Auditor General Mihkel Oviir replied to the interpellation concerning sale of state assets transferred without charge (No 315), submitted by Member of the Riigikogu Jüri Tamm on 14 September. According to the statement of the interpellator, the Estonian Agricultural University had received assets without charge from the state in Harku rural municipality but it had failed to commence using the assets received for the purposes which had been provided as the grounds for application for the assets. The abovementioned building and circa 52 hectares of land have been put on sale. The interpellator asked an opinion on the supervision and legality of those transactions.
Oviir explained that the National Audit Office is not in the position to provide an opinion on how often a local government authority or a legal person in public law applies for assets without charge from the state for fake reasons. However, the National Audit Office has observed a tendency in the activities of the Government to refuse transfer of state land without charge to local governments if this is not explicitly necessary for performance of the functions of the local government. In Oviir’s words, the legal regime concerning assets of legal persons in public law and the question of whether and to what extent the state can interfere with it is, above all, a question of political decision-making and the legal regulation arising therefrom.
The Auditor General referred to the State Assets Bill which has already passed the first reading in the legislative proceeding of the Riigikogu which discusses, among other things, transfer of state assets without charge. According to the last wording of this Bill, a local government or a legal person in public law can transfer the assets received from the state without charge for performance of the functions specified in the Bill if they are no longer needed for performance of such functions or if the assets have become unusable. If the assets received without charge are transferred within ten years after acquisition thereof, 65 per cent of the value of the assets as at the moment of acquiring must be compensated for to the state. In order to ensure purposeful use, contractual penalties may also be provided in contracts of transfer of state assets without charge. The obligation to exercise supervision over compliance with these requirements lies above all with the administrator of state assets. “Since, according to the Land Reform Act, local governments are actually required to transfer to the state 65 per cent of the money received in case of transfer of the land received from the state without charge, then the need of imposing similar obligations on legal persons in public law may indeed be discussed and considered,” noted Oviir.
The Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder replied to the interpellation concerning income deficit of agricultural producers (No 316), submitted by members of the Riigikogu Arvo Sarapuu, Jaak Aab, Aadu Must, Toivo Tootsen, Kalev Kallo, Enn Eesmaa, Inara Luigas, Lauri Laasi, Georg Pelisaar, Helle Kalda, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Tiit Kuusmik and Heimar Lenk on 15 September.
The Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi replied to the interpellation concerning sale of forest land by written auction (No 327), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aivar Riisalu, Toomas Varek, Kalle Laanet, Ain Seppik and Arvo Sarapuu on 30 September.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to the interpellation concerning planned changes in the ferryboat time table on Rohuküla–Heltermaa line (No 320), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kotkas, Eiki Nestor and Hannes Rumm on 23 September, and the interpellation concerning border crossing of heavy goods vehicles (No 326), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Eldar Efendijev, Inara Luigas, Nelli Privalova, Valeri Korb, Lembit Kaljuvee, Tiit Kuusmik, Heimar Lenk and Georg Pelisaar on 30 September.
The Estonian Green Party Faction as the initiator withdrew from the legislative proceeding the Draft Resolution on Amendments to the Resolution of the Riigikogu “ National Development Plan for Energy Sector until 2020” (544 OE).
The Riigikogu Press Service