Mongolians urged to tighten belts amidst looming economic crisis

ULAN BATOR, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia Friday urged citizens of the landlocked country to "tighten belts amidst a looming economic crisis", at a time when the Mongolian government registered sharp drop in state revenues.
In addressing the parliament, Elbegdorj said, "let's tighten our belts starting with top officials. It can start from me."
As commodity prices keep plunging in international markets, the Mongolian government has registered sharp drop in state revenues. As almost 90 percent of the Mongolian exports is mineral products such as copper and coal, the ongoing declines in oil and raw materials prices on international markets have dealt a severe blow to the national economy of Mongolia.
Also falling sharply is foreign direct investment in the country, as a result of legal and political uncertainty in Mongolia.
In efforts to reduce cost and overcome the crisis, the Mongolian government has recently announced the layoff of 1,600 government officials and a halt of public welfare programs such as cash handout for children and students, besides freezing many ongoing programs.



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