Head of the Trade Union At Oyu Tolgoi Speaks on Increase of Personal Income Tax

The Head of the Trade Union Committee of Oyu Tolgoi LLC, G.Bayarmaa sat down with Undesnii Shuudan to discuss the increases in the personal income tax and how it will affect Oyu Tolgoi workers and the working class in Mongolia in general.

The trade union at Oyu Tolgoi was established in August 2010 at the initiative of the company's employees. About 70 percent of members of the Trade Union Committee work at the mine, with the remaining 30 percent living and working in Ulaanbaatar.

The stated purpose of the committee is to protect the interests of its members, improve their livelihoods, and represent and protect their interests. Effective January 1, 2018 the personal income tax will increase.

The group that will be largely affected by this increase is obviously workers in the mining sector. As the head of the trade union at Mongolia's largest mining company, what is your stance on this issue? It will have a hard effect.

There was some expectation in the mining sector that the government might reverse this decision as it had not yet come into effect. Unfortunately, the final approved version of the 2018 state budget included the tax brackets that were proposed as part of the tax increases.

Cabinet expects to increase its revenue from the personal income tax by 110 billion MNT compared to 2016. This will be directly sourced from the increased taxes based on tax brackets. Those making a minimum of 1.

5 million MNT will be affected by the tax increases. Statistics from the National Statistical Office show that the average salary of an employee in the mining sector is 2.

2 million MNT. The amount increases depending on how many hours a person has worked but it does not really decrease from that amount.

This means that the majority of the workers in our union will be included in tax increases. We believe time has come for us to unite our voices and make our stance clear to the government.

How many workers do you represent?This issue does not only concern the employees of Oyu Tolgoi but the 47,000 workers that are employed in the mining sector. Workers in the mining sector account for four percent of the total Mongolian working force.

It might seem like its only four percent but a lot of those working in the mining sectors are the sole providers for their families. Their partners or family members usually do not work, as they have to raise the children.

The schedule for an Oyu Tolgoi employee is to work for 14 days and rest for seven, then work for...

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