October 31, 2013. 24th Session of the Duma of the 5th convocation
The 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).
The deputies resolved to approve early termination of authorities of their colleague Ivan Klyain elected Mayor of Tomsk on October 13, 2013.
Duma Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya expressed hope that “after we say goodbye to Ivan Klyain as deputy of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast and welcome him as Mayor, his activity will only increase”. Speaker presented the new Mayor with his picture from the deputy pictures gallery and his deputy’s credentials “to keep forever”.
“I thank you all for the years that we have worked together,” said Ivan Klyain in his speech. “I am especially thankful to Boris Maltsev for being like a father to us, for “bringing us up” for three consecutive convocations. Over these 17 years the Duma grew into one big family. As any other family it has had differences of opinions and views. However, it is wholly made up of experienced professionals who advocate the interests of the people first of all. With only ten days in my tenure as Mayor I already took part in a meeting with the Russian President attended by mayors of big Russian cities. Vladimir Putin said that the most important thing is to learn to listen to what people say and hear them. Deputies are just the people who can hear others. Care about each other, help each other and we’ll succeed.”
HEALTH CARE BUDGET 2014 PASSED THE FIRST READING
The revenues and expenditures of the 2014 budget of the Oblast Compulsory Health Insurance Fund were equaled – 11.4bn rubles each. Almost all money will be used to finance the territorial compulsory health insurance program; 70m rubles will be spent on management functions of the Fund itself.
From 2014, the scope of the territorial compulsory health insurance program will include high-tech medical care (150m rubles).
The draft 2014 budget of the Fund includes 490m rubles to be spent on salary increases for medical workers in accordance with the Russian Presidential Decree. These funds will be allocated upon approval of the relevant bills owned by the Health Care Department of Tomsk Oblast.
In total, spending on medical assistance under the territorial compulsory health insurance program in 2014 will exceed the 2013 levels by 1.4bn rubles, or 114.2%.
The Fund’s 2014 budget is balanced and does not have deficit.
The bill was passed in the first reading.
2013 BUDGET AMENDMENTS
The deputies approved increasing by 513m rubles the total amount of revenues and expenditures of the 2013 Oblast budget without changing the deficit. The revenues were increased through non-repayable receipts from the federal budget and the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation.
– 370m rubles will be spent on construction of an indoor football arena with artificial turf in Tomsk
– 120m rubles will be used to co-finance the long-term target program Energy saving and efficiency in Tomsk Oblast for 2010-2012 and towards 2020
– 20.5m rubles will be allocated to partially reimburse the amount of the interest rate on investment loans for the development of crop and livestock farming, agricultural infrastructure and logistical initiatives to support crop and livestock markets
– 2m rubles will be allocated to purchase additional equipment for social service institutions and finance initiatives to provide targeted social support for non-working pensioners
With the adopted amendments the Oblast budget revenues in 2013 total 46bn rubles; expenditures 50.7bn rubles; and deficit 4.5bn rubles, or 12.13% of the revenues without taking into account non-repayable receipts from the federal budget.
The deputies decreased by 80m rubles the upper limit of the debt on Oblast-issued government guarantees and the upper limit of the national debt of Tomsk Oblast as of January 1, 2014 because in 2013 the Regional Business Center of Tomsk Oblast declined the Oblast-issued government guarantee.
Now the upper limit of the national debt of Tomsk Oblast as of January 1, 2014 is 13bn rubles, or 35.2% of the budget revenues without taking into account non-repayable receipts.
2014 BUDGET RETAINS SOCIAL DIMENSION
Key sources of budget revenue will again be corporate profit and property taxes, personal income tax, and excise tax.
Revenues of the 2014 budget are expected to total 42.9bn rubles, revenues of the 2015 budget – 44.7bn rubles and 2016 – 49.7bn rubles.
Expenditures of the 2014 budget are expected to total 46.1bn rubles, 2015 – 46.3bn rubles and 2016 – 50.4bn rubles.
Deficit of the 2014 budget is expected to total 3.2bn rubles, 2015 – 1.6bn rubles and 2016 – 0.7bn rubles.
Taking into account the draft federal budget for 2014-2016 approved by the Russian State Duma in the first reading on October 25, the revenues of the Oblast budget in 2014 are expected to total 48bn rubles, expenditures 51.2bn rubles and deficit 3.2bn rubles. The Oblast budget deficit does not exceed the limits established by the budget legislation.
The budget has preserved its social dimension: over 60% of the expenditures is socially-oriented. Social and cultural spending in the 2014 Oblast budget accounts for 65.6% (30.2bn rubles); spending on national economy, public utilities sector, and environmental protection totals 14.5% (6.7bn rubles); national defense, safety, and law enforcement 1.4% (648m rubles).
IMPROVING BUDGETING PROCESS
The deputies amended the law On budgeting in Tomsk Oblast and invalidated the law On imposing administrative sanctions for Oblast budget funds abuse. A new participant was included in the budgeting process – a state financial control body of Tomsk Oblast created within the executive government structure as a separate legal entity. The scope of budgeting authority of the Department of Finance of Tomsk Oblast was expanded to include preliminary control and enforcement of action against budgeting law violators.
The amended law provides more detail on the budgeting process participants in Tomsk Oblast and their scopes of authority.
The deputies passed all amendments.
AMENDED LAW ON ROAD FUND
The law on road fund in Tomsk Oblast was brought in compliance with the changes in the Budget Code of the Russian Federation. According to a report by First Deputy Head of the Department of Finance Vera Pliyeva, the changes to the Budget Code provide clear demarcations of gas excise duties between the Oblast and municipal budgets, so there is a need to specify the appropriate budget level for such duties. The road fund budgeting sources have stayed the same. Another change – previously, if the road fund was budgeted with a deficit and the actual execution of the budget resulted in exceeded revenues, then, without this amendment, the surplus revenues were returned to the budget. The amendment allows using the surplus revenues to partially reduce the deficit which was covered from other sources.
The bill was passed in two readings.
TRANSPORT TAX FOR EXPENSIVE VEHICLES
The deputies adopted amendments to the Oblast law on transport tax in two readings. The amended law was supplemented with the provision of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation on tax rate multipliers for expensive vehicles. The initiators of the bill also propose to equal the rates established for Tomsk Oblast with the rates adopted in the neighboring regions.
The new law is expected to bring to the 2015 Oblast budget 63m rubles. The tax rate for cars with engine hp less than 100 does not change.
There was a heated discussion around the proposed changes, many deputies refused to approve them.
Member of the Committee for Legislation, State Structure, and Safety Aleksander Kadesnikov reminded the assembly that the transport tax rates in Tomsk Oblast have been the lowest in the Siberian Federal District for a very long time.
Head of the Budgetary and Financial Committee Aleksander Kupriyanets supported his colleague:
“This document had a difficult way to go. It was reviewed by the commission and by two committees, with heated discussions, questions and arguments each time. But at the Budgeting and Financial Committee session it was decided to approve the proposed amendments. I am convinced that this bill has a clear social orientation. It will not affect owners of small-capacity engine cars.”
At the end of the discussion the law was passed.
The law On fishing and preservation of aquatic biological resources in Tomsk Oblast was adopted in the second reading. The initiators of the bill believe that it will help better regulate fishing activity in the region and promote conservation of aquatic biological resources, their sustainable use, reproduction, and diversity.
The law defines government bodies of Tomsk Oblast which should regulate the fishing activity and preservation of aquatic biological resources in Tomsk Oblast, and specifies and differentiates their authorities. Thirteen regions of Russia have already enforced similar laws.
ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS ON ALCOHOL SALE
The deputies adopted in the first reading amendments to the law On additional alcohol sale restrictions in Tomsk Oblast. The name and the enacting clause were changed. The new name of the law is On specific issues in the regulation of alcohol sale in Tomsk Oblast.
The law places restrictions on the retail sale of alcohol in crowded places, near sources of special danger and adjacent areas. The specific areas are defined by a special decree by the Oblast Administration.
The list of alcoholic beverages falling under the restrictions was extended to include mead, cider and perry. In Tomsk Oblast, between 10 pm and 10 am and in crowded places these drinks can be sold only in catering facilities.
ENTREPRENEURS’ RIGHTS WILL BE PROTECTED
The deputies considered in the first reading a bill On Business Ombudsman in Tomsk Oblast.
Pursuant to the Russian President’s Decree of May 7, 2012 On Long-Term National Economic Policy, the institute of the Business Ombudsman should be created in Russia.
It will help entrepreneurs to resolve situations when their rights and legitimate interests are violated, especially by administrative barriers, bureaucratic pressure, and corrupt behavior of government officials. The Business Ombudsman institute will also enhance communication between government and business, build an effective dialogue between them and help develop joint initiatives to improve business climate in the country.
The bill defines the legal status, key responsibilities and the scope of authority of the Business Ombudsman in Tomsk Oblast as well as the appointment procedure.
RURAL HEALTH POSTS
One of the hottest topics on the Duma’s agenda has always been the need to improve the situation with rural health posts in Tomsk Oblast. This Duma session is no exception. The deputies were presented a detailed report on the activity and development outlook of rural health posts in Tomsk Oblast, including through a dedicated target program; the need for such health posts; status of construction of new and reconstruction of the existing rural health posts, their equipment and staffing issues.
ATTRACTING INVESTMENTS IN THE REGION
The deputies passed amendments to the Oblast law On government support of the investment activity in Tomsk Oblast in the first reading.
The amendments comply with the Budget Code. The law was supplemented by a new article which allows making amendments to investment agreements under a specified procedure.
The second reading of the bill is scheduled for November.
SUBSISTENCE MINIMUM SETTLED
The deputies passed in two readings the bill On pensioner’s subsistence minimum in Tomsk Oblast in 2014. According to the federal legislation, each Russian region should annually reset the subsistence minimum for the next year in order to establish the amount of additional social payments to pension.
The bill allows establishing in 2014 an additional social payment to the pensions of non-working pensioners whose financial security level falls below the pensioner’s subsistence minimum established in the region of their residence.
The pensioner’s subsistence minimum in Tomsk Oblast is calculated taking into account:
– Amount of the pensioner’s subsistence minimum in 2012
– Structure of the pensioner’s subsistence minimum in quarters 1 and 2 of 2013
– Consumer price index forecast for 2013 and 2014 by elements
For the purpose of calculating the additional social payment the pensioner’s subsistence minimum in Tomsk Oblast in 2014 will be 6,298 rubles.
The national pensioner’s subsistence minimum in 2014 will be 6,354 rubles.
TOMSK OBLAST SOCIAL SPHERE OF TOMSK OBLAST FOR 2022 APPROVED
The deputies approved the Strategy of Development of the Social Sphere of Tomsk Oblast for 2022.
The Strategy defines the goals and objectives of the development of the social sphere in Tomsk Oblast and outlines specific strategic indicators to be achieved by 2022. The same approach is used for each of the seven social sectors of the region’s economy. The deputies noted that for the first time the long-term development of the social sphere implies involving resources from other market actors and not only budget funds. The deputies identified two most capital-intensive sectors – education and health care, defined performance indicators and achievement responsibilities.