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The new Minister of Culture Urve Tiidus took the oath of office before the Riigikogu. In connection with her appointment as a member of the Government, her authority as a member of the Riigikogu was suspended. The authority of the Member of the Riigikogu Rein Lang who has resigned from the office of the Minister of Culture will be restored as of 5 December. 

The Riigikogu approved with 63 votes in favour (13 votes against) the Act on Amendments to the State Budget of 2013 Act (514 SE), initiated by the Government, which corrected this year’s state budget without changing its volume. Considering that the state budget was prepared in the autumn of the previous year, the Government can, according to law, make a proposal to the Riigikogu to adjust the budget in view of the changed situation. This is necessary in order to achieve the budgetary targets set by state authorities. 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of five Bills: 

The Bill on Amendments to the Obligation to Leave and Prohibition on Entry Act and the Citizen of the European Union Act (444 SE), initiated by the Government, amends the legal provisions relating to the return, removal and detention of third-country nationals staying in Estonia illegally and the application of a prohibition on entry. 

The Bill on Amendments to the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act and Other Acts (504 SE), initiated by the Government, postpones the deadline for the entry into force of the general part of the Code until 1 July 2014. Accordingly, amendments are made also to other associated Acts. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Republic of Estonia Principles of Ownership Reform Act and Other Associated Acts (480 SE), initiated by the Government, repeals the provisions on the basis of which a register of entitled subjects and property to be returned or compensated for had been established which has exhausted its purpose by today. The functions of the register which will be closed will be transferred to the competence of the Ministry of Finance. Amendments are made to the Republic of Estonia Principles of Ownership Reform Act and the Government of the Republic Act which provides for a special provision for the term for supervision proceedings by county governors. A longer term for proceedings is indispensable, considering the particularity of the acts related to the ownership reform. In connection with the abovementioned amendments and the fading of the process of compensation for property, the Unlawfully Expropriated Property Valuation and Compensation Act is amended. The Bill amends the Use of Privatisation Proceeds Act by adding an implementing provision which will increase proceeds to the ownership reform reserve fund of the Government. 

The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to suspend the second reading of the Bill. The result of voting: 20 votes in favour, 45 votes against, 1 abstention. The motion was not supported. 

The Bill on Amendments to the State Fees Act and the Traffic Act (496 SE), initiated by the Government, specifies and updates the regulation relating to acts of the Estonian Road Administration in the State Fees Act and the Traffic Act. The Bill reduces the rates of the state fees for the consumption of e-services of the Estonian Road Administration by 20%. At the same time, the rates of the state fees for acts performed in the offices of the Estonian Road Administration will increase.

The Bill is intended to reduce misuse of the regulation concerning the manufacturing of more than ten registration plates on the application of the owner. Also, no state fee will be charged upon the issue of traffic register data on the basis of an extended enquiry. The principles of calculating the state fee for enquiries to the traffic register will be transferred to new grounds. The terminology of the acts defined in the Act is also specified. The rate of the state fee for the registration of trailers will be reduced to 63 euro instead of the current 121.43 euro. The state fee for the registration of a vehicle will increase to 128 euro instead of the current 127 euro, and the state fee for the issue of a registration plate will increase to 62 euro instead of the current 60 euro. The state fee for the amendment of register data in the offices of the Estonian Road Administration will increase to 61 euro instead of the current 60 euro. The state fee for the submission of an application for amendment of register data in e-service will remain unchanged. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act (492 SE), initiated by the Government, provides for a rise of the increased basic exemption rate in case of a pension by 216 euro, that is, by 18 euro per month. As of 1 January 2014, the increased basic exemption in case of a pension will be 2520 euro per year. The aim of the amendment is to ensure that the average pension continues to be exempt from income tax. The provisions which would have changed the procedure for compensating for service or employment related use of a personal automobile and the calculation of the price of the fringe benefit for the use of an automobile of the employer for activities not related to employment or service duties were omitted from the Bill. 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of four drafts: 

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the State Budget Control Select Committee”” (540 OE), submitted by the Social Democratic Party Faction, by which Jüri Morozov is appointed a member of the committee instead of Kajar Lember

The Bill on the Ratification of the Convention between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (523 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of agreements for the avoidance of double taxation is to facilitate investments between Contracting States. As an international legal act, the Convention grants greater legal certainty to investors, as compared with a national legislative act, in regard to these elements of the tax system that are regulated by the Convention. Amendment of a bilateral international convention is generally more time-consuming than amendment of a national legislative act. For the achievement of these purposes, the Convention imposes restrictions on income taxes which may be established to the residents of the other state by the state of the source of income, ensures equal treatment of persons and eliminates possible double taxation. The obligation of mutual exchange of information provided for in the Convention will create additional possibilities for prevention of tax evasions. 

The Bill on Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (537 SE), initiated by the Government. 

The Bill on Ratification of the Convention between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (538 SE), initiated by the Government. 

The Riigikogu Press Service 

 

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