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Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Edgar Savisaar replied, first of all, to the interpellation (No. 206) concerning the financing of the building of Koidula Border Point, submitted on 22 February by Members of the Riigikogu Indrek Raudne and Tiit Niilo.

Then the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications replied to the interpellation (No. 213) concerning the use of the financial resources of the European Union, submitted on 8 March by Members of the Riigikogu Urmas Reinsalu, Andres Jalak, Helir-Valdor Seeder and Sven Sester. The interpellators based their interpellation on the statement of the Auditor General in the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu that the financial resources allocated for the development of the roads infrastructure might not be used in the full allocated amount, because the Estonian designers cannot prepare enough road reconstruction projects. The engagement of foreign designers was also said to be difficult for technical reasons.

Mr. Savisaar gave an overview of the use of financial resources so far. The European Commission has approved projects in the value of EEK 4.35 billion, the projects in the amount of EEK 3.5 billion of which are eligible. The Minister stressed that some of the money, however, came from the enterprises’ own funds or from the state budget. 274 kilometres of different sections of roads on Tallinn-Narva and Tallinn-Pärnu-Ikla motorways have been repaired or are being repaired at the moment with the allocated resources. 85 kilometres of various main and basic roads of the state are also being repaired. 83 kilometres of Jõhvi-Tartu-Valga motorway are under repair. In 2006, construction procurements will be carried out for the reconstruction of Tallinn-Tartu-Võru-Luhamaa motorway, the road section between Vaida and Aruvalla and the Puurmanni crossing and bridge. Preparations are made for the reconstruction of Tallinn-Narva motorway and the road section between Kukruse and Jõhvi.

Mr. Savisaar said that from the allocated financial resources of the European Union EEK 458 million have not been spent. The Minister stated: “We believe that all the construction and design projects of the present program period will be implemented and disbursements will be paid until the year 2010. We predict a sudden increase in disbursements on the second half of the current year already,” Mr. Savisaar explained. Contrary to the Auditor General, we can see no problem in it,” the Minister marked. “He sees a problem in the amount of financial resources used at the moment. We look at things dynamically, view the issue as a process. Therefore we are sure that the financial resources will be used by the end of the budgetary period,” Mr. Savisaar stressed.

Two following interpellations to the Ministers were also connected with the use of financial resources.

Minister of Social Affairs Jaak Aab replied to the interpellation (No. 212) concerning the use of the financial resources of the European Union, submitted on 8 March by Members of the Riigikogu Urmas Reinsalu, Avo Üprus, Tiit Niilo, Mihhail Lotman, Urmo Kööbi and Liina Tõnisson. The interpellators wished to know about solving the social sphere problems.

Minister of Agriculture Ester Tuiksoo replied to the interpellation (No. 211) concerning the use of the financial resources of the European Union in agriculture, submitted on 8 March by Members of the Riigikogu Urmas Reinsalu, Tiit Niilo, Helir-Valdor Seeder and Ken-Marti Vaher.

Mrs. Tuiksoo also replied to the interpellation (No. 218) concerning the Bill on the strategy of the Estonian rural life development for the years 2007-2013, submitted on 16 March by Members of the Riigikogu Imre Sooäär, Ivari Padar, Indrek Raudne, Tiit Niilo and Mart Nutt, and to the interpellation (No. 220) concerning the quota policy in the process of forming the Estonian agriculture, submitted on 21 March by Members of the Riigikogu Tiit Niilo, Indrek Raudne, Helir-Valdor Seeder and Ivari Padar.

The sitting ended at 6.06 p.m.

The verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting (in Estonian) can be found at: http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/plsql/stenograms.form

The Riigikogu Press Service

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