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Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder replied to the interpellation concerning supporting of agriculture (No 138), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Arvo Sarapuu, Kalev Kallo, Jaak Aab, Toivo Tootsen, Helle Kalda and Inara Luigas on 17 February.  

Seeder explained that the agriculture and rural development strategy had been elaborated already by the previous Government and it had been approved by the European Commission. It serves as the basis for the use of the funds of the whole rural development plan which amount to 14.5 billion kroons during the period of 2007–2013. This applies to all Member States. This is also where all the various measures, including investment measures, come from. “The truth is that great and significant changes cannot be made very effectively here because, in order to make changes, amendment of the rural life development plan in cooperation with the European Commission is necessary,” noted the Minister. 

The Ministry of Agriculture has a package of 1.2 billion kroons through the Rural Development Foundation, a great majority of which are additional guarantees, and a small amount accounts for a loan for spring works or liquidity loan for which an addition has been applied for through the Ministry of Finance. Seeder admitted that funds are scarce for reacting effectively, but this is due to our budget situation. “We are going to do the best that can be done here,” said Seeder. In the words of the Minister of Agriculture, an amount of more than one billion kroons has been taken into use earlier than was originally planned in the rural development plan, in order to stimulate economy and to promptly bring additional funds to the agriculture sector. “So this has also been a fairly significant help and stimulation from the standpoint of agricultural production,” explained Seeder. 

Minister of Justice Rein Lang replied to the interpellation concerning corruption in connection with repurchase of Eesti Raudtee (No 130), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Toivo Tootsen, Tiit Kuusmik, Kalev Kallo, Toomas Varek, Arvo Sarapuu, Olga Sõtnik, Enn Eesmaa, Aadu Must, Helle Kalda, Valeri Korb, Lembit Kaljuvee, Heimar Lenk, Marika Tuus, Kalle Laanet, Nelli Privalova, Evelyn Sepp, Jaak Aab, Vladimir Velman, Inara Luigas and Lauri Laasi on 28 January, and the interpellation concerning illegal legislative process of coalition politicians (No 141), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Lauri Laasi, Arvo Sarapuu, Jaak Aab, Rein Ratas, Mailis Reps, Ain Seppik, Tiit Kuusmik, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Helle Kalda, Toomas Varek, Kadri Simson, Eldar Efendijev, Inara Luigas, Vladimir Velman, Nelli Privalova, Olga Sõtnik, Toivo Tootsen and Aadu Must on 17 February. 

The Riigikogu approved the agenda for the working week. Renewed deliberation of the Act on Amendments to the Gender Equality Act, the Equal Treatment Act, the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act, the Local Government Organisation Act and the Local Government Council Election Act, refused to be proclaimed by the President of the Republic, was added to the agenda for Wednesday’s sitting. 

The Riigikogu Press Service