Auditor turns to Prosecutor over air pollution-related cases

ZGM DAILY

2019-02-01 10:00 GMT+8

FIRST-EVER GENERAL HEARING ON AIR POLLUTION TAKES PLACE

Under the initiatives of the President Battulga Khaltmaa, the first-ever general hearing on air pollution reduction measures was held yesterday, during which the Deputy General Auditor Oyunbileg Sanjaadorj informs that a list of authorities responsible for misuse of air pollution budget has been submitted to the Prime Minister and related officials, and related cases on six private entities have been sent to the General Prosecutor.

At the meeting, MP Eldev-Ochir Lkhagvaa, who chaired the hearing, did not allow the President or public representatives for inquiries when approving the procedures, which led to criticisms that the hearing turned into a regular meeting of a standing committee.

The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the spendings of air pollution reduction activities and decide on firm solutions to tackle the issue. For instance, the President formed a research team to study the most efficient options to tackle air pollution in Ulaanbaatar last year. The team concluded that the best solution was to accommodate the 200,000 households living in ger districts to the currently available apartments for 110,000 households. Accordingly, the President has issued a request to ratify a housing policy that will allow no-interest loans for ger district households.

As the initiator, the MPs allowed the President to address the hearing once, in which he remarked, “We all know the current situation of air pollution. We have to decide on solutions here. Rural development is one of the solutions to migration-driven air pollution. Not smogless stoves. We need firm actions.”

Owing to the fact that both the President and public representations were silenced, the hearing continued with presentations on air pollution reduction actions. Ms. Oyunbileg criticized, “The air pollution reduction actions since 1995 were non-correlated. Both foreign and national projects failed to show notable results.

The distribution of enhanced stoves was inefficient. The stoves failed to perform as planned because of improper use. Results of discounted insulation remain vague due to the lack of studies on results. Same goes to the annulment of night-time electricity tariff. A research was conducted on air pollution reduction, but the results were not evaluated and the research was never used on any projects.”

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