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The Riigikogu passed with 90 votes in favour the Rehabilitation Act (334 SE), initiated by the Government. Rehabilitation is the implementation of a complex of measures in order to overcome economic difficulties of an enterprise, recover its liquidity, improve its profitability and ensure its sustainable management. This Act regulates the proceeding of the rehabilitation of an enterprise with the aim of taking account of the interests of the enterprise, the creditor and the third party, and protecting their rights during the rehabilitation of an enterprise. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

The Act on Amendments to the Digital Signature Act and the Administrative Procedure Act (320 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 86 votes in favour. The purpose of the amendments is to create an opportunity for enterprises, agencies and natural persons to start using digital stamp. Digital stamp certifies the connection of the holder of the digital stamp certificate with the document, and the integrity of the document. The amendment sets out the requirements for ensuring the security of digital stamp and regulates the elements of the data to be submitted to the register of certificates by time-stamping service providers, and specifies the division of obligations upon ensuring the comparability of the official time and temporal order of time stamps issued by time-stamping service providers. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.
 
The Act on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act and the Income Tax Act (353 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 54 votes in favour. The purpose of the Act is to transpose a number of new provisions of the European Union Value Added Tax Directive concerning the establishing of the taxable amount and certain measures to prevent tax evasion or avoidance. The specified measures concern the establishing of the taxable amount of a transaction between connected parties in which case tax authorities have the right to claim tax on the open market value of the transaction. Many other important amendments are made in the Value Added Tax Act. The taxable amount of self-supply in case of automobiles is the price of the fringe benefit established pursuant to subsection 48 (8) of the Income Tax Act which will be increased to 4000 kroons instead of the current 2000 kroons, pursuant to the amendment. This Act enters into force on 1 January 2009, clause 35 1) enters into force on the day following the day of publication in the Riigi Teataja and it will apply retroactively as of 1 December 2008. Clauses 1 8) and 40) enter into force on 1 January 2010. Nobody voted against the Act, 2 members of the Riigikogu abstained.
 
The Act on Amendments to the Taxation Act and Associated Acts (297 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 55 votes in favour. The purpose of the amendments is to change the procedure for payment of financial obligations and set-off. The procedure for entering in the records, payment and refunding of the claims and obligations administered by the tax authority for state taxes is established by a Regulation of the Minister of Finance which provides that all claims between a taxable person and the Tax and Customs Board are reflected in an advance payment account administered by the tax authority. The new system enables a great number of different financial claims and obligations arising from law to be fulfilled by just a single payment. By making the relevant payment and submitting the tax return, the taxpayer will in principle have fulfilled all obligations before the tax authority. With a view to simplifying the calculation of interest, the situation is established where the interest calculated on tax arrears is received by the state but it is not distributed to the authorities who receive income from the tax (the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Health Insurance Fund). The Act enters into force on 1 January 2009. 30 members of the Riigikogu voted against the Act, nobody abstained.
 
The Act on Amendments to the Postal Act (297 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 75 votes in favour. As, pursuant to the Postal Act which is currently in force, the exclusive right of the universal postal service provider to forward letters with the weight of more than 50 g at the national level is going to expire at the end of 2008, this Act introduces several important amendments. In order to ensure the financing of the universal postal service, the compensation of unreasonably burdensome costs and the establishing of the obligation of the payment of the universal postal service are provided, among other things. According to the amendments, the rate of the payment of the universal postal service will be up to five per cent of the postal service traffic in the previous reporting quarter of postal service providers with financing obligation. The universal postal service providers will be allowed to use the postal network service of other postal service providers, upon existence of a written contract. The universal postal service provider may apply for access, amongst others, for example, to the postal code system, name boxes, the service of redirection of items, the distribution network and the service of returning to the sender. Access to the postal network of another postal service provider must be available to all postal service providers under equal conditions and with the same quality. This Act enters into force on 1 January 2009. 5 members of the Riigikogu voted against the Act, nobody abstained.
 
On the motion of the Economic Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Planning Act (345 SE), initiated by the Estonian Green Party Faction, was concluded. According to the Bill, the Act is amended by adding the obligation of the local government to set up, in a visible place in the area to be covered with a detailed plan, within fourteen days after initiation of the detailed plan, an information board which sets out the basic data about the objectives and proceeding of the detailed plan, and the contact details of the local government and the compiler so that additional information can be obtained. In the opinion of the initiator, this will help interested persons to be better informed of detailed plans initiated and will allow local governments to sooner obtain information of the positions of interested persons so as to give early consideration to these. The Bill was sent to the second reading.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
 
 
 
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