibility and care according to our proverb of “measure seven times and cut once”.
Therefore, I ask members of the State Great Hural to fully provide political and social consensus, and to work based on research and actual need.
During this spring session of the State Great Hural, presidential election of Mongolia will be held.
Our citizens and political parties have a tradition of electing the Head of State, who is the embodiment of the unity of Mongolian people, with respect to justice, national unity and the state interests.
I’m confident that this tradition will be kept, and the General Election Committee and all its branches will organize the election according to the law.
I would like to ask you to widely consider the public opinion in approving laws and regulations during this session of State Great Hural, and to actively and responsibly participate in activities of Standing Committees and the parliamentary session.
The 2017 spring session of the State Great Hural is now open.
Press and Public Relations Department of the State Great Hural of Mongolia