In an effort to ease the rising tensions of teachers, doctors, and other government employees, the government will be providing a one-time grant of 300,000 MNT to 192,000 government employees, said new Finance Minister Ch.Khurelbaatar.
Finance Minister Ch.Khurelbaatar and former Finance Minister B.Choijilsuren both answered questions regarding the new budget amendment at a regular meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget.
The reason former Minister B.Choijilsuren participated in the meeting is because he headed the drafting process of the new budget amendments, which was presented to Parliament.
When asked by MP D.Oyunkhorol whether or not the new budget amendment allocated funds to increase the salaries of teachers, new Finance Minister Ch.Khurelbaatar reported that 192,000 civil servants will be receiving a single payment of 300,000 MNT.
“Our agreement with the International Monetary Fund states that we cannot increase monthly salaries. Therefore, we will be providing 192,000 civil servants with a single payment of 300,000 MNT as a form of remuneration. Judges and prosecutors will not receive the remuneration. This payment will require a total of 55 billion MNT to be allocated,” Ch.Khurelbaatar replied.
“The salary of civil servants hasn’t been increased since 2014 and this issue must be addressed. We have trimmed a lot of our excess expenditures such as voiding concession agreements that have not been audited,” the new Finance Minister added.
When asked by MP O.Batnasan if this one-time payment was legal, Ch.Khurelbaatar replied that while this was not an ideal solution to the problem, when salaries are increased by a percentage, the lowest earners get the lowest raises. Therefore, the minister explained that providing 300,000 MNT to every employee was fair.
MP N.Amarzaya also probed into the new Finance Minister’s position on increasing the monthly salary of civil servants.
“Giving a one-time payment of 300,000 MNT will not kill the fire,” MP N.Amarzaya added.
In response, the new Finance Minister said that there is a need to discuss increasing salaries in the coming years with the International Monetary Fund.