Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ In regard with an approval of the State Budget 2018, Finance Minister Ch. Khurelbaatar made a briefing on November 14 at the State House. Beginning the report, he highlighted that the country’s economic growth is predicted to be 4.2 percent next year. “The state budget revenue will be MNT7.2 trillion whereas the expenditure will be MNT9.6 trillion. Subsequently, the total budget deficit will be MNT2.7 trillion. It is, however, an improved indication, as compared with 2017. In 2017, the budget deficit has equaled 9.5 percent of GDP, but next year it will go down into 8 percent.
82 schools and 127 kindergartens to be newly built and three-shifts of schools to be eliminated
MNT1.6 trillion has been budgeted for education sector next year. It is planned to build 82 schools and 127 kindergartens nationwide. Unfinished buildings of schools and dormitories will be solved. As a result, schools will have no three shifts. Tuition loans will be continually issued to students and the loans will not be disbursed through commercial banks, but through the Educational Loan Fund from next year to reduce burdens.
Health insurance premium for herders to be reduced by 50 percent
MNT893.1 billion was budgeted for health sector in 2018. It aims to put a basis of a reform in health financing system, to improve sufficiency of hospital services and to expand its scope. The Health Ministry will be in charge of health insurance beginning from next year. MNT376 billion, which will be solely expended on health services will be accumulated to the Health Insurance Fund. By doing so, it is believed to create inclusive health insurance and expand primary health care services. Moreover, health insurance premium to be paid by herders, the unemployed and private business owners will be reduced by 50 percent. A national program on ‘Hepatitis-free Mongolia’ will be also funded completely.
Retirement pensions and benefits to be raised
In light of a policy to stabilize a standard of living, retirement pensions and benefits have been planned to be increased. For instance, pensions of 396.6 thousand people will be raised by MNT119.5 billion in harmony with inflation rates. According to the decision to lower a retirement age for herders by five years, MNT44.6 billion will be transferred into the Retirement Pension Fund. Also, a program ‘Mothers with salary’ will be commenced from January, 2018. In accordance with the program, every mother who cares a child aged 0-3 years at home will be given a monthly benefit of MNT50,000. Single parent who has three or more children aged 0-18 years old will be given a quarterly benefit of MNT240,000. A total of MNT72.8 billion will be spent for the program.
MNT 7 billion to be disbursed to every aimag
With a purpose to intensify rural development and construction, MNT147 billion will be disbursed to all aimags, MNT 7 billion to each. MNT 10 billion has been also budgeted to rebuild the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in Ulaanbaatar city.
Granting of license as a present to be banned
Next year’s state budget reflects to accumulate income from regulations of land and license relations. It was decided to eliminate tax-free trades and inappropriate use of minerals licenses and land ownership certificates; therefore, the state budget revenue will be increased by MNT36 billion by means of reporting information of minerals licenses, land ownership certificates and their holders transparently and entirely and selling openly. “Also, licenses will be disallowed to give each other as a present, except to close relatives such as brothers or sisters” said Finance Minister.