A charitable fund has been created by State Honored Economist B.Osorgarav to help revive the ecomony. He is calling on individuals and businesses to donate and is kicking off donations by giving the fund ten million MNT, ten horses, and a gold ring he was wearing.
The fund is intended to assist the government in repaying its 580 million USD bond debt owed in March.
B.Osorgarav announced the opening of the fund during a January 30 press conference, calling on Mongolians from the ages of eight to 80 to help raise money. He proposed that a base donation start with eight-year-old children donating 1,000 MNT, with donations increasing by age. A nine-year-old should donate 9,000 MNT and a 30-year-old should donate 22,000 MNT. People between the ages of 31 to 40 should donate 150,000 MNT, people 41 to 50 should donate 200,000 MNT, people 51 to 60 should donate 150,000 MNT, seniors 61to 70 should donate 50,000 MNT, and anyone over the age 71 should donate 20,000 MNT. By B.Osorgarav’s calculations, this age-based scale for contributions represents 214 billion MNT in donations, which would significantly assist the government’s efforts to revive the economy.The state honored economist also urged high-ranking officials and business owners to donate to the fund, forecasting a potential 425 billion MNT in donations.
Politicians and business owners have already announced plans to give to the fund. Member of Parliament B.Delgersaikhan reported that he would be personally donating 100 million MNT. “I am answering the call to give a donation to revive our economy. Mongolia will be paying back its 580 million USD bond debt in March. Life will continue after we pay the bond debt. Therefore, in a time of economic hardship, I am donating 100 million MNT from my own pocket. I urge and call on other businessmen to also donate,” said the MP.
Businesses have followed suit, with Monnis Group donating 100 million MNT and prominent businessman D.Bat-Erdene donating 30 million MNT. MP N.Oyundari also supported the cause, saying, “I will determine the amount we will donate after discussing it with my family.”
Some analysts have criticized the fundraising effort, saying that the general public is not to blame for the economic hardship Mongolia is currently experiencing, and asking for donations from people who live on a day-to-day basis is insulting.
The tactic of putting out a public call to raise funds to revive an economy is not new. The most well-known example of this approach took place in South Korea. The economy of South Korea experienced hardships in 1997 and 1998. It is said that donations from the general population contributed greatly to the government’s efforts to overcome the economic hardship. South Korea owed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 58 billion USD to, and it was reported that the people of South Korea donated personal jewelry – including wedding rings – to help pay off the debt, earning the measure the nickname of “the Love Trade”. Some reports state that 3.5 million people participated in the fundraising effort and raised around 20 billion USD. According to Forbes, in 1907, the Korean Empire owed Japan 13 million KRW, equivalent to the empire’s entire annual budget. To help pay it off, it was said that men quit smoking while women sold their cherished wedding jewelry.