MP Sh.Saikhansambuu: I don’t understand why the IA was supported when it was previously claimed as a bad one
Interview of Sh.Saikhansambuu after he left the meeting of the Standing committee on budget due to frustration towards the decision of law on windfall profit tax.
Q: What are the things that frustrated you?
A: You have seen the environment during the standing committee’s meeting. The 68% windfall profit tax took long period of discussion and argument when it was approved. Now it is very depressing that we are abolishing a whole law for a one company.
Q: For what company’s pressure, you are abolishing the 68% windfall profit tax law?
A: Ivanhoe Mines is giving this pressure to the Mongolian Government. I am against this. This states that Mongolian Government is becoming weak and going down the hill as they are amending laws for one company’s sake. I reminded of this when the IA discussion started last September.
Q: So you think that the OT IA is still not ready?
A: I wanted to reduce the contract agreement period to 15 years from 30 and after the 15 years we could then track the process and extent it every 5 years. But this was not included in the proposal.
Q: I thought that this proposal was supported with 100% vote. What was your view?
A: MPs B.Bat-Erdene, Ts.Davaasuren and I expressed opposite interests but this does not mean we don’t want the IA to be done. We have the right to express our opinions as we are representing thousands of people. Therefore you can’t treat someone as enemy for expressing their opinion. There are lots of issues that we have to look back at regarding the IA. In my opinion we should send the IA back and decrease the contract period to 15 years. The IA should be beneficial to both sides as the resource is Mongolian and investment is coming from abroad.
Q: You have mentioned about decreasing the 68% windfall profit tax instead of abolishing it?
A: When I ran out of hope I even joked about halving the 68% to 34% but to be serious we will not be able to fund the children’s money if we abolish the windfall profit tax. Pressure on tax payers will increase again. Import and export taxes will rise and taxes for agricultural firms will increase. Pressure will arise because only way to fund the children’s money is to put pressure on the tax payers. We will not get money right at this moment even if we sign the deal today. Therefore they should listen to the minority and get these things included in the proposal.
Q: What was the position of the MPs at the meeting of MPRP?
A: Views of the MPs were changed because the IA was previously claimed as a bad one but what was discussed is secret of the house. The Government proposal was supported and I mentioned about 3 MPs who had opposite interest. I don’t understand and can’t explain why the MPs changed their opinions as they were previously talked about improving the IA of OT.