At Question Time Minister of Education and Research Toivo Maimets, Minister of Finance Taavi Veskimägi and Minister of Defence Margus Hanson answered the questions of Members of the Riigikogu. 9 items in all were deliberated.
Minister of Defence answered the question of Trivimi Velliste about the percentage of defence spending in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This summer the methods of calculating the GDP were changed, as a result of which the indicator of the GDP has increased, due to the specification of the procedure for the assessment of expenditure methods of imputed rent and fixed assets. ?As a result of the afore-mentioned, we shall be able to allocate 1.69 per cent of GDP for defence spending, according to the definition of NATO, ? Mr. Hanson declared. In 2007, when the volume of defence spending according to the valid plan would be 2 per cent, they form 1.85 per cent of GDP. The proposal of the Ministry of Defence is to raise the defence spending of the state up to 2 per cent of GDP by the end of the planning period or by the year 2010. This objective has also been fixed in the development plan of the Defence Forces of the Government up to the year 2010.
The Riigikogu passed the following Acts:
The Riigikogu passed with 76 votes in favour the Law of Obligations Act Amendment Act (429 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act harmonises the Directive 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with the Law of Estonia, wherein the distant marketing of consumer financial services is regulated. The Directive on the distant marketing of financial services specifies the requirements set for the conclusion of contracts on rendering financial services by means of distance communication.
The Riigikogu passed with 67 votes in favour the Value Added Tax Act Amendment Act (426 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Estonian People’s Union Faction and the Union for the Republic ? Res Publica Faction. The Act abolishes the obligation of registration of persons of foreign states in case of supply taxable with zero rate in a free zone, free warehouse or bonded warehouse. In the neighbouring countries of Estonia transactions may be concluded in free zones and bonded warehouses without registering as persons liable to value added tax, which may endanger the competitiveness of Estonia in the transit sector.
The Act on the Accession to the Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, National Representatives and International Staff (437 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 66 votes in favour. The Agreement determines the status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as an international organization, the representatives of the Member States of NATO and the international staff.
The Act on the Accession to the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty Regarding the Status of Their Forces and to the Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters Set up pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty (436 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 69 votes in favour. The content of the Act includes the ratification of the Agreement and the Protocol. Upon entry into force in respect of Estonia, it will regulate the status of the armed forces of Estonia in other NATO countries and the status of armed forces of NATO countries in Estonia. The Protocol will regulate the status of the Estonian armed forces in international military headquarters and the status of headquarters in Estonia.
The Act on the Ratification of the Amendment to the Agreement Establishing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (432 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 63 votes in favour. The Act approves the amendments to the Establishing Agreement, which enables to extend the scope of activities of the Bank also to Mongolia. The Bank was established with a view to foster the transition of the central and eastern European countries towards open market-oriented economies and to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in these countries (Article 1 of the Establishing Agreement). According to Article 3(1) of the Establishing Agreement, up till now the membership in the Bank is open to European countries and those non-European countries, which are members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the following Bills:
The Bill on Amendments to the Vocational Educational Institutions Act, Republic of Estonia Education Act and Private Schools Act (378 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The motion of the Estonian Centre Party Faction to suspend the second reading was not seconded. The results of voting: 20 votes in favour, 44 against.
The Supplementary State Budget of the Year 2004 Bill (444 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The report was made by Chairman of the Finance Committee Andres Lipstok, who gave an overview of the deliberation taken place in the leading committee. There were 286 motions in all to amend the Bill. During the deliberations there was a lively discussion over the supplementary budget. The majority of attention in speeches was paid to the allocation of EEK 600 million to the subsidiary company of Riigi Kinnisvara AS for the maintenance of schools. After the review of motions to amend and voting, it was decided to conclude the second reading. The motion of the Estonian Centre Party Faction to suspend the second reading was not seconded. The results of voting: 25 votes in favour, 48 against. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Finance Committee is 25 October, 12 a.m.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the following Bills:
The Bill on Amendments to the Credit Institutions Act and Commercial Code (414 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The E-money Institutions Bill (415 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The Bill on Amendments to the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act (449 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The Bill on Amendments to the Machinery Safety Act (435 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The Bill on the Accession to the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty for the Security of Information (447 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The Bill on the Ratification of the Constitution of the International Organization for Migration (448 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The Bill on the Accession to the Convention based on Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, on the Establishment of a European Police Office (Europol Convention) and the Amending Protocols thereto (438 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The Bill on Amendments to the Social Welfare Act (463 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The questions asked at the Question Time and the answers to them and the verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting are available (in Estonian) on the Internet at:
The sitting ended at 20.47.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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