Mr Modi had also announced an USD 1 billion line of credit, during his May 2015 visit. A series of surveys were undertaken to prospect how best and efficiently this credit could be used. Areas such as railways, agriculture, processing industry, oil sector, were identified. India is now helping Mongolia build its own oil refinery. A nodal implementing agency called Mongol Refinery (a feature on this refinery was carried in our December 2020 edition) has been formed. At present Mongolia spends nearly USD 1.5 billion in valuable foreign exchange for importing petroleum and lubricated products. The oil refinery in Dornogovi Aimag will reduce Mongolia’s dependence on oil imports, and free up much-need foreign exchange for other essential needs. Already, 17.5 km of heavy-duty highways, 27 km of railways, 19 km of electricity grid have been constructed. Engineers and technicians that will run the refinery have commenced training under various programmes. Mr Rajnath Singh in the capacity of the Indian Government’s Home Minister (presently he is Defence Minister) and Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Steel, paid visits to Mongolia in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
On July 4, 2020, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind presented the first five volumes of the Mongolian Kanjur to Ambassador Ganbold at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Later, at the 8th joint commission meeting, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar handed over another 20 volumes of these sublime sutras to the commission’s co-chair Mr L. Oyun-Erdene, MP and Head of the Cabinet Secretariat in the Mongolian Government. The late Professor Raghu Vira, a polyglot who was proficient in nine Indian and seven European languages, a towering Sanskrit scholar and one of the most erudite members of the Indian Constituent Assembly, had envisioned the publication of 108 volumes of the Kanjur of Mongolia, having made in-depth scholarly research in this north-east Asian country.