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The President of Eesti Pank Andres Lipstok replied to the interpellation concerning budget balance (No 45), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Vilja Savisaar, Ain Seppik, Heimar Lenk, Evelyn Sepp, Rein Ratas, Tiit Kuusmik, Marika Tuus, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Helle Kalda, Jaan Kundla, Enn Eesmaa, Arvo Sarapuu, Toivo Tootsen, Kalev Kallo, Olga Sõtnik, Jüri Ratas, Nelli Privalova, Eldar Efendijev and Inara Luigas on 27 February. The interpellators wished to know if Eesti Pank had been aware that not all expenditure had been taken into account in the state budget which had resulted in imbalance of revenues and expenditures, and if Eesti Pank had informed the Government thereof.

Lipstok: “Eesti Pank is not aware of any expenses which should have been but were not reflected in the 2008 state budget according to law. Eesti Pank does not give specific recommendations or guidelines to the Government on how to reflect expenses in the state budget. However, it is important for the central bank that the state budget take account of economic situation, be based on realistic forecasts and be prepared intelligibly.”

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to the interpellation concerning Koidula frontier railway station (No 39), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Inara Luigas, Jaan Kundla, Enn Eesmaa, Kalev Kallo, Olga Sõtnik, Vladimir Velman, Arvo Sarapuu, Jaak Aab, Rein Ratas, Evelyn Sepp, Kalle Laanet, Lauri Laasi, Kadri Must, Helle Kalda, Valeri Korb, Lembit Kaljuvee, Heimar Lenk, Marika Tuus and Vilja Savisaar on 20 February. The interpellators were interested in the position of the financing plan for construction of Koidula frontier station in the state budget strategy 2009-2012 and other issues relating to construction.

Parts: “A new expert assessment of the project documentation together with an updated application budget was carried out at the end of 2007. The list of workloads was checked and new individual prices and total budget were established, including forecasts of potential individual prices as at June 2008. Looking at the project as a whole, the estimated current budgetary cost may be said to amount to about 1.3 billion kroons. What the actual price will be, can only be told when constructions will be finished.”

The Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas replied to the interpellation concerning school lunch cost (No 44), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Vilja Savisaar, Evelyn Sepp, Ain Seppik, Aivar Riisalu, Marika Tuus, Heimar Lenk, Tiit Kuusmik, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Helle Kalda, Toomas Varek, Jaan Kundla, Enn Eesmaa, Nelli Privalova, Eldar Efendijev, Jüri Ratas, Olga Sõtnik, Toivo Tootsen and Arvo Sarapuu on 27 February. The interpellators wish to know, among other things, if any principal changes are going to be seen in the school lunch financing system in the future.

Lukas: “The state supports local governments with the allocation for specific purpose, which is to show that the state is interested in participation in ensuring school lunch. The state has guaranteed a different support for school lunch as well, namely, the Ministry of Agriculture is distributing school milk support through PRIA. Certainly, the Ministry of Social Affairs determines the recommended standards for catering. The Riigikogu approves the respective state budget volumes which can be used for supports and the Government establishes the amount or rate of support per school lunch, per student.”

The Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas replied to the interpellation concerning school violence (No 46), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Eldar Efendijev, Marika Tuus, Valeri Korb, Heimar Lenk, Rein Ratas, Aadu Must, Arvo Sarapuu, Helle Kalda, Inara Luigas, Ain Seppik, Kalle Laanet, Tiit Kuusmik, Toivo Tootsen, Enn Eesmaa, Jaan Kundla, Lembit Kaljuvee, Aivar Riisalu, Olga Sõtnik, Toomas Varek, Vilja Savisaar, Mailis Reps, Vladimir Velman and Nelli Privalova on 27 February. The interpellators enquired about preparation of the school violence prevention plan, if more psychologists and specialists of the social field were going to be involved at schools, and about many other issues related to prevention of school violence.

Lukas: “Only small-scale studies describing school bullying have been made and different study methods have been used, which makes it impossible to provide a reliable comparative picture of the different types and the scope of bullying at schools at present and does not allow changes in school bullying over the time to be assessed very precisely. The responsibilities of managers of schools and school staff in reduction and prevention of school bullying have been established in the development of study programme, in teacher training, in initiation of publishing of methodical guiding materials and books on school bullying, as well as in amendments to legislation, in the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act by the Riigikogu. The annual teacher-student development talks together with parents were made obligatory. Starting from autumn 2007, the programme “Secure School” was implemented and its leading committee was launched who has collected proposals relating to school bullying and whose next tasks will be to prepare an action plan and discuss intervention guidelines.”

The Riigikogu Press Service