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The Riigikogu began today’s sitting with a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the March deportation. 

Then, Ministers replied to the interpellations submitted by members of the Riigikogu. 

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to the interpellation concerning the price of the universal service in the sale of electricity (No 284), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Aivar Riisalu, Enn Eesmaa, Kadri Simson, Kalev Kallo, Lauri Laasi, Mailis Reps, Marika Tuus-Laul, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Olga Sõtnik, Priit Toobal, Tarmo Tamm, Viktor Vassiljev and Yana Toom on 11 February. 

The interpellators highlighted the comparison of the margin of the price of the universal service of Eesti Energia with the margins of other enterprises which showed that the sales margin of Eesti Energia exceeded the margin of the cheapest universal service by 47%. The interpellators pointed out that, unfortunately, 35% of household customers in Estonia had relied on the universal service which has turned out to be the most expensive option. The interpellators asked the Minister what plans there were to ensure an electricity price with a cost-based margin also to consumers of the universal service. 

In Parts’s words, the universal service is not social assistance but it is the opportunity for a small consumer to purchase electricity at a clearly comparable price also in the case when the consumer has no electricity contract with the seller or the contract is interrupted unexpectedly. According to the Minister’s explanations, the universal service is essentially a sale of electricity which is not carried out strictly subject to market conditions. “The price of the universal service together with the costs related to the provision of the service and the profit margin develops depending on the number of the users of the universal service in the service area of a particular network operator. The Estonian Competition Authority is assessing the price of the universal service retrospectively,” Parts noted. 

The Competition Authority assesses whether the margin of the universal service derived by an enterprise complies with the principle of cost orientation, that is, it should be possible to make a clear distinction between the justified costs related to the provision of the universal service and reasonable operating profit. It is assessed whether this margin complies with the meaning of the Act and sufficiently with the consumer protection requirements in the electricity market. In Parts’s words, we will probably be able to give an assessment after this proceeding. He considered the dispute important because the issue of the selling margin of the universal service is relevant in view of the behaviour of electricity sellers in shaping their selling margins in the future. 

Parts added that the universal service is a situation provided for by law for the case when a consumer decides not to enter into any of the contracts of purchase and sale of electricity offered by the seller. “Considering that the situation of the open electricity market has lasted only for a couple of months for all consumers, it is not expedient to make any conclusions in terms of the most reasonable behaviour of consumers on the basis of such a short period of time,” the Minister found. 

Parts also replied to the interpellation concerning mistakes with a public procurement (No 288), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Eldar Efendijev, Ester Tuiksoo, Kadri Simson, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Priit Toobal, Tarmo Tamm, Viktor Vassiljev and Vladimir Velman on 13 February. 

The Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus replied to the interpellation concerning the organisation of fishing on Lake Peipus (No 287), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Heimar Lenk, Marika Tuus-Laul, Priit Toobal and Valeri Korb on 13 February. 

The Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas replied to the interpellation concerning the care of at-risk families and children and children with special needs (No 283), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Andres Anvelt, Eiki Nestor, Heljo Pikhof, Helmen Kütt, Jaan Õunapuu, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Kalev Kotkas, Kalvi Kõva, Karel Rüütli, Marianne Mikko, Neeme Suur, Rannar Vassiljev and Rein Randver on 11 February. 

The Minister of Internal Affairs Ken-Marti Vaher replied to four interpellations. They were the following: 

the interpellation concerning the refund of unfounded fines (No 286), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Lauri Laasi, Marika Tuus-Laul, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Valeri Korb and Vladimir Velman on 12 February; 

the interpellation concerning the salary rise at the Police and Border Guard Board (No 291), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Deniss Boroditš, Inara Luigas, Kalle Laanet, Lembit Kaljuvee and Rainer Vakra on 18 February; 

the interpellation concerning illegal border-crossers (No 293), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa, Kalev Kallo, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Peeter Võsa, Tarmo Tamm, Valeri Korb and Viktor Vassiljev on 19 February; 

the interpellation concerning the police officers and border guards leaving the Police and Border Guard Board (No 296), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Eldar Efendijev, Kalev Kallo, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Peeter Võsa, Priit Toobal, Valeri Korb, Viktor Vassiljev and Vladimir Velman on 21 February. 

During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor. 

The sitting ended at 7.01 p.m. 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

 

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