The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast

25.07.13. 22nd Session of the Legislative Duma of the 5th convocation

22th Session of the Duma22nd Session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast of the 5th convocation was broadcast online. The agenda of the session and the bills submitted for consideration by the deputies were published on the Duma website beforehand. At the beginning of the Session the Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya presented Petr Brekotnin, Chairman of the Tomsk Oblast Federation of Trade Unions, and Gennady Kazak, ex-Chairman of the Tomsk Oblast Election Committee, with a commemorative token “Golden Coat of Arms of Tomsk Oblast”.

Oksana Kozlovskaya, Duma Speaker opened the session with her traditional address to the deputies (summary of the Speaker’s speech).

AFFORDABLE GAS The deputies adopted in the second and final reading the law “On social support for certain categories of citizens taking efforts to secure gas supply to their housing in Tomsk Oblast”. From January 1, 2014 property owners will be reimbursed part of the costs for installation of domestic gas equipment. The amount of budget funding for three years will be 231m rubles.

Certificates (non-recurrent financial aid) for 50,000 rubles (but no greater the actual expenses) will be aimed for:
- households with the average income of family below the subsistence minimum established for their current location;
- disabled war veterans, concentration camps survivors and survivors of the Leningrad blockade.

Certificates for 25,000 rubles will be aimed for the families and single with the average income equal to 1 or 1.5 the subsistence minimum established.

For reference:
Long-term target program “Development of gas supply and gasification in Tomsk Oblast for 2013-2015” involves construction of 1,143.1 km of gas lines to secure gas supply to 29,000 households. Some districts get gasified under the federal target program “Social Development of Rural Communities 2013”. Installation of internal gas supply systems in households requires significant spending. Around 75,000 rubles are required to design and install a gas heating system in a private house, not including installation of heating equipment.

Deputies adopted in two readings amendments to the Oblast Law On basic guarantees of the children’s rights in Tomsk Oblast. Thus, the Oblast law is brought in line with the federal legislation.

The amendments secure free special text- and work-books, and other study materials for challenged school-children. According to the amendments the Tomsk Oblast authorities and local governing bodies shall ensure that the children hard of hearing can get services of typhlo- and sign-language interpretation services in relevant subordinate institutions. Special study materials and services of typhlo- and sign-language interpreters will be covered by the regional budget (except for the challenged children trained under the federal budget programs).

Such expenses are covered by the ongoing funding of the regional state educational institutions where challenged children study. Therefore, the law does not require any additional Oblast budget spending.

From September 1 a new law on education will come into force in Tomsk Oblast. The law was passed in two readings today. The bill was developed in line with Federal Law No.273-FZ “On education in the Russian Federation” which comes into force on September 1, 2013. It will define legal, organizational and economic peculiarities of education system in Tomsk Oblast and clearly demarcate powers among the regional administration, Oblast Duma and other governing bodies of the region. Besides, the bill makes provisions for social support for different categories of students and teachers. From September 1 the law will additionally require 109.9m rubles from the Oblast budget. In 2014 the commitments shall total 2.3bn rubles.

The deputies adopted the law in two readings and decided to establish an interagency group to monitor the law implementation.

The deputies of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast considered amendments to the law on provision of interbudgetary transfers. It is required by the federal law “On Education” which stipulates that students with disabilities living in an educational organization shall be fully provided with public social security. Those students who do no live in this institution shall be provided with free meals twice a day.

The amendments provide for relevant interbudgetary transfers for local budgets to fulfill the above.

Total number of students with disabilities in municipal educational institutions (based on forecast as of September 1, 2013) is 10,356 people including 650 students who live there. From September 1 the bill will require over 100m rubles from the Oblast budget.

The amendments were passed in two readings.

The Oblast deputies introduced amendments to Article 13 of the Tomsk Oblast Law On social support for orphaned children and children deprived of parental care as regards their rights for health service.

The amendments provide for high technology care as well as treatment abroad. The bill was developed following the relevant federal law in force. These amendments will not require increased Oblast budget expenditure.

The Oblast deputies considered to delegate provision of medical care from municipal to regional level. Therefore, Oblast Law No.299 which vested the municipal healthcare institutions with such authorities becomes ineffective.

In accordance with the federal law, from January 1, 2013 all powers to organize medical care in the region will be devolved on the federal entity (region). For two years the powers have been devolved on municipal entities of the region with the relevant subventions. Having analyzed the situation and considering experience of the neighbors (76 regions exercise these powers as of today), the region decided to secure these powers starting from January 1, 2014. Olga Kobyakova, Head of the Oblast Health Department, emphasized that this decision was deliberate and preliminary actions were already undertaken to fulfill this decision. The municipal authorities are actively collaborated with in three directions: finances, structure and HR, property.

Deputies adopted amendments to the budget law in two readings. Total revenues of 2013 Oblast budget were increased by 991.7m rubles, total expenditures by 1.1bn rubles, deficit by 112.3m rubles.

Additional expenditures will be targeted primarily to develop infrastructure and social sphere as well as to provide support for agriculture. After amendment the Oblast budget revenues for 2013 will be 44.9bn rubles, expenditures – 49.2bn rubles, deficit – 4.2bn rubles.

Aleksander Kupriyanets, Head of the Budgetary and Financial Committee, expressed the Committee’s decision to adopt the amendments in two readings.

By adopting another law the deputies fixed the increase of the total expenditures covering investment and innovation activities in 2013 by 966.7m rubles, thus totaling over 5.2bn rubles. Compared to the initial version of the law, this spending grew by 2.4bn rubles.

The deputies approved the address to the Government of the Russian Federation introduced by the deputies of the economic committee. The address includes a proposal to annul the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No.504 introducing a fare for vehicles over 12 tons in the amount of 3.5 rubles per a kilometer on the federal highways, which comes into effect on November 1, 2014. The decree was initiated by the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. Already at 21st Session the Head of the Committee Ivan Klyain drew attention of the colleagues to disastrous effects which might be caused by the new highway-user tax.

Head of the Economic Policy Committee believes that in the long run the federal highways fare will cause withdrawal from business and bankruptcy for small and medium businesses. Moreover, the new fare will necessitate increase in general price level for goods and services. And the heavy freight carriers will in fact be subject to double taxation (transport tax, fare for heavy loads and excise duties for oil products).

In particular, the address includes the following:
‘We believe that the fare introduction will negatively affect the investment potential of some Russian regions. To our opinion, starting with November 1, 2014 the heavy freight carriers in Russia will be subject to double taxation (transport tax, fare for heavy loads and excise duties for oil products).

Moreover, the decree overlooks negative impacts to the economy of the Russian regions, i.e.; the federal highway-user fare will relocate part of traffic to the regional highway network which is often in no fit state. Therefore, this will require additional spending from the regional budgets to ensure accident-free traffic on the regional highways.

Taking the foregoing into the account we propose to:
- Annul the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No.504 dd. 14.06.2013 “On charging a fare in compensation of damage caused to the federal public highways by the vehicles with GVWR over 12 tons”;
- Reconsider the tax system for vehicles to avoid the double taxation”.

Senator Igor Chernyshev suggested addressing not only the Government of the Russian Federation but also to the Federation Council of the Russian Federation so that the regions could consider this issue from the business viewpoint. The deputies decided to prepare the document addressed to the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament.

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