Some of Mongolian policy makers are facing severe public objection

2018-12-12 08:30 GMT+8

Mongolia’s inner political issues might not catch your attention that often. The country is located between two giant countries Russia and China and Mongolia is considered a developing country in the region.

Since last November, there have been a series of disgraceful cases in the Mongolian politics.

There are 29 state funds in Mongolia which have different goals and activities. One of them is Small Middle Enterprise (SME) development fund and Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry is responsible for evaluation and monitoring of this fund.

The SME fund is established to support SMEs around the country and grants credits up to 2 billion tugriks (approx. 569 thousand dollars) to each entity.

Since last month, journalists have successfully revealed the cases regarding some parliament members, ministers and officials, who have misused their political power to influence the committee decision of SME development fund, in order to finance their own or family related business.

Why did these officials and policy makers support their private companies from SME development fund loan?

Mongolian private banks offer business loans with a very high interest rate, approximately 12-18 percent a year. In contrast, state funds offer very low interest rate (3 percent in a year) and long-term loans. For this reason, hundreds of SMEs apply to SME development fund every year. However, very few of them receive support from the funds.

This issue is still in the public attention and already two ministers have resigned voluntarily, Batzorig B., Minister of Food, Agriculture & Light Industry and Sodbaatar Ya., Minister of Road and Transportation Development. However, they still remain parliament members.

The public and opposition party are still demanding to suspend those officials’ mandate, who are connected to this issue. People are expressing strong objection that SME development fund did not serve its purpose to support real business owners. The fact that policy makers have benefited from it wrongfully using their powers has outraged the public.

So far, 14 parliament members, 2 ministers, 1 vice ministers have been revealed to be related to the SMEs issues. Those officials have stated some companies in their declaration of income, which were among the list of companies benefited from the SME funds.

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