Parliamentarians to boycott if LRT project is not re-discussed

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During the parliamentary plenary session on April 22, 24 parliamentarians elected from Ulaanbaatar stated that they will not attend the plenary session in opposition to the rejection of the Project on Constructing Ulaanbaatar Light Train (LRT) Line with Pier Bridge Structure.

In specific, the Standing Committee on Budget rejected the draft resolution on the government’s guarantee for the LRT project, set to be implemented in Ulaanbaatar as part of the New Revival Policy.

A draft resolution was developed in accordance with the draft amendment to the 2022 Budget Law in order to provide a government guarantee of 510 million MNT for the project.

Lawmaker B.Enkh-Amgalan criticized, “The Standing Committee on Budget, chaired by Ch.Khurelbaatar, rejected the draft resolution, which will affect the interests of Ulaanbaatar residents. On the contrary, lawmaker Ch.Khurelbaatar has fully allocated the budgeted money for Uvs Province where he was elected from. It seems that only the life of Uvs residents is important to him. Why can’t you make a decision in the public interest? If the LRT project is not re-discussed by the standing committee, we will not support the fiscal amendment.”

“Prime Minister L.Oyun-Erdene supported the construction of LRT and the Ministry of Finance made the calculation. The main obstacle to Ulaanbaatar’s development is certain officials in the Mongolian state,” member of Parliament J.Sukhbaatar said.

Chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget Ch.Khurelbaatar responded, “Government guarantees have the same procedure as loans. The draft resolution contradicts the Fiscal Stability Law. This resolution will increase Mongolia’s debt by 3.5 billion USD. Therefore, this issue should be discussed not only by the 76 members of Parliament but all Mongolians. If Mongolia’s debt is raised, there is a risk of bankruptcy. Therefore, this decision was made in consultation with the relevant people.”

J.Sukhbaatar also commented, “Member Ch.Khurelbaatar reviewed the feasibility study. Do not use the rostrum of Parliament to mislead the people. The feasibility study for the project costs 926 million USD and the resolution included a government guarantee of 510 million USD.”

In connection with this, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar D.Sumiyabazar underlined, “This project is not pushing the country into debt. It is a big project that benefits residents of Ulaanbaatar. The project will be under public scrutiny from the outset. We are waiting for Parliament’s decision to start the first large-scale work that has been ready for a half year. You can dislike me, but don’t harm the people of the capital.”

The proposed LRT will have three routes and the construction of the first line was planned to start in May 2022. The first line will run for a total of 18.1 kilometers from the Buyant-Ukhaa 2 town in 21st khoroo of Khan-Uul District, to the Sansar roundabout in 2nd khoroo of Bayanzurkh District. In specific, it has 15 stops, namely Depo, Buyant-Ukhaa, Buyant-Ukhaa Sports Complex, Orgil supermarket, Nukht, New UB municipal organization office, British School, Khunnu Mall, Misheel Expo, Workers’ Cultural Place, Gegeenten, E-Mart, National Park, Narantuul market, Zuun 4 Zam and Sansar.

Misheel Lkhasuren