Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Presi¬dent Kh.Battulga discussed IMF program and its progress with Governor of the Bank of Mongolia N.Bayartsaikhan.
During their meeting on August 1, Tuesday, Governor N.Bayartsaikhan informed the head of state of the last meeting of the IMF staff team which is held today, Wednesday. Under the IMF-led Extended Fund Facility pro¬gram, the Bank of Mongolia will re¬structure the banking sector. Governor N.Bayartsaikhan also talked about the IMF’s disapproving stance on redistribu¬tion of child benefits.
He also touched upon an issue con¬cerning credit collateral, saying that live¬stock is a main asset for Mongolians. However, the IMF and main financing partner of the program Asian Develop¬ment Bank see that commercial banks shouldn’t accept livestock as credit col¬lateral. “If credit analysis is conducted so, it could leave a visible negative im¬pact on commercial banks”, he said.
President Kh.Battulga put some in¬quiries to the Bank of Mongolia about salary, pension and student loans and other issues.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Drought situation across the coun¬try could result in 40 percent loss of crops, according to the correspond¬ing Minister.
President Kh.Battulga Tuesday, Au¬gust 1, received P.Sergelen, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry to discuss the state of summering, winter¬ing preparations, crop production sec¬tor, hay making progress and livestock industry.
The President spoke of possibili¬ties of crop and hay loss, increase in flour price and dzud this year, noting the necessity to foresee such risks and take advance measures as Minister P.Sergelen reported on the probable 40 percent loss of crops. Around 24 per¬cent of the territory of Mongolia suffer under drought this summer whereas 60 percent are in a mild drought condition.
The Minister also briefed the Presi¬dent on some of the measures he has taken in directions such as hay making, livestock wintering, meat storing and ex¬porting.
President Kh.Battulga touched upon some of the actions he took during his tenure as Minister of Food and Agri¬culture, emphasizing on the support farmers need. He expressed concerns over livestock vaccination, operations of Songino Biocombinate and full supply of domestic vegetable demand.
Present at the meeting were N.Altankhuyag, Political Policy Advisor to President, L.Choi-Ish, Head of De-partment of Livestock Industry Policy Management and Ts.Bolorchuluun, Head of Department of Crop Produc¬tion Industry Policy Management at the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Presi¬dent Kh.Battulga today presented the title Hero of Labor and the Order of Sukhbaatar to State Honored Ath¬lete, freestyle wrestler S.Battsetseg.
Pursuant to a presidential decree issued on July 31, the ceremony took place on August 2, Wednesday in the Government House following the ath¬lete’s arrival to Mongolia from training.
“S.Battsetseg opened a new page in the history of freestyle wrestling, demon¬strating the talent, valor and endurance of Mongolians”, President Kh.Battulga said. “She showed us how to succeed by complimenting one’s natural talent with consistent hard work”.
Not only is S.Battsetseg the first Mongolian female gold medalist from the World Wrestling Championships, she also brought Mongolia’s first med¬al in freestyle wrestling since the 1980 Summer Olympics in 2012 by grabbing a bronze medal.
Upon receiving the Hero of Labor ti¬tle, the jubilant world champion thanked her family and friends. “My foremost goal is to get ready for competitions in 2018”, she said. The London Olympic bronze medalist also targets the 2020 Summer Olympics.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Presi¬dent Kh.Battulga has expressed readiness to support the domestic production sector.
The President on Wednesday re¬ceived representatives of domestic manufacturers, and called for a reform movement to boost the domestic pro¬duction sector. “I know the obstacles and challenges in the development of domestic production industry”, he said.
“Commercial economy has been dominant for a long time in Mongolia, and it’s time for domestic manufacturers to work together for the industrial econ¬omy”, the President said, highlighting the need for integrated policy on promo¬tion of industry. He also noted the im¬portance of manufacturing value-added products.
President Kh.Battulga encouraged the domestic manufacturers to unite their efforts, and actively cooperate with the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Presi¬dent Kh.Battulga received IMF del¬egates on August 2, Wednesday.
Koshy Mathai, Head of IMF staff team briefed the President on the agree¬ment between the IMF and Mongolia, expressing his view that it is impractical to calm down now that the economy is recovering.
President Kh.Battulga inquired if the IMF conducted an economic assess¬ment on Mongolia. He also said that he doesn’t see the increase of budget revenue following the rise of coal price on global markets as an achievement for Mongolia. “Increase of raw mate¬rial price is a temporary phenomenon”, he said, expressing concerns over the IMF’s stance on this matter.
He continued, “Mongolia’s child ben¬efit isn’t welfare, but a policy to increase its population”. He also addressed the use of livestock as credit collateral in Mongolia, an issue the IMF is against, and said, “Livestock is the main re¬source Mongolians own”.
The sides exchanged views on di¬versification of Mongolia’s economy and export of value added goods.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Presi¬dent of Mongolia Kh.Battulga re¬ceived Ambassador of Israel to Mon-golia Zvi Heifetz today, on August 2.
At the beginning of the meeting, Am¬bassador of Israel Zvi Heifetz presented the congratulatory letter of Israeli Presi¬dent Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minis¬ter Benjamin Netanyahu to President Kh.Battulga. Mr. Zvi Heifetz presented his letter of credence to the President Ts.Elbegdorj in May, 2016. The Ambassador ex¬pressed to make efforts in broadening bilateral ties during his term in Mongolia.
Two sides mainly cooperate in economy, agriculture, defense, security spheres and noted the opportunities of expanding cooperation in various other sectors such as advanced technology.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ President Kh.Battulga received Wednesday Prosecutor-General Kh.Enkhjargal and Chief Advisor of Justice M.Enkh-Amgalan. The Presi¬dent discussed about the alleged case of MNT 60 billion for trading off higher positions in government au¬thorities.
The public is furious and insistent to¬wards law enforcement on solving the case immediately. Also, 40 former and current politicians have been suspected of having offshore accounts.
“It is your duty to take control of the investigations after these cases, which are demanded by the people. As the President, you have my support by all means”, said Mr Battulga.
A former prime minister of Pakistan has resigned due to the discovery of his children’s offshore bank accounts. Meanwhile, the Panama Papers re¬vealed offshore accounts that belong to 40 high-ranking officials of Mongolia. This has to be taken care of, said the President. “I have given a deadline of 49 days. I am willing to cooperate with you on this”, he noted.
Chief Commissioner of the Inde¬pendent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) and the Prosecutor-General Kh.Enkhjargal and Chief Justice Advi¬sor M.Enkh-Amgalan shared that a joint working group has been set up, en¬suring the possibility to investigate the cases.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Prime Minister of Mongolia J.Erdenebat re¬ceived Koshy Mathai, International Monetary Fund’s mission chief for Mongolia on August 2.
The IMF mission released the first review of Extended Fund Facility pro¬gram. Within the framework of the program, priority policy actions were finished in time and met the expected results. Therefore, the results conclud¬ed as “Implemented successfully”.
The Government’s policy in restoring the economy and establishing macro¬economic balance is showing short-term positive effects. For instance, according to the IMF mission chief , exchange rate is stabilizing, investors’ trust in increas¬ing, employment opportunities are in¬creasing, the economy is activating and budget deficit is decreasing. Although the economy is growing, Mr. Koshy Mathai noted, that it’s still fragile and is in need for preserving the growth and government’s consistency to maintain sustainability.
PM J.Erdenebat said, “The eco¬nomic recovery allows the Government to implement industrial, infrastructural, export and development projects”, as¬suring that the Cabinet will put efforts into successful implementation of the Extended Fund Facility program.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ “The Cabinet won’t fight against air pollu¬tion by means of distributing stove or enhancing fuel”, said Prime Minister J.Erdenebat.
He was addressing a regular meet¬ing of National Committee for Environ¬mental Pollution Reduction, the former National Committee for Air Pollution Re¬duction, which took place on August 1, Tuesday. “There’s no way we can fight against air pollution with what produces smoke”, he said.
Prime Minister and Head of the com¬mittee J.Erdenebat also stressed the necessity of taking efficient measures to prepare for winter in order to secure a safe living environment for everyone.
The meeting covered ‘Green loan’ fund, wintering preparations and prog¬ress of electrical overload prevention measures. The meeting was attended by members of the committee and rep¬resentatives of other public organiza¬tions.
As of the first half of 2017, 114,512 residents of ger areas benefitted from electricity discount, with 6,363 house¬holds being newly connected to electric¬ity. According to B.Nasantogtokh, Head of Department of Policy Management at the Ministry of Energy, winter prepara¬tions are 43 percent complete. He also reported that an information center for eco-friendly technology is ready to op¬erate in four branches of the capital city one-window service offices.
The Prime Minister then issued several instructions. He assigned the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs to take measures on facilitating the legal environment for ‘Green Loan’ fund; the Ministry to Energy to intensify winter preparation activities at the heat sup¬ply network, and continue the night-time electricity discount; and the authori¬ties of the capital city and provinces to speed up the winter preparation actions in their respective administrative units in order to fulfill their goals within the au¬tumn.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ In order to support the works of emergency departments throughout the country, more than 770 individuals, compa¬nies and collectives have donated about MNT 760 million in times of nationwide disaster of wildfire. In the midst of July, wildfires were burning in 22 locations. National Emergency Commission received the donors to¬day. NEMA Chairman Brigadier-Gen¬eral G.Arvinbuyan extended grati¬tude to those who helped.
The donors included representa¬tives of the members of a social media club for ‘helping fire fighters’, such as officials from Energy Ministry, Petrovis LLC, Oyu Tolgoi LLC, APU Co, Shunkh¬lai LLC, TESO Group, Eco Construction LLC, Khan Bank, E-Mart, Altan Dornod LLC, MIAT Co, Gutal Co, Bolor Mining Group, Monos Group and Khuree Ro¬tary Club.
During the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Emergency Commission U.Khurelsukh said “Thanks to all of you, warm-hearted people who helped extinguishing fires by all possible means. I have run into an old woman outside the NEMA office. She carried a flashlight and told me she wanted to donate it to the firefighters over at the hot spot. Mongolians are the kind of people who would help each oth¬er with all they have. We are discuss¬ing at the moment about purchasing two emergency helicopters with the dona¬tions. They are estimated to cost about USD 30 thousand”.
The law enforcement detained 70 in¬dividuals who allegedly started the wild¬fires and inflicted fines of over MNT 30 million.
“At the moment, seven fires are burning in Selenge, one in Bulgan and one in Khuvsgul aimags. Some 300 fire fighters from NEMA are in the action”, said Brigadier General G.Arvinbuyan.


Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ An In¬ternational Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Mr. Koshy Mathai visited Ulaanbaatar from July 19 to August 2 to conduct discussions on the first review of the three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement ap¬proved on May 24, 2017, in an amount equivalent to SDR 314.5054 million, or about US$434.3 million.
At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Mathai made the following statement:
“The economy is rebounding, with GDP growth likely to reach 2 percent this year on the back of strong coal production and exports, high private investment, and a return of confidence following the approval of the $5.5 billion IMF-led package.
Performance under the program has been good, with all quantitative targets on track. Fiscal results have been bet¬ter than expected, supported by strong revenues and tight expenditure control. About half of the revenue overperfor¬mance will be saved, thus helping to re¬duce borrowing and control debt, while the remainder will be used to fund pro¬ductive spending in line with the govern¬ment action plan. Net international re¬serves have improved, reflecting strong export performance and capital inflows into the government securities market.
The authorities have moved ahead with their ambitious structural reform agenda, which will help to sustain growth over the medium term. The strengthen¬ing of the banking system is underway: the Asset Quality Review will soon be launched, important legal reforms are being drafted, and improvements to the regulatory and supervisory framework are being implemented. On the fiscal side, steady progress is being made in strengthening tax administration, tax policy, and budgetary controls, including through the establishment of a Fiscal Council. To strengthen the social safety net and target expenditures toward the most vulnerable, the government is fine-tuning the Child Money Program, with a commitment to target the program to less affluent families from 2018 and use the savings to increase food stamps for the poor. The authorities and the team have reached staff-level agreement on the completion of the first review under the EFF arrangement, which is subject to review by the management and Ex¬ecutive Board of the IMF. The Board is expected to consider the first review in late September, and this could lead to a disbursement of SDR 27.9560 million, or about $37.82 million.
The team thanks the authorities for their cooperation, constructive dialogue, and hospitality during its stay in Mongo¬lia.”
Source: International Monetary Fund

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