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Riigikogu

The Riigikogu passed five Acts and three Resolutions:

The State Budget Act of the Year 2006 (741 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 56 votes in favour (24 against, 4 abstentions). The budget size is EEK 61.4 billion. The growth of the budget is more than EEK 6 billion or 11 percent. After the passage of the Act Prime Minister Andrus Ansip made a statement. In his statement concerning the state economy and budgeting development trends.

The Riigikogu passed with 64 votes in favour (10 votes against) the Value Added Tax Act and the Taxation Act Amendment Act (740 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act harmonises the Value Added Tax Act with the Sixth Directive of the Council of Europe regulating the taxation with value added tax in the European Union and with its amendments. The Act pushes the VAT input deduction time of import goods forward by a month on certain conditions. The second essential amendment concerns the limitation of the scope of application of the advantageous 5 percent limit, permitting to apply it only to medical devices, used personally by disabled persons. The amendment enters into force in 2007.

The Riigikogu passed with 51 votes in favour (22 against) the Alcohol, Tobacco and Fuel Excise Duty Act Amendment Act (760 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act makes amendments to the procedure for providing aircrafts, ships and diplomats with products subject to excise duties, stipulates the taxation of biofuel with excise duties and the revenue stamping of alcohol, specifies the wording of sections dealing with exemption from excise duty of biofuel and for handlers of chemicals. The Act provides for the increase in the excise duty rate of cigarettes a year earlier as compared to the Act in force, in 2006 the excise duty rate of cigarettes will rise to the level of 2007, and in 2007 to the level of 2008. For better receipt of alcohol excise duty as a result of the reduction of the illegal alcohol market, the alcohol revenue stamps will be used pursuant to the Act. Strong alcohol will be marked.

The Riigikogu passed with 51 votes in favour (25 against) the Environmental Charges Act (730 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act combines the regulations of their calculation, payment and the use, supervision and reporting of the received amount in one integrated legal act the bases of implementation of environmental charges henceforth stipulated in different Acts and their implementation Acts. The Act determines the scope of charges for the use of the environment and pollution charge rates for the year 2009.

The Riigikogu passed with 72 votes in favour the Traffic Act, Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure Amendment Act (683 SE), initiated by the National Defence Committee. The Defence Forces Service Act and Associated Acts Amendment Act, passed by the Riigikogu, entered into force on 1 August 2005. The Defence Forces service certificate provided for persons liable to service in the Defence Forces was omitted from the Defence Forces Service Act (an identification code will remain for persons liable to service in the Defence Forces), as a result of which the relevant provision was omitted from the list of important personal documents stipulated in § 350 of the Penal Code, because the Defence Forces Service certificate lost its legal significance on 1 August.

The Riigikogu passed with 76 votes in favour the Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Extension of the time Limit of the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces Units in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State under the International Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo (774 OE), submitted by the Government of the Republic. The Resolution extends by two years, starting from 1 January 2006, the time limit for the use of the Estonian Defence Forces unit, whose staff consists of up to 150 members of the Defence Forces, as part of the NATO-led Kosovo peacekeeping forces (as stipulated by the relevant Resolution of the Riigikogu of 21 June 1999), with a territory as determined in the KFOR mandate.

The Riigikogu passed with 74 votes in favour the Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Increase of the Staff and on the Extension of the Time Limit of the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces Units in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State under the International Peacekeeping Mission in Afghanistan (775 OE), submitted by the Government of the Republic. The Resolution increases the staff of the Estonian Defence Forces units on peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, under the leadership of the International Coalition Forces (Operation Enduring Freedom) and the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) (as stipulated in the relevant Resolution of the Riigikogu of 22 January 2003) to up to 150 members of the Defence Forces, and extends the time limit for their use by two years, starting from the entry into force of this Resolution.

The Riigikogu passed with 68 votes in favour (3 votes against) the Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Extension of the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces Units in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State under the International Security Assistance Mission in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq (776 OE), submitted by the Government of the Republic. The Act extends by one year, starting from 1 January 2006, the use of the Estonian Defence Forces units with a staff of up to 40 members of the Defence Forces in the multinational armed forces charged with post-conflict security restoration mission under the leadership of the USA and international coalition forces in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq (as established earlier according to the Resolution of the Riigikogu).

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of six Bills:

The Plant Propagation and Plant Variety Rights Bill (746 SE), initiated by the government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Plant Protection Act and State Fees Act (757 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Copyright Act (710 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Constitutional Review Proceedings Act and Riigikogu Rules of Procedure Act (762 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee;

The Providing International Protection to Aliens Bill (726 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Peace-Time National Defence Act (758 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of two Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Health Insurance Act (773 SE), initiated by the Social Affairs Committee;

The Bill on Amendments to the Courts Act, Bar Association Act and to Other Acts Arising Therefrom (764 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

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On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee the Bill on Amendments to the Health Insurance Act, Income Tax Act, Social Tax Act and to Other Acts Arising therefrom (742 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was withdrawn from legislative proceeding. The result of voting: 54 votes in favour, 25 against.

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At Question Time Minister of Ethnic Affairs Paul-Erik Rummo answered the question about the preparations for the new integration programme and Minister of Agriculture Ester Tuiksoo answered the question about the compensation for the damages of January storm to the coastal population. The named Ministers and Minister of Defence Jürgen Ligi also answered to the questions posed by members of the Riigikogu on the spot.

The questions asked at the Question Time and the answers to them as well as the verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting are available (in Estonian) on the Internet at:

http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/plsql/stenograms.form

The Riigikogu Press Service

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