DP and MPP positions on current economic situation
The Democratic Party (DP) and Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) groups in the Parliament are trying to blame each other for the bad current economic situation. The MPP group deems that the government is not working properly while the ruling DP group thinks that the present economic stagnation is the consequence of the previous government’s actions. Chairman of the MPP group N.Enkhbold and Chairman of the DP group D.Erdenebat expressed their positions regarding the issue.
-The Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) group in the Parliament has requested an irregular session this August. However, this meeting was scheduled to run from September 2 to 6 and has been postponed to September 16. What do you think is the reason behind this delay?
-We have requested an irregular session meeting to discuss the current economic situation. But the official resolution to hold the meeting was not issued and it is not clear exactly what issues will be discussed there. Our party group will raise the issues related to our economic circumstances. We deem that the economy is deteriorating because of the policy which has been followed during the last year.
Investment was increasing until the Parliamentary Election was held last year. We deem that the statement of the ministers of the new government, established after the elections, has kept away investors. We should discuss this in the Parliament. We don’t have any information on the budget indicators.
It has become clear that the gains in the economy and the macroeconomics indicators have been below the figures stated in the law. Our economy has become stagnant with the decrease in the investment rate. Thus, we believe that amendments should be made to the state budget and the government has to pay attention to that.
-The Prime Minister has explained that three of the five economic indicators show positive figures and he said not to make a big a deal from the small issues.
-I think he said that to protect himself. The situation is completely different from what he said. The government is not the only establishment that determines the future of Mongolia. The government cannot lie when all of the organizations besides it are saying that the economy is on the verge of a crisis.
-What issues have been planned for discussion in the irregular session?
-The current economic situation, several bills including the law on investments, and the Law on the Prohibition of Minerals Exploration in Water Basins and Forested Areas have been planned for discussion in the upcoming irregular session meeting. Major discussions will touch on the foreign investment issues. The government is resolving the issues related to Oyu Tolgoi and Tavan Tolgoi in accordance with the contracts. The Speaker of the Parliament is planning to hold the irregular session on September 16. The President and the Speaker of the Parliament have demanded the executive branch of the government to carefully work out the bill on investments.
The investment environment should be stable. But it should be sorted out by city and by province. It is important to properly take a second look at investments in provincial areas in particular. We have realized that it is wrong to change the investment environment many times. But this is not the situation which appears today. These issues were raised ten years ago. Our party agrees to hold this upcoming irregular session meeting to discuss how to urgently tackle our economic issues.
-Where do you think Mongolia’s economic situation is at? Some people believe that it has reached the crisis level.
-Mongolia’s economic situation is at risk. But we should look at the economy from the perspective of the data indicators, not from the political point of view. Our economy has grown and the inflation rate has declined. The unemployment rate has been reduced, job vacancies have increased, and the domestic market has been operating intensively like never before. But we are all aware that Mongolia is facing two huge risks.
Firstly, exports have been decreasing and, because of that, we have to pay our previous debt. Even though exporting is being carried on in solid amounts, there is no income.
Secondly, foreign investments have been declining. It is true that some part of this has something to do with Oyu Tolgoi. When our economic situation was sustainable, an investment of seven billion MNT was made to the mine. But today, the Mongolian economy is stagnating. This was caused by previous conditions. It is not as if this case has only appeared today.
We should improve the legal environment around investments. We can’t approach economic issues from the political perspective.
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