Salaries of high ranking state officials to see austerity cuts

Cabinet members speaking about economic situations

Prime Minister J.Erdenebat and Minister of Finance B.Choijilsuren made a public statement regarding the nation’s economy, and reported that the Cabinet has decided to lower the salaries of select state servants and cut other expenses to benefit the nation’s economy.

Beginning the public address, Prime Minister J.Erdenebat presented information about the economic conditions of Mongolia and government measures to be taken to improve the nation’s economic situation.

He underlined that after the Finance Minister’s speech last week about the nation’s economic, budgetary, and financial conditions many disputes arose, and that he had decided to present accurate information to the public, media, and the domestic and foreign markets.

J.Erdenebat underlined, “Presenting accurate information creates the possibility to plan and work in the future. By giving inaccurate statistics and information about the economy, or by presenting fixed information, we won’t be able to correct them later. We will appropriately define the nation’s economic analysis and take measures in the future.”

”Everyone knows that economic conditions are difficult now. We know that we shouldn’t lie and cheat ourselves. We can never cheat foreign investors. We draw resources by presenting accurate information. Fixing any quantitative data causes great damage to the economy. That’s why we thought of presenting accurate information at first. We will start the economic recovery based on this data,” he said.

“Unfortunately, many new, unregistered measures, concessional agreements, and projects are coming out at the Finance Ministry every day. We shouldn’t be deviating from the global standard that a nation should have only one budget. We needed a lot of time to integrate all the budgets.”

The Cabinet reported that it is planning to take measures for recovery in two stages. In the first stage, the Cabinet plans to work toward stabilizing the nation’s macroeconomy and fixing the budget. The second stage will focus on implementing policies to support the economy.

The PM noted, “One of biggest mistakes of Mongolia is that we just talk without making any progress. As of today, there are five to six energy projects around Ulaanbaatar. Implementing only one of them would produce enough energy to meet Ulaanbaatar’s power consumption. Our Cabinet will tighten many redundant projects and implement only the ones that will meet the nation’s needs in every sector, focusing on one to two projects.”

PM J.Erdenebat submitted a request to the Speaker of Parliament to discuss and make amendments to the state budget. He believes that amending the budget will create possibilities to stabilize the macroeconomy and correct issues concerning the state budget. The Cabinet is working to submit a program to overcome the economic crisis to Parliament.

“Mongolia doesn’t have any development projects with a completed feasibility study. For instance, even though the country has defined its railway policy, we don’t have any railroad construction projects underway. The Cabinet will focus on finding the financial resources and completing feasibility studies for them,” the PM stressed.

The PM also said that the Cabinet has decided to lower the salaries of state servants and focus on policy to protect jobs. “The Cabinet will try to retain as many jobs as we can. When people lose jobs during an economic crisis, the economic burden is greater. We will mitigate salaries in some sectors, but we will adhere to a policy to not decrease the salaries of state servants with lower income,” said J.Erdenebat.

Following the PM’s statement on cutting salaries for state servants, the public started voicing their objections on social media. Yesterday, Chairman of the Finance Ministry’s Budget Policy Department J.Ganbat provided clarification of the PM’s report.

He said that the salaries of high ranking state officials, including the President, Prime Minister, and MPs, will be lowered by 30 percent. The salaries of public administration officials will be decreased by 20 percent. The Cabinet believes that the salary cuts will save around three billion MNT in 2016 and eight billion MNT in 2017. The Cabinet also reported that it will lower all other expenses for state servants, including transportation and other luxuries.