The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast

June 27, 2013. The 21st session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Duma of the 5th convocation

21th Session of the DumaThe session was broadcast online. The agenda of the session and the bills submitted for consideration by the deputies were published on the Duma website beforehand.
Oksana Kozlovskaya, Duma Speaker opened the session with her traditional address to the deputies (summary of the Speaker’s speech).

Ivan Klyain talked about the Russian Government’s regulation to charge trucks above 12 tons 3.5 rubles for using federal roads. He believes, that may severely impact the economy and hit people’s pockets. The deputy called on his colleagues to use every effort to prevent this regulation from coming into force.

Oleg Gromov criticized the current practice of giving away to the federal budget 70% of the tax collected in the region.

Alexey Fedorov raised a concern that the Oblast does not have a program for the development of the Russian language and suggested creating a special Duma commission to address that issue.

The deputies adopted the law On execution of the 2012 budget of the Tomsk Oblast Territorial Compulsory Health Insurance Fund.

In 2012, the revenues of the budget totaled 8,238,357,700 rubles (117.8% vs 2011), expenditures 8,238,359,700 rubles (119.6% vs 2011). The Fund’s revenues in 2012 exceeded the 2011 levels by 1.3 bn rubles.

Elena Kartashova was elected Ombudsman of Tomsk Oblast by secret ballot.

Deputies read and discussed several performance reports for 2012 regarding the activity of the region’s unitary enterprises; lease and gratuitous use of property; Oblast-owned property management; and performance of the Tomsk Oblast property privatization plan.

The Chamber of Audit and Accounts of Tomsk Oblast verified and confirmed credibility of the reports.

The Duma approved the reports.

The deputies adopted the law On execution of the 2012 Oblast budget.

The Oblast budget revenues in 2012 totaled 42.490bn rubles (99.9% vs plan and 99.1% vs 2011). Tax and non-tax revenues totaled 32.165bn rubles (100% vs plan and 117.7% vs 2011); non-repayable receipts totaled 10.326bn rubles (174.2% vs cash plan and 66.4% vs 2011).

The expenditures in 2012 totaled 45.551bn rubles (96.1% vs plan and 108.8% vs 2011).

The 2012 Oblast budget was executed with a 3bn rubles deficit.

The national debt of Tomsk Oblast is 10.3bn rubles (32.2% vs the region’s tax revenues). It grew 3.4bn rubles (49%) vs 2011. National debt payments in 2012 totaled 307.0m rubles, a 34% reduction vs 2011. The limit values of the national debt and the national debt service expenses were not exceeded.
According to Aleksander Fedenev, Head of the Tomsk Oblast Department of Finance the national debt of Tomsk Oblast grew from 25% to 32% vs the region’s tax revenues.
“So far, experts evaluate the debt as moderate yet close to critical.”

Weight distribution of tax revenues in 2102 was the same as in previous years:
– Corporate profit tax (38.5%)
– Individual income tax (28.9%)
– Corporate property tax (15.3%) and excise tax (12.0%) which, combined, totaled 94.7% of all tax revenues and 69.8% of the total Oblast budget revenues.

The expenditures were again distributed as follows: social and cultural spending 58.4%, national economy 19.7%, transfers to municipal budgets 9.0%, public utilities 5.4%.

The Oblast deputies adopted in two readings the law On the consumer basket in Tomsk Oblast and amendments to the law On subsistence minimum in Tomsk Oblast.

They revised the Oblast consumer basket to include bigger amounts of meat, fish, milk and milk products, eggs, vegetables, and fruit, and smaller amounts of bread, potato, vegetable oil, margarine, and other fat products.

The developers of the new version of the law believe that the revised consumer basket better reflects healthy eating standards.

In terms of value, the new consumer basket is 2.4% more expensive for working population, 4.8% for pensioners and 11% for children (at consumer prices in the 4th quarter 2012).

The law On subsistence minimum in Tomsk Oblast was brought in line with the federal legislation. The consumer basket is defined as a minimum food package to provide an individual with good health and adequate life support, and a package of goods and services the value of which is determined as a factor of the value of the minimum food basket.

The subsistence minimum was defined based on CPIs for food, goods, and services.

The new law will not impact Oblast budget expenditures.

The deputies provided an opportunity to privatize housing used by large families on gratuitous use terms by introducing amendments to the law On amending certain legislative acts of Tomsk Oblast in order to enhance social security of large families.

From June 2011, the law On special-purpose housing in Tomsk Oblast allows providing special-purpose housing to families with five and more dependent children on the waiting list of families in need of housing. As of June 3, 2013 sixty-two flats were provided to large families under gratuitous use agreements.

However, the deputies say, this mechanism does not encourage people to treat their new homes with care and invest their money in improving their living conditions. Nor have those families a possibility to use their current housing as a means of payment to buy better housing with own or borrowed money.

The federal legislation has extended the period of privatization of State-owned social housing until March 1, 2015.

The amendments to the Oblast law allow large families which currently use their housing under gratuitous use agreements, to enter into social rent contracts first and then privatize their flats.

Eligible families should not have unpaid bills and administrative liability for inappropriate upbringing of children, and they should not be deprived of parental rights.

The deputies passed in two readings the Oblast law On amending certain legislative acts of Tomsk Oblast. In March 2013, the Duma amended a number of laws of Tomsk Oblast concerning municipal service and raised the municipal service payroll by 14%.

The amendments naturally increase the salaries of workers of foster care and guardianship agencies. The revised law will not impact the Oblast budget expenditures. Required funds will be obtained through reallocation of available money.

The deputies resolved to include in the Oblast law On provision of interbudgetary transfers a transfer to establish a system to identify and support gifted and talented children.

Under the Russian President’s decree of May 7, 2012 On measures to implement the national education and science policy, a target program Gifted Children 2013-2015 was developed.

The program will facilitate upbringing and socialization of children and form healthy lifestyle habits. Thirty million rubles are allocated to finance the program in 2013, including 16 million to set up a system to identify and support gifted and talented children in municipal educational institutions in nine municipal entities. A tender will be held to select educational institutions which will work as inter-municipal centers for the development of gifted children.

Funds will be provided to winning institutions to purchase modern equipment and implement actions to identify and develop gifted and talented children.

The Oblast budget already includes the required funds. The description of one of the interbudgetary transfers was revised to read “a transfer to pay monthly scholarship of the Governor of Tomsk Oblast to young teachers in municipal educational institutions in Tomsk Oblast”.

The deputies introduced amendments to the Oblast law On appeals made by citizens of Tomsk Oblast to the local and regional government bodies of Tomsk Oblast to bring it in line with the federal law On the procedure to consider appeals of the citizens of the Russian Federation.
Appeals can be submitted by individuals and groups of individuals, people’s associations and legal entities. Appeals can be submitted to local and regional government bodies of Tomsk Oblast, municipal and regional institutions, organizations carrying important public functions, and public officers.

The Oblast will help provide gas supply to WWII veterans, low-income households and some other categories of citizens under the law On social support for certain categories of citizens taking efforts to secure gas supply to their housing in Tomsk Oblast.

In August 2012, the Administration of Tomsk Oblast adopted a long-term target program Development of Gas Supply Networks in Tomsk Oblast in 2013-2015 which involves construction of 1,143.1 km of gas lines to secure gas supply to 29,000 households over a three-year period. At the same time, the Administration has identified around 7,000 of home owners falling under special categories which require financial assistance from the Oblast. Installation of internal gas supply systems requires significant spending (around 75,000 rubles to design and install a gas heating system in a private house, not including installation of heating equipment).

The bill provides a one-time allowance of 50,000 rubles to the following categories of people:

  • Households with the average income of family below the subsistence minimum established for their current location
  • War veterans and disabled was veterans, concentration camps survivors, and survivors of the Leningrad siege
  • Households with the average income of family equal to 1 or 1.5 the subsistence minimum established for their current location.

The bill provoked a heated debate.

The deputies pointed out that the list did not include home front workers and combat veterans, and brought to notice a number of other important issues.

“There are still many unresolved issues, and so far we are passing this law in the first reading only. We must give very careful consideration to each aspect and make a well thought-out decision,” summarized Duma Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya.

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