Remarks by H.E. Mr. Enkhbold Miyegombo, Chairman of the State Great Hural, at the opening of the 2018 spring session of the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia

  2018-04-05 14:55  1152

Your Excellency Mr. President,

Your Excellency Mr. Prime Minister

Honourable members of the State Great Hural,

Distinguished guests,

We have gathered to commence our spring session in accordance with the Law on Mongolian State Great Hural and the Law on the procedure of the sessions of the State Great Hural.

Since the closing of the autumn session, members of the State Great Hural have visited about 300 soums in 21 provinces and 9 districts of the capital and met over 178 thousand citizens and voters to explain laws and state policies approved by the Parliament and to be introduced with their implementation as well. There is no doubt that these meetings have clearly demonstrated the condition of the people’s life, the concerns they face and the evaluation they do on the activities of the state and government.

Despite the progress and success achieved, the people's livelihood in overall is not that good.

The most of the households in the center of aimags and soums have linked to the central electric system, and all centers of the aimags except 5 are connected with the paved road. The solar and wind power became the common use of herders. All soums and settlements have access to the mobile broadband networks and are connected to the world from home and herders’ camps through the internet and smartphones. They are getting the news by watching all TV channels.

However, people engaged in livestock and farming cannot fully benefit from their work. Increased livestock and harvested crops are not becoming a sustainable source of income.

Bonuses for wool, skins, and hides are unavailable to every herder household. In 2017, 89.9 thousand herders out of 302.5 thousand received the bonus for wool and in 2016, 64.2 thousand herders for skin and hides. In 2016, 25.5 percent of wool, 8.3 percent of cashmere, and only 10 percent of skin and hire have been processed. About 400.0 thousand tons of meat and 874.4 thousand tons of milk have been produced, yet; only 2.5% of the meat and about 8.0% of the milk has been processed through facility means.

The reason for this abulia is a non-development of the industry, particularly processing industry in the rural areas. Therefore, the Parliament, the Government, and the local authorities should at first support establishing the processing facilities in aimags and soums and increase the budget and investment for it, and further develop them in the regional level in line with the market, population and infrastructure development.

Farmers want to keep and sell their grown potatoes and vegetables until the next harvest and thus to have a sustainable source of income. However, due to the lack of storage and warehouses, there is no any other choice except to sell them as wholesale in the fall when the prices are at the lowest level.

Although the Ministry of Agriculture states that the supply of capacity of vegetable storage has reached 80 percent in 2016, the benefits are not being felt or seen. In 2013-2015, within the framework of the "Price stabilization program" of the Government, it provided a loan of MNT 94.6 billion to 32 enterprises in order to increase the supply of underground storages, warehouses, and shopping centers. Unfortunately, 24 storages established by this loan are all in Ulaanbaatar. This is an example of how the measures taken are not aligned with the rural development policy and are not benefiting the people and the households.

In the coming years, let the government solve the difficulties the farmers face by issuing them a loan from the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Development Fund and from the soum development fund with the purpose to build underground storages, and by including potatoes and vegetables to the list of products traded in the Mongolian Commodity Exchange.

People are warning that there is a need to take serious actions towards decentralization and ensuring of the rural development through creating favourable conditions for life in the rural areas. Unemployment remains high in the centers of aimags, soums. The lack of jobs and favourable condition to live are the key reasons why the soums are becoming uninhabited and the youth are leaving their home places.

Approximately 15 percent of households in aimags and soums, including the aimag center, is connected to the central heating supply, and about 16 percent has access to the central clean water and sewage network. In the rural areas, water and heating issues were left behind. We have forgotten the importance of water and heat supply for running the production and service. Hereby, based on the certain plan and estimate, let's start work to establish a new water supply, sewerage, central and partial heating system using eco-friendly and progressive technologies and connect up to 50% of households in the soums as well as expand the existing ones.

Honorable members of the parliament,

The State Great Hural has particularly focused on reducing air and environmental pollution, increasing access to schools and kindergartens in the capital city and made decisions on their budget and investment, which are considered adequately with regard to the current situation. Specific assignments and instructions were given to the Government. So now, it’s time to start the works have to be done without any delay and evaluate their progress and the outcomes every moment.

The State Great Hural must examine the outcomes of the working groups established by the parliament, the decisions of the parliament as well as the expenditures of the approved budget and funds.

The traffic jam is one of the problems causing despair among the citizens in the city and loss of time and money. According to the given information, the length of the road of the capital city is 858 km, the amount of vehicles is 586.8 thousand and the traffic load is 3 times over. It became obvious that the traffic jam cannot be solved by expanding the road. Instead, it is important to learn from the world practices which are the correct organization of the traffic flow, optimizing the public transportation routes as well as building the tunnels and crossovers.

Construction works to be done by the state budget investment and other sources are still noteless. Although the first quarter of the year has already ended, there has been no announcement of tenders, slow of transfer of authorization to the local bodies and numerous other unclear issues. These matters need to be considered and the works should be carried out immediately.

There is a need to apply development process as a lever to ensure employment of citizens. Effectually, the subcontractors for the construction of buildings and bridges should be invited from the domestic workforces, but not from outside.

Honorable parliamentarians,

The ratio of use of drugs, narcotics, psychotropic substances, alcoholism and crimes caused by it has reached the distressing level. 4.7% of those convicted by the courts in 2017 are aged between 14-17, whereas 42.7% belongs to the age interval between 18 and 29. 25% of the sentenced were drunk while committed the crimes.

Compared to the previous year, the number of the convicts aged 14-15 has increased by 3.5%, a number of children aged 16-17 by 23.5%, the number of youth aged 18-29 by 26.8% and the number of the convicted who committed crimes while drunk by 30.4% respectively. At the national level, 8839 criminal cases were trialled at the criminal court of the first instance, which is 53.4% higher than that of the previous year, while 4.9% increase has shown up in the crimes of illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Although the first instance court decisions might have been reviewed and altered, it is a serious concern that approximately 48% of the convicted is the teenagers and young people. Thus, it is necessary to intensify the measures to determine the root causes, prevent and combat it.  It’s time to pay a special attention to the up-bringing, education and ethics of children and youth. For this purpose, let’s instruct the Cabinet to revise the Law on the Control of Circulation of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and bring it to the State Great Hural for discussion.

Furthermore, the Government should take into the consideration the necessity to review whether the policy on the crimes and conflicts of illegal circulation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and penalties posed on them have been properly generated in the Criminal Code and the Law on the Conflicts/Violation or not which became effective last year. I would like to intentionally note that the mothers' proposals for the protection of young children from violence or abuse and strengthening the sentencing policy for violators cannot be excused or left behind with any explanations.

According to the statistics from the National Statistics Office, domestic alcohol production has been developed at a level where 2.8 litters of spirit, 7.9 litters of alcohol, wine and 26.3 litters of beer are allotted per a citizen of Mongolia. There are 12263 places for sales and services of alcoholic beverages nationwide, which mean 124 per every 1000 citizens over 18 years old. This demonstrates that production, import, sales, service, and consumption of alcoholic beverages exceed the proper level; consequently, it causes a serious negative impact on the national security.

In the Guidelines for refining the laws adopted by the State Great Hural until 2020, it is stated that the Government is required to submit a Law on Amendments to the Law on Combating Alcoholism in 2017. The draft law should be submitted during the spring session, and it should include that the production, types, and services of the alcoholic beverages have to be decreased to the proper level and the maximum limit of the alcohol content has to be legitimized.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to note that the relevant Standing Committee needs to evaluate the implementation of the Guidelines mentioned above. In 2017, the Government supposed to submit 105 laws, however, the result shows that the number of laws submitted and adopted was 39 and implementation was 37.1%. It is assumed that the implementation of the Guidelines needs to be considered in line with the quality of the laws. The number of legislation adopted and amended as a result of the first three sessions of this parliamentary term is already 83.3% higher than that of the previous parliament. However, it is clear to everyone that the quality is more important than the quantity.

Honorable members,

Since the adoption of the Law on combatting corruption 22 years ago, many milestones such as joining the UN convention against corruption and aligning national legislation with it, establishing an independent anti-corruption body, creating a legal ground have taken place. This work will continue further.

In line with it, there is a need to ensure the independence of the law enforcement agencies responsible for combating corruption and white-collar crimes.  On the other hand, those law enforcement agencies must operate in accordance with the laws, free of violating the human rights and repressing the innocent, and work promptly but productively.

Taking too much time on investigation phase makes the case scrutinized as a political issue, causes the division and turmoil among the people, and consequently making it unclear and unsolved. Such kind of scenario has been becoming common, thus it needs a special attention.

The matter regarding the “Erdenet” mining factory needs to be resolved promptly and those who’ve broken the law must be held accountable. 

The investigation of corruption-related suspects has caused the rise of talk about terminating the Oyu-Tolgoi contract, deporting the investors, and even making public statements for some party and politicians. Overly politicizing Oyu-Tolgoi matters and making it into a political theme can only have the negative impact on the interests and welfare of Mongolia.  The issue must not be solved by disregarding the law and using political means for political interests.          

Therefore, the working group to examine and draw a conclusion on the implementation of the investment contract to use the Oyu-Tolgoi mines was formed by the decree of the Speaker of the Parliament. The working group must be mindful of the public keen anticipation toward the results of their evaluation, and thus strive to work responsibly. In order for the evaluation to go well, it is significant to include in the sub-working group the experts in the field, and representatives of citizens with the purpose to have a common position and come up with correct conclusion.   

Everywhere, citizens are discussing the offshore. In order to address this issue at once, the state and governmental institutions must all work together. It might even be necessary to cooperate and gain support from the international community as well. The current Parliament was the first which passed the specific law and regulations on offshore issues. Now the implementation and the outcome of the law are important.

At this time, it’s important to remind that today is the last day for officials, and their related bodies reporting their income to close the accounts if opened ones, to return the money if put some, to terminate the ownership of real estates and operations of legal entities if owned or run some.

Honorable members, Prime Minister

The citizens are also asking us, if the crisis is stabilized, and the economy is growing, how come that the positive changes are not impacting our daily lives? We should give a correct response to this question.

While approving the “Economic Recovery Program”, the Parliament decided to start large-scaled projects to support the real sectors, and accelerate the development of infrastructure constructions. The utilization of Tavan-Tolgoi mines, construction of 450MW of Tavan-Tolgoi power station, the extension of 250MW of 3rd Power Plant, 50MW of Choibalsan Power Plant were included in the program as well. In addition, the decisions to start the construction work of “Bogd Khan” railway and support railway construction in the routes of Tavan-Tolgoi–Gashuun Sukhait, Nariin Sukhait – Shiveekhuren, Zuunbayan–Khangi, Khuut–Bichigt, Tavan-Tolgtoi—Sainshand-Baruun-Urt remain.

These projects with great potential to impact the economy have been put on hold with unclear progress in the past 2 years. In my understanding, the Feasibility studies of the projects are completed. But why are they are not being implemented? What are the obstacles behind?

We are all aware that the economy, budget, and financial situation are improving and the trust of foreign investors are restoring. The Price of copper and coal which make up the majority of our export income has increased. The price rates are forecasted by the experts to remain stable in the near future. If we cannot make use of such favorable conditions, we will only regret at the end. The Parliament is ready to discuss if there are the issues that need to be addressed and resolved at this level. Thus, I urge the government to present their suggestions and proposals. Within the term of the Spring Session, let’s move the large-scaled projects forward.

Let’s also accelerate the projects on constructing the factories on copper concentrate and crude oil processing and coal to natural gas producing.  While working in the countryside, you have probably noticed that if a little possibility comes out, it should be spent on increasing citizens’ salaries and pensions by not leaving behind their social care and protection. It is important to attempt to distribute child allowances, not to 80 percent of children but fully to all needed part, and also solve the issue of salary raise ahead without waiting October.

Spring cultivation time has come close. The crop was poor during the last year. As for this spring, the experts point out that the soil seems to have good moisture and summer will be in a good condition. Therefore, the government support for good preparation for the cultivation of the crop, and also saving and reservation of necessary fertilizer, equipment, fuel will be essential to gain what was lost and to get a rich harvest.

I would like to remind related professional organizations and government to pay special attention to preventing floods and forest fires and to not repeat the same mistake.

Infectious diseases of livestock cause the herders to lose their whole livelihood. In 2018, more than 4700 head of livestock were destructed just because of FMD /Fibromuscular dysplasia/. Actions like searching vaccine when the disease comes out, spending the financial resources and eventually destructing the herders’ livestock should be stopped and changed.

The related Standing Committee should present a report about government news and actions regarding the preparation of the implementation of the Law on Animal Health approved by the State Great Hural last year, and also about the work progress on combating and prevention of animal infectious diseases.

Honorable Members of the parliament,

I have no doubt that during the meetings with the people of your constituency you have heard the words "RESPONSIBILITY, ETHICS" many times. It is time to take a decisive measure on this issue which is in need like a water and air, and which is making citizens lose their trust in the state. Therefore, I promised my voters that the State Great Hural will start to be responsible and ethical from it.

Initially, the draft law on the amendments of the Law on the State Great Hural of Mongolia and of the Law on the Procedures of the Sessions of the State Great Hural will be discussed and adopted.

Voters have sent us to the State as their representatives. Thus, we must work for them, not for someone else or for ourselves. This is why it is wrong to think that you were elected because of your greatness or you are the only one who looks after the State. They are warning that the members are irresponsibly performing the duty to represent. Due to this reason, these laws will reflect the issue of holding parliamentarians accountable for failing their duties or losing their voters' confidence.

Let's take a moment to individually realize that the ethics of the parliament members affect the image of Mongolian state.

Honorable parliamentarians,

During the recess of the session, a number of important events took place regarding the Parliament's foreign relations.

The delegation headed by Speaker of Parliament paid an official visit to Turkey after five years, and the delegation headed by Deputy Speaker L.Enkh-Amgalan attended the 138th IPU Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland. MP B.Saranchimeg was elected as a member of the Bureau of the Standing committee on Democracy and Human Rights of IPU.

Representation of the State Great Hural attended the second meeting between the parliaments of Mongolia and China on regular meeting mechanism, also the parliamentarians as a co-initiator of the "Silk Road Support Group" of the European Security and Cooperation Organization Parliamentary Assembly participated in its first international conference. Mongolian parliamentarians also took part as an official observer in the election of the President of Russia for the first time.

These are the obvious manifestations of how Mongolian parliament’s reputation is growing and position is strengthening in the international arena.

We have plenty of issues to be addressed regarding the maturing the judicial state, developing our country, improving the quality of peoples’ livelihood, as well as eliminating our obstacles; mistakes inevitably to be corrected, and reforms to be made. However, it is absolutely not a good thing to try to brainwash society’s psychology and attempt to incite chaos by intentionally prepared technology under the name of making it better.

By having a sustainable government, society and policy, and only by being ruled by law, and by being accountable, we can reach betterment. Therefore, I urge the people, the State officials – parliamentarians to adore the interests of all nation and country over all others.

Let me announce the opening of 2018 Parliamentary spring session of the State Great Hural.

Foreign relations department of Secretariat of the State Great Hural of Mongolia

  2018-04-05 14:13  1152