Prime minister briefs on agricultural policy, approves new bills

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Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh reported on the state policy for agricultural development to Parliament on February 2.

The policy includes six targets for building capacities of human resources and 17 for developing agricultural production and enhancing the raw material procurement system. U.Khurelsukh stated that the policy has been showing positive results to date.

Revenue from agricultural production reached 3.5 billion MNT in the beginning of 2017, forming 10.3 percent of GDP, according to the prime minister. He introduced that preliminary estimates indicates that the livestock population reached 66.2 million by the end of 2017, going up by 7.6 percent since 2016. The export of products of animal origin generated 494.8 million USD last year, which is 89.3 million USD, or around 20 percent, higher than the previous year’s.

Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh

U.Khurelsukh reported that the National Livestock Genetics Center was established and detailed on breeding activities, which increased the total breeds of livestock in Mongolia to 47.

To increase water supply for herders and overall agricultural sector, 674 wells were built – 107 with state funds, 213 with local funds, 319 with herder’s private funds, and 35 with international funds.

Last year, 14.2 million animals of 60,900 herder families were vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease. Within the scope of the state policy for herders, the government provided means to use solar power to 83,300 herder families through a World Bank grant, built school dorms for children of herder families, and enrolled over 3,000 children in vocational training centers’ dorms.

Through the Livestock Protection Fund, equipment worth 129.9 million MNT was supplied to herders on discount and loans totaling 1.1 billion MNT were granted to 652 herders to support their employment and ensure that they have stable income.

As part of the Law on Health Insurance, herders were given slightly higher discount than others insured and spent 1.2 billion MNT from the Human Development Fund to provide 100-percent health insurance for herders.

U.Khurelsukh stated that he is working to carry out the Livestock Health Program, effectively reduce the frequency and spread of animal infectious diseases, prevent them, improve emergency response against animal diseases and its organization, enhance control, and improve the accountability system in the near future.

Parliament plans to implement a policy to accurately supervise grazing pasture, rehabilitate and irrigate pasture lands, supply food to cities and settlements without any mishap, increase revenue from agricultural products, support and develop dairy industry and greenhouses for growing vegetables, enhance preparedness for winter, and increase harvests and hay for animals.

There are plans to develop a system with improved forecasting for wintering and spring situations aimed to reduce risks and quicker delivery of unexpected weather conditions to herders.

MP J.Batzandan

In regards to the prime minister’s report, Member of Parliament (MP) J.Batzandan shared opinions and conclusions of the Democratic Party, followed by questions and statements by MP D.Erdenebat.

Members inquired about the process of projects for building a meat factory, agricultural park, and bio-combine.

B.Batzorig stated that the government has discussed with the Chinese government to build four meat factories with a discounted loan of 78 million USD from the Chinese side. He added that the Chinese side accepted their proposal to export products produced at these factories to China.

According to B.Batzorig, the government has met the Hungarian ambassador to Mongolia multiple times to discuss the ongoing expansion project for the Bio-Combine as the Hungarian government is providing financing through a concessional loan. Expanding the Bio-Combine will provide opportunities to produce up to 10 million doses of liquid vaccines and 25 doses of dry vaccines. The project is expected to start in June.

He announced that the government decided to launch a project to build an agricultural park in Emeelt area this year.

 Bill on the ratification of financing agreement approved

Parliament went through a draft bill on the ratification of the Financing Agreement between Mongolia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Minister of Finance Ch.Khurelbaatar introduces bill on the ratification of the Finance Agreement between Mongolia and ADB

The Mongolian government and ADB has signed a new country partnership strategy for 2017-2020, agreeing to cooperate in finance, agriculture, education, health, employment, environmental protection and social sectors. ADB allocated 468 million USD for Mongolia, out of which 404 million USD will be provided on normal sources and the remaining through a concessional loan.

Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh stated that 130 million USD of the loan will be spent to offset the state budget deficit.

MP O.Sodbileg introduced conclusions from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Security and Foreign Policy and verified that the standing committee believes the draft bill should be enacted. As a result, the majority of MPs approved the bill.

Law on Pensions and Benefits revised

Next, Parliament held the first discussion for amendments to the Law on Pensions and Benefits Provided by the Social Insurance Fund.

MP M.Bilegt

MP M.Bilegt reported on reviews by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science. The standing committee hadn’t made additional proposals and supported the bill during its first discussion by Parliament. Accordingly, the amendments were finalized and passed by Parliament.

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