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The Riigikogu passed with 72 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Taxation Act and Other Acts (241 SE), initiated by the Government. The aim of the amendments is transition to the sectoral functioning model in the Tax and Customs Board whereby a single uniform service area are established instead of four administrative service areas. The initiator asserted that sectoral management allows for more flexibility in the distribution of tasks in view of the actual workload, experience and competence of officials regardless of in which city the official is located. The transition to the new functioning model is also motivated by changes in customer behaviour due to the year by year increase in the volume of e-services and in the number of users of e-services which has brought down the number of visits to customer service centres. The Act enters into force on 1 December 2012.

On the motion of the Economic Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to § 90 of the Electronic Communications Act (243 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. According to the Bill, providers of free-access television services will have the right to request a reasonable fee for retransmission of television programmes from communications undertakings providing cable distribution services. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Act on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Precursors thereof (259 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The Bill provides a prohibition on handling chemical compounds potentially harmful to health (gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-Butanediol (1,4-BD)) for the purpose of causing drug intoxication to a person. These are substances which, when administered orally, are transformed in the organism into the psychotropic substance gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) which is also known as “liquid ecstasy”. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Environmental Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Environmental Charges Act (234 SE), initiated by Deniss Boroditsh, Inara Luigas, Kalle Laanet, Lembit Kaljuvee and Rainer Vakra, was concluded. The Bill is intended to establish an additional resource tax of EUR 2 per ton for the extraction and use of an oil shale deposit or rendering a deposit unusable, with a view to increasing the efficiency of oil shale use. In regard to the additional revenue to be received under the Bill, the initiators have made a proposal to use it for teachers’ salary rise. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the State Funeral Benefits Act (235 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 46 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion to reject, 36 members voted against and 2 members abstained. Thus, this Bill was dropped from the legislative proceeding.

On the motion of the Finance Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act (233 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 38 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion to reject and 27 members voted against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceeding.

The sitting ended at 6.11 p.m.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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