February 27, 2008
The Riigikogu passed with 92 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the State Borders Act, and the Law of Ship Flag and Registers of Ships Act (160 SE), initiated by the Government, with the objective of curbing the activities of ships entered in the list of ships engaging in illegal, unnotified or unregulated fishing operations, by prohibiting fishing vessels engaging in illegal fishing operations to enter in ports and the chartering of such ships, precluding the right to fly the flag of Estonia for such ships and prohibiting assisting of such ships. The amendments established by the Act arise from requirements which are based on international agreements and which are established in the corresponding Regulation of the Council of the European Union.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of two Bills:
The Advertising Bill (135 SE), initiated by the Government, which sets out tightened requirements for alcohol advertisement in comparison to the Advertising Act currently in force. After the entry into force of this Bill, alcohol advertisements must contain a warning text: “Attention! This is alcohol. Alcohol may damage your health.” The initiator pointed out that it was for the most part the Bill which had been in the legislative proceeding in the previous composition of the Riigikogu and which had been withdrawn from the legislative proceeding due to termination of the authority of the composition of the Riigikogu. During the second reading, a provision specifying requirements for advertisements of express loans was added. Advertisements concerning loans of less than 10 000 kroons or loans with the term of repayment of up to six months must also include a statement of the annual percentage rate of charge.
The objective of the Bill on Amendments to the Land Tax Act (161 SE), initiated by the Government, is to specify the rates of land tax on various protected areas, and better implement the principle of uniform taxation. The amendments concern lowered land tax rates deriving from restrictions on economic activities in diverse protection zones provided in the Nature Conservation Act. Until now, they have amounted to 25, 50 or 75 per cent of land tax rate. The Bill preserves only one lowered rate – 50 per cent of land tax rate. The aim is to avoid the situation where different advantageous rates have been set for equivalent nature conservation areas. Nature conservation areas formerly taxed at the rate of 25 per cent of land tax rate will be exempt from land tax.
On the motion of the Social Democratic Party Faction, the Riigikogu suspended the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol Act (89 SE), initiated by the Government. The result of voting: 55 votes in favour, 37 against. The main objective of the Bill is to resolve problems relating to the supervision exercised over handling of alcohol.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Packaging Act and the Packaging Excise Duty Act (195 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of the Bill is to enhance efficient reuse of packaging materials. With the established target indicators for materials, the focus in implementation of reuse objectives will be on such materials as can be collected and reused with more economic benefit.
At Question Time, the Prime Minister Andrus Ansip answered the question about state budget, submitted by Vilja Savisaar, the question about civilian supervision, submitted by Karel Rüütli, and the question about the renewable energy thematic plan, submitted by Toomas Trapido. The Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas answered the question about the activities of the Scientific Competence Council, submitted by Marek Strandberg, and the question about education policy, submitted by Mai Treial. The Minister of Internal Affairs Jüri Pihl answered the question about development of Estonian police, submitted by Ain Seppik.
The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) is available at: http://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno
The Riigikogu Press Service
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