The Democratic Party (DP) caucus held its weekly Monday meeting at the State Palace despite its break from parliamentary session.
Following the meeting, Caucus Chairman of the Democratic Party D.Erdenebat and lawmakers Z.Narantuya and J.Batzandan held a briefing about the meeting.
At the beginning of the briefing, D.Erdenebat announced that as DP will take a break from parliamentary sessions until the Mongolian People’s Party’s (MPP) caucus holds accountability to all lawmakers involved in issuing loans from the Fund to Develop Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to their associates, the caucus will not take part in parliamentary sessions. He stated that the MPP-led Parliament approved the 2019 state budget through a session with very low attendance, and during a parliamentary vote for the budget, some lawmakers violated the new Act of Parliament by ghost voting through absent legislators’ buttons.
D.Erdenebat noted the DP caucus asked the MPP caucus to take some measures for improving the state budget before the first review of the 2019 state budget, but the caucus ignored their proposal. He stressed that the caucus will not support this year’s “risky” and “big-spending” budget, and if the president vetoes the 2019 state budget, the caucus will support the president’s veto.
Lawmaker Z.Narantuya said, “The country has exceeded one trillion MNT in revenue for this year, but instead of cutting spending, Parliament approved a budget with a deficit of 1.9 trillion MNT, which was proposed by the government.” Z.Narantuya stated that the caucus hopes for a presidential veto on the budget, and the caucus will demand a cut to the budget for more than 370 construction projects without blueprints, and cut nearly 270 billion MNT from internal spending of the government.
She pointed out that according to the newly approved budget, the budget for welfare and pension funds has been increased by over 700 billion MNT, but spending on projects and programs for creating jobs and promoting manufacturing is set “only” at 47 billion MNT. Z.Narantuya noted that instead of financing new construction projects through foreign loans, the government needs to complete unfinished projects that are crucial for social development.
The lawmaker stressed that the caucus condemns the government’s actions to increase the volume of welfare in society rather than financing job creation. She said, “We cannot create more jobs and improve the lives of people without making operations of funds for promoting unemployment, agriculture, and small and medium-sized enterprises transparent and fair.”
J.Batzandan said, “Many people are joining a march against rising petrol prices as the government can’t control fuel prices, and all countries control fuel prices and they don’t act like Mongolia.”He added that unless the government maintians petrol prices stable, the country will experience heavy economic pressures as commodity prices directly depend on fuel prices.