The Act on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act and Other Acts , initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction, reduces by half the excise duty rise planned for 2018 for beer, other alcohol, and wine and fermented beverages with an ethanol content of up to 6 per cent by volume.
As a result of the change of the excise duty rates, the average price of products will grow by 3 per cent instead of 6 per cent.
Jürgen Ligi (Reform Party), Martin Helme (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) and Andres Herkel (Free Party) who took the floor during the debate said that their factions did not support the Act, but the excise duty should have been lowered and not raised. Priit Sibul (Pro Patria and Res Publica Union), Kalvi Kõva (Social Democratic Party) and Mihhail Stalnuhhin (Centre Party) said that their factions supported the Act and drew attention to the fact that the excise duty rise would be reduced by half.
50 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the passing of the Act (559 SE) and 32 were against.
The Riigikogu approved another Act:
The Act on Amendments to the Nature Conservation Act and the Forest Act (560 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction, gives the State Forest Management Centre the right to purchase lands under nature conservation management. The State Forest Management Centre will have the possibility to use also the income from the sale of immovables that are not necessary for its activities, and its net profit, besides the funds allocated from the state budget, to purchase immovables containing protected natural objects. The Act that was in force before did not provide for the possibility to use the income for other purposes than the management of the state forest or for generating income.
The aim of acquisition by the state of land with nature conservation restrictions under § 20 of the Nature Conservation Act is to compensate for significant restrictions imposed on land owners. The minister responsible for the field decides on the acquisition of land.
With a motion to amend submitted in the course of the second reading, the Environment Committee included also representatives of cultural interests, in addition to representatives of ecological, social and economic interests, in the membership of the working group for drafting the forestry development plan formed by the Government.
71 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the passing of the Act and 16 were against, and there was one abstention.
The Riigikogu passed a Resolution:
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Removal of a Member and Appointment of a New Member of the Supervisory Board of the Guarantee Fund” (565 OE), submitted by the Finance Committee, provides for the removal of member of the board Aivar Sõerd and the appointment of Dmitri Dmitrijev as a member of the board.
Under the Guarantee Fund Act, the objective of the Fund is to guarantee protection of funds deposited by clients of credit institutions, clients of investment institutions and unit-holders of mandatory pension funds, and to thereby increase the reliability and stability of the financial sector. The highest directing body of the Fund is the supervisory board. Of the nine members of the board, two are appointed by the Riigikogu on the proposal of the Finance Committee. Starting from 1 June 2015, Aivar Sõerd and Martin Helme have been appointed as members of the supervisory board from the Riigikogu. Helme continues as a member of the supervisory board.
During the debate, Jürgen Ligi (Reform Party) took the floor and drew attention to the importance of the competence of members of the supervisory board, and Eiki Nestor (Social Democratic Party) took the floor and pointed out the importance of the representation of the majority and minority.
54 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the passage of the Resolution and 22 were against.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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