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At Question Time ministers answered the questions of the members of the Riigikogu.

Minister of Social Affairs Marko Pomerants answered the question of Katrin Saks about social benefits, the question of Eiki Nestor about the development of rural life, the question of Marika Tuus about pensions, the question of Peeter Tulviste about the educational loans to health care professionals, the question of Vello Tafenau about the financing of children?s homes and the question of Kadi Pärnits about social benefits.

Minister of Internal Affairs Margus Leivo answered the question of Liina Tõnisson about the information policy and the question of Toomas Alatalu about the administrative capacity of the state.

Minister of Agriculture Tiit Tammsaar answered the question of Helir-Valdor Seeder about agriculture.

The Riigikogu passed the following Acts:

The Act on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and to the Other Acts Arising Therefrom (78 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 52 votes in favour (31 votes against). The Act prescribes that the President of the Republic, on the proposal of the Prime Minister, may appoint ministers to office, who do not head a ministry and whose tasks are determined by the Prime Minister with his/her order that will be communicated at a sitting of the Government of the Republic. The Act defines the competence of the Minister of Regional Affairs in managing the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Act prescribes the procedure for the appointment to and release from office of county governors. On the proposal of the Minister of Regional Affairs the Government of the Republic will appoint county governors to office for a term of up to five years. The candidates for county governors will qualify by way of public competition.

The Act on Amendments to the Family Law Act and to the State Fees Act and Consular Act Arising Therefrom (145 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 78 votes in favour. The Act determines the amount of the monthly support payment to a child, that may not be less than one half from the minimum rate of the monthly salary, established by the Government of the Republic. The amendments were also made in connection with the formalising of documents related to marital status and the payment of state fees and the competence of consular officials in formalising the documents related to marital status were specified.

The Law of Property Act Implementation Act, State Fees Act, Land Register Act, Commercial Associations Act, Churches and Congregations Act and the Sworn Translators Act Amendment Act (197 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 74 votes in favour. The Act comprises the postponements of urgent time limits included in the above Acts.

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the following Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Acts Regulating Legal Protection of the Industrial Property and the Acts Related to them (195 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Metrology Bill (216 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Bill on Amendments to the Plant Protection Act and to § 153 3 of the Rural Development and Agricultural Market Regulation Act (253 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the following Bills:

The Bill on the Implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union (258 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Rural Affairs Committee is 10 March, 18.00.

The Bill on the Ratification of the Annual Financing Agreements of 2002 and 2003 of the Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Republic of Estonia between the Commission of the European Communities on behalf of the European Community and the Republic of Estonia (259 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Rural Affairs Committee is 3 March, 18.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Pre-school Child Care Institutions Act, Private Schools Act, Juvenile Sanctions Act and Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act (215 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Cultural Affairs Committee is 10 May, 18.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Adult Education Act, Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, Hobby Schools Act, Private Schools Act, Pre-School Child Care Institutions Act, Vocational Educational Institutions Act and Republic of Estonia Education Act (217 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Cultural Affairs Committee is 10 May, 18.00.

The Bill on the Accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (238 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the National Defence Committee is 10 March, 18.00.

The Bill on the Accession to the North Atlantic Treaty (262 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Foreign Affairs Committee is 8 March, 10.00.

The Employment Contracts Bill (212 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Estonian Centre Party Faction and Social Democratic Party Faction moved to reject the Bill. The results of voting: 13 votes in favour, 42 against. The motion was not supported. The Bill was sent to the second reading. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Social Affairs Committee is 10 March, 18.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Health Care Services Organisation Act (257 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Social Affairs Committee is 10 March, 18.00.

The sitting ended at 19.11.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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