The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of five Bills:
By the Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and Other Acts relating to Reorganisation of the Plant Production Inspectorate, Regional Land Improvement Bureaus and the Land Improvement Bureau of Supervision and Expertise into the Board of Agriculture (470 SE), initiated by the Government, the Board of Agriculture is established as of 1 January 2010 upon merger of the abovementioned authorities.
Sections 121 and 122 of the Bill on Amendments to the State Fees Act (465 SE), initiated by the Government, are amended such that undertakings will have the possibility to pay fees annually, that is, by smaller amounts and not the whole amount as a lump sum.
The Bill on Amendments to the Natural Gas Act and the District Heating Act (426 SE), initiated by the Government, enables more specific information to be obtained on the formation of the price of natural gas and network services so that the bases for the formation of the price of natural gas and network services would be clear and transparent in the situation of open market. Upon entry into force of the Act, the regulation of the approval of the price of the gas sold to household customers will change such that only the gas undertaking in a dominant position on the market is required to obtain the approval of the Competition Board for the maximum prices of the gas sold to household customers. The remaining sellers of gas need not apply for price approval.
The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Structural Assistance for the Period of 2007-2013 Act (489 SE), initiated by the Government, is to improve the use of structural funds and thereby to facilitate the achievement of the social objectives relating to the use of the assistance and stimulating of the Estonian economy. The Bill extends the range of persons who receive payments of assistance pursuant to the simplified procedure.
The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Investment Funds Act, the Insurance Activities Act, the Credit Institutions Act, the Securities Market Act and the Estonian Central Register of Securities Act (461 SE), initiated by the Government, is to ensure an open, transparent, competitive and economically efficient regulation at the European Union level which facilitates mergers and assumptions of the institutions of the financial sector and exercise of effective supervision over these processes.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of six Bills:
The Bill on Amendments to the Republic of Estonia Education Act, (460 SE), initiated by the Government, grants the Minister of Education and Research the authority to regulate the ordering, issuing and return of the forms and medals certifying education, and reporting. The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The motion was not supported. The result of voting: 20 votes in favour, 43 votes against, 1 abstention.
The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Plant Propagation and Plant Variety Rights Act, the State Fees Act and the Plant Protection Act (500 SE), initiated by the Government, is to bring the Plant Propagation and Plant Variety Rights Act which is currently in force into conformity with the respective European Commission directive providing for certain derogations for acceptance of agricultural landraces and varieties which are naturally adapted to the local and regional conditions and threatened by genetic erosion and for marketing of seed and seed potatoes of those landraces and varieties.
The Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act, the Public Service Act and the State Public Servants Official Titles and Salary Scale Act (483 SE), initiated by the Government, provides that the sphere of public service development falls within the area of government of the Ministry of Finance and the respective functions of the State Chancellery will be transferred to the Ministry of Finance. The Bill is motivated by the new Public Service Bill and prepares the implementation thereof. The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The motion was not supported. The result of voting: 22 votes in favour, 51 against.
The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Application of Stabilisation Reserve Funds” (499 OE), submitted by the Government, provides application of the stabilisation reserve funds by 1 August 2009 in order to reduce the general economic risks by covering the gap between the revenue and expenditure of the state budget of 2009 in an amount of 3.5 billion kroons. The reasoning provided by the Government states that the global economic crisis which begun in 2008 has dragged the Estonian economy into a slump phase bringing along a budget deficit because the state budget revenue is accrued in a significantly smaller amount than was originally planned.
The Second Supplementary State Budget of the Year 2009 Bill (510 SE), initiated by the Government, provides additional decrease of the state budget revenue by 4.29 billion kroons and decrease of expenditure by 2.81 billion kroons.
The Bill on Amendments to Acts relating to the Second Supplementary Budget of the Year 2009 Act (511 SE), initiated by the Government, amends the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act, the Public Service Act, the Temporary Administration of Payment of Salaries related to Average Wages in Estonia Act, the Republic of Estonia Education Act, the Forensic Examination Act, the Victim Support Act, the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, the State Public Servants Official Titles and Salary Scale Act, the State Funeral Benefits Act, the Adult Education Act, the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act, the Imprisonment Act, the Foreign Service Act and the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act. The amendments are necessitated by the extraordinary situation in the Estonian economy. The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The motion was not supported. The result of voting: 25 votes in favour, 53 against.
At Question Time, the Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi answered the question about renovation of the Jõhvi-Kukruse road section, submitted by Toomas Varek, and the question about supervision of the extraction of mineral natural resources, submitted by Valdur Lahtvee. The Minister of Culture Laine Jänes answered the question about the cuts in the supplementary budget of 2009 in the area of government of the Ministry of Culture, submitted by Jaan Kundla. The Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas answered the question about the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, submitted by Mailis Reps.
The sitting ended at 10.18 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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