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The Riigikogu passed six Acts and a Resolution:

The Act on Amendments to the Acts Regulating the Activities of Notaries (575 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 60 votes in favour. The Act reduces the costs related to immovable property transactions, ensures quicker attainability of notarial services, guarantees attainability of notarial services even to persons in difficult economic position, and makes operations quicker and more convenient for private persons through the use of digital signatures.

The Business Code Amendment Act (552 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 51 votes in favour (2 abstentions). The Act eliminates the bottlenecks that occurred in the implementation of the Business Code and simplifies the rules related to the activities of companies, eliminating excessive formalities. The Act regulates and harmonises the regulation of the Business Code as a whole.

The Health Care Services Organisation Act Amendment Act (679 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Kaarel Pürg, Mai Treial and Leino Mägi, was passed with 56 votes in favour. The Act makes amendments to the provision delegating authority to the Government of the Republic in establishing the list of hospital network development plan. The range of hospitals in the hospital network development plan was expanded by nursing and rehabilitation hospitals. Inclusion of nursing and rehabilitation hospitals to the development plan forms the basis for concluding long-term agreements with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, and through it, gives the possibility to develop activities of nursing hospitals. It also helps to ensure the sustainability of activities of nursing hospitals, the quality and equitable availability of services. The basis for making a choice between nursing hospitals is the data in local nursing development plans. The basis for making a choice between rehabilitation hospitals is the rehabilitation network development plan. The Act ensures a more effectively operating hospital network, necessary for ensuring the availability of health care services, and allows the state health policy to be implemented more systematically.

The Act on Amendments to Acts Relating to the Structural Reform of the Tax and Customs Board (676 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 53 votes in favour (1 abstention). The Act was based on the fact that on 1 July 2005 on the basis of former 4 regional tax centres and 5 customs inspectorates 4 new regional structural units (tax and customs centres) have been formed. The primary objective of the regional structural reform of the Tax and Customs Board is to merge the units performing similar or identical sections of work or functions and to concentrate the people concerned with the same process into one functional administrative line or one structural unit. In connection with structural changes, some specifications were introduced in the Act.

The Act on the Ratification of the Convention between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Lithuania for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital and the Protocol thereto (682 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 52 votes in favour. The aim of this Convention is to set restrictions on income and property taxes that one country may impose on residents of another country, and to eliminate international double taxation which may occur as a result of co-appliance of Acts of the two countries. The Convention regulates the distribution of the right of taxation between the states, prohibits discriminatory taxation and establishes the obligation to eliminate double taxation. The Convention limits the impact of a country’s Acts (e.g. a 10% tax rate is imposed instead of 24%), which means that a Contracting Party gives up a part of tax revenue in favour of another Party and vice versa. Agreements on avoidance of double taxation contribute to promotion of international investments and trade between the states, as well as to the free movement of technology and persons.

The Act on the Ratification of Agreement in the Form of an Exchange of Letters on the Taxation of Savings Income and the Provisional Application thereof (719 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 47 votes in favour (1 abstention). The Directive of the European Union on the Taxation of Savings Income prescribes, as one of the preconditions for its implementation, that measures stipulated by this Directive, shall be applied by associate or dependent territories of the Member States and certain non-contracting parties. The Directive regulates the situation in which interest payments in one Member State of the EU will be made to a natural person resident in another Member State. The final goal of the Directive is to enable the Member States of residence of the beneficiary to impose taxes on such interest incomes. Pursuant to the Directive, information about the payment of interest will be forwarded from the country of payment, to the country of residence of the receiver. The exchange of information helps to impede tax evasion, enabling the informed Member State to impose taxes on the interest of the actual beneficiary pursuant to its legal acts. To achieve the aim of the Directive, it is necessary to create mechanisms for collecting and exchanging information between the tax administrators of the country of location of the interest payer and the country of residence of the receiver of interest.

The Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Approval of the Additional Borrowing by the National Opera Estonia (713 OE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 51 votes in favour (1 abstention). Pursuant to the Act, the Riigikogu approves that National Opera Estonia may take additional loan for the renovation of the theatre and concert buildings in the amount of EEK 69,100,000 for a term of repayment until December 2016.

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of six Bills:

The Supplementary Budget of the Year 2005 Bill (736 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Seafarers Act (667 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Citizenship Act (612 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Financial Supervision Authority Act, Investment Funds Act, Credit Institutions Act, Securities Market Act and State Fees Act (724 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The E-money Institutions Bill (725 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Securities Market Act and Investment Funds Act (731 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of eleven Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Vocational Educational Institutions Act, Republic of Estonia Education Act and Private Schools Act and Health Insurance Act (738 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Salaries of State Public Servants Appointed by Riigikogu or President of the Republic Act and Defence Forces Service Act (701 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on the Repeal of § 3 of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption Ratification Act (716 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on the Ratification of the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes (715 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Roads Act ( 714 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Environmental Charges Bill (730 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 Legal Deposit Act (711 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Accounting Act, Business Code and Commercial Associations Act (723 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on the Ratification of the Convention between the Republic of Estonia and the Slovak Republic for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital and the Protocol thereto(707 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on the Ratification of the Convention between the Republic of Estonia and Romania for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (718 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

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The Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and to Other Acts Arising Therefrom (621 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was at the third reading. The purpose of the Bill was to specify the competence of the Minister of Regional Affairs in administrating the spheres in his/her subordination. In case of substitution due to Prime Minister’s or ministers’ assignments abroad or their illnesses, it was decided to waive the formalisation of the Prime Minister’s order and make use of electronic information system for substituting the members of the Government, for accounting of substitutions and for publishing the relevant information. The Bill was put to a vote for the passage as an Act. A majority of votes of the Riigikogu was needed – at least 51 votes. The result of voting: 44 votes in favour, 1 against. The Bill was not passed and was withdrawn from legislative proceeding.

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At Question Time Minister of Finance Aivar Sõerd answered the questions about the financial situation of the state, the supplementary budget of the current year, the state budget of the following year and the increase in price of oil-shale oil. Minister of Ethnic Affairs Paul-Eerik Rummo answered the questions about compensations to the repressed persons and about childcare.

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 sitting ended at 6.26 p.m.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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