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The Riigikogu passed three Acts:
 
The Act on Amendments to the Medicinal Products Act (758 SE), initiated by the Estonian Green Party Faction, which gives also to commercial associations the right to sell medicinal products, was passed with 48 votes in favour (1 against, 1 abstention). According to the Act, authorities of executive power, local governments, other legal persons in public law, sole proprietors and legal persons in private law, except for non-profit associations, may be holders of the relevant activity licence. The purpose of the Act is to diversify the Estonian enterprise environment and to grant also to the above-mentioned persons an opportunity to engage in medicinal products business.
 
The Act on Amendments to the State Secrets and Classified Information of Foreign States Act and Other Acts (764 SE), initiated by the Government, which eliminates the bottlenecks and implementation difficulties which became apparent upon the entry into force of the new Act and reduces the disputes arising in the interpretation of the provisions, was passed with 78 votes in favour. The Act also amends the Gambling Act and the Emergency Act.
 
The Act on Amendments to the Universities Act and Associated Acts (784 SE), initiated by the Government, which formulates more clearly the relevant provisions of the external evaluation of the higher education and thereby ensures better implementation of the regulation, was passed with 70 votes in favour. Accreditation will give students and educational institutions an assurance that, through the external evaluation, adequate feedback on the level of the educational institution will be received.
 
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act, the Tobacco Act and the Customs Act and Associated Acts (779 SE), initiated by the Finance Committee. The Bill provides distribution of the 20 per cent rise of the excise duty rate of cigarettes which is planned for 2011 to two years in order to reduce the risk of growth of the secret market arising from the sudden rise of the excise duty rate. According to the Bill, the 20 per cent rise of the excise duty rate of cigarettes in 2011 will be replaced by 10 per cent excise duty rises in 2011 and 2012. The Bill defines a large quantity of tobacco product which is not permitted to be handled which will restrict the secret cigarettes market through application of punishment measures. According to the proposal of the Finance Committee, in comparison to the earlier plans, the minimum amount of excise duty to be paid on cigarettes will be raised by 2.57 euro (to 73 euro per 1000 cigarettes) in 2011 and by 2.54 euro (to 80 euro per 1000 cigarettes) in 2012.
 
The sitting ended at 10.48 a.m.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
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