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

Prime Minister Juhan Parts answered the question of Eiki Nestor about social policy, the question of Andres Tarand about education policy, the question of Evelyn Sepp about zero tolerance, the question of Vladimir Velman about the choice of the European partners, the question of Kadi Pärnits about salaries and the question of Ivari Padar about security.

Minister of the Environment Villu Reiljan answered the question of Toomas Alatalu about foreign owners and environmental claims and the question of Mark Soosaar about the future of small islands.

Minister Paul-Eerik Rummo answered the question of Peeter Tulviste about integration policy and the question of Eldar Efendijev about cultural societies.

The Riigikogu passed the following Acts:

The Riigikogu passed with 56 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to § 12 of the Chemicals Act (104 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. Pursuant to the amendment of the Act, Minister of the Environment establishes with a regulation the maximum tolerances for dangerous substances in soil, groundwater, surface water and sea water, sludges and organisms.

The Riigikogu passed with 53 votes in favour the Organisation of Research and Development Act Amendment Act (116 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The aim of the amendment to the Act is to change the sections concerning the evaluation of research and development institutions, to specify the regulation concerning the financing of research and archives libraries and to specify the procedure for the election of the director of research and development institution acting as an institution of the state, local government or a legal person governed by public law and to eliminate the conflicts from the Act.

The Act on Amendments to § 26 of the Members of the Riigikogu Salaries, Pensions and Other Social Guarantees Act (86 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Union for the Republic – Res Publica Faction and Estonian People’s Union Faction, was passed with 62 votes in favour. The amendment to the Act establishes that the amount of the benefit received upon the termination of authority of the member of the Riigikogu in case of short-term members of the Riigikogu depends on the length of time worked as a member of the Riigikogu.

The Act on Amendments to § 27 of the Pre-School Child Care Institutions Act (141 SE), initiated by the Union for the Republic ? Res Publica Faction, Estonian Reform Party Faction and Estonian People’s Union Faction, was passed with 49 votes in favour (27 votes against). The amendment to the Act stipulates the possibilities of local governments to organise the costs for the management of child care institutions, the salary administration of their personnel and the costs for study aids. Those expenses are covered from the rural municipality or city budget or, upon the resolution of a council of a rural municipality or a city council, partially by parents, whereby a part covered by parents per child may not exceed 20 per cent of the minimum wage.  

The Act on Amendments to the State Family Benefits Act and § 222 of the Social Welfare Act (33 SE), initiated by the Mõõdukad Faction, was passed with 75 votes in favour. The amendment to the Act prescribes quarter allowances to families with many children also to families with three children. The amendment enters into force on January 1, 2004.

The Act on the Accession to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (113 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 57 votes in favour. Upon the accession to the Protocol, Estonia assumes an obligation to co-operate with all the parties to the Protocol in the suppression of the acts of terrorism of that kind.

The Act on the Ratification of the Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty in All Circumstances (121 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 41 votes in favour. Upon the accession to the Protocol Estonia adopts the principle that it in all cases Estonia defends everybody?s right to life as the supreme fundamental right that is the prerequisite for exercising all the other rights and freedoms.

The Act on the Accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty (122 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 38 votes in favour. The Act prescribes the accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations Organisation, the aim of which is the abolition of the death penalty and which has been approved and proclaimed by the Resolution No. 44/128 of 15 December 1989 of the UN General Assembly.

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the following Bills:

The State Budget of the Year 2004 Bill (128 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. 31 members of the Riigikogu were for the motion to suspend the second reading of the Bill and 52 members of the Riigikogu were against it. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Finance Committee is 26 November, 18.00.

The Bill on Amendments to §§ 27 and 79 of the Traffic Act (100 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Energy Efficiency of Equipment Bill (111 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Bill on Amendments to the Public Procurement Act (117 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Bill on Amendments to § 63 of the Government of the Republic Act (1 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Parental Benefits Bill (125 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.  29 members of the Riigikogu were for the motion to suspend the second reading of the Bill and 49 members of the Riigikogu were against it.

The Riigikogu suspended the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Anti-corruption Act and Wages Act (98 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Constitutional Committee is 26 November, 18.00.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the following Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Broadcasting Act (167 SE), initiated by the Cultural Affairs Committee. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Cultural Affairs Committee is 18 November, 12.00.

The Bill on Amendments to § 58 of the Precious Metal Products Act (176 SE), initiated by the Economic Affairs Committee. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Economic Affairs Committee is 13 November, 10.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the State Budget of the Year 2003 Act (159 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Finance Committee is 18 November, 12.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Identity Documents Act and to Associated Acts (161 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Constitutional Committee is 27 November, 18.00.

                 

The Fisheries Market Organisation Bill (157 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Rural Affairs Committee is 21 November, 16.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Pressure Equipment Safety Act (160 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Economic Affairs Committee is 19 November, 18.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Acts Related to the Merger of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Transport and Communications into the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (156 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Constitutional Committee is 27 November, 18.00.

The Riigikogu decided to reject (with 44 votes in favour, 22 against) the Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act (107 SE), initiated by the Mõõdukad Faction. 

The sitting ended at 2.10. a.m.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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