December 19, 2013. 26th Session of the Legislative 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.
Then the Speaker gave her traditional opening address for the deputies.
The session started with awards. Deputy Sergey Zvonarev received the Federation Council’s Letter of Recognition “for long and dedicated service and substantial contribution to improving the legislation and promoting the socioeconomic development of Tomsk Oblast”. Seversk Mayor Grigory Shamin received a laureate diploma of the national contest Children Should Have Families sponsored by the Fund for Children in Difficult Situations.
The deputies accredited a new deputy. On December 6, the Oblast Election Commission handed the vacant mandate of the deputy of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast of the 5th convocation over to the 32-year-old candidate from the Oblast list of the LDPR Regional Office in Tomsk Evgeny Pavlov.
LAW ON THE BUDGET OF THE TOMSK OBLAST TERRITORIAL COMPULSORY HEALTH INSURANCE FUND TO SECURE DEFICITLESS BUDGET
The deputies passed in the second reading the law On the budget of the Tomsk Oblast Territorial Compulsory Health Insurance Fund for 2014 and the planning period of 2015 and 2016. The Fund’s budget revenues and expenditures in 2014 will be equal – 11.4bn rubles.
The Fund’s 2014 budget is balanced and does not have deficit.
A 600 MILLION INCREASE IN THE OBLAST BUDGET
Total revenues of the 2013 Oblast budget will be increased by 618.2m rubles, total expenditures by 312.5m rubles. The deficit will be reduced by 305.7m rubles.
The revenues will be increased through non-repayable receipts from the federal budget.
The revenues of the amended 2013 budget now total 47bn rubles, including tax and non-tax revenues of 37.2bn rubles; non-repayable receipts of 9.8bn rubles; expenditures of 51.2bn rubles; and deficit of 4.2bn rubles or 11.34% of the revenues without non-repayable receipts.
The deputies raised the debt ceiling of Tomsk Oblast and the debt ceiling on the Oblast-issued government guarantees.
In order to comply with the fiscal legislation on debt ceiling in the event of failure to implement tax and non-tax revenues in 2013, the debt ceiling of Tomsk Oblast for 2013 was increased by 50% of own budget revenues or 18.6bn rubles.
The total amount of spending on the investment and innovation activity in 2013 was increased by 35.7m rubles and now totals 7.3bn rubles (including funding from the federal budget of 2.8bn rubles).
NEW YEAR WITH A NEW BUDGET
The budget for the next three years was passed in the second final reading.
The 2014 budget items are:
– Revenues 47.7bn rubles
– Expenditures 50.8bn rubles
– Deficit 3.2bn rubles or 8% of the revenues without non-repayable receipts
Since the first reading the budget was increased by 4.751bn rubles:
– 4.756bn rubles is receipts from the federal budget (including 1.2bn rubles as undesignated financial aid)
– 5.1m rubles is a decrease in tax and non-tax revenues to the Oblast budget.
The deficit was not changed.
2015 budget forecast:
– Revenues 48.1bn rubles
– Expenditures 49.7bn rubles
– Deficit 1.6bn rubles or 3.8% of the revenues without non-repayable receipts
2016 budget forecast:
– Revenues 53.2bn rubles
– Expenditures 54.4bn rubles
– Deficit 1.2bn rubles or 2.6% of the revenues without non-repayable receipts
32 – FOR
5 – AGAINST
Tomsk Oblast Governor Sergey Zhvachkin thanked the deputies for their hard work on the budget and wrapped up the discussion.
The Governor noted that by forming the budget with deficit the deputies have raised the bar very high for the region.
“I know that not all regions in Russia have development allocations in their 2014 budgets. But we do.”
Spending on investment and innovation activity in the 2014 budget totals 4.1bn rubles. The deputies passed in two readings the law On Oblast budget expenditure to support investment and innovation activity in Tomsk Oblast in 2014.
50.9% of the total amount is budget investment in capital construction of public property (public roads, public utilities infrastructure facilities, healthcare and sports facilities).
19.2% is allocations to finance relocation of people from unfit housing, provide housing to large families, partially reimburse costs to construction companies which took over projects to complete construction of apartment blocks and undertook obligations to transfer apartments to individuals.
29.9% is allocations to provide government support for the real economy and innovation activity. Those are subsidies to finance investment projects, support small and medium business, develop design and estimate documentation. Also, it includes subsidies for farmers for partial reimbursement of the cost of machinery and equipment and investment loan interest rates.
NOVELTIES IN EDUCATION
The deputies passed in two readings amendments to the law on education. A group of five deputies introduced a set of amendments to the Oblast law on education.
The amendments were developed by a special work group which included almost 30 experts from various government agencies and organizations.
The amendments make one the fundamentals of the Oblast education system – the interests of children – the corner stone of the system. The right for education is secured by the education system infrastructure, standard funding rates for the implementation of the statutory securities for free education, social support for students and teachers. The law contains a detailed definition of all education system entities – all types of relevant organizations, including research organizations, design offices, educational methodology associations, experimental units. The law contains a special clause on public participation – for parents and for children – in education administration.
There are also more specific provisions on school meals for children with health restraints. For those who live and study in schools, the law guarantees five free meals a day. Those who do not live but study in schools, have a right for two free meals a day. If the child with health restrictions prefers home education, their parents can apply for food allowance based on the standard rate. Five meals a day are also guaranteed for children with health restrictions who study in intermediate vocational education institutions.
The amended law on education sets forth co-financing of the payroll of teachers and principals of municipal extended education institutions (art and sports schools), including various incentives such as extra payments for qualification categories. The law also provides for similar allocations from the Oblast budget for workers of private educational organizations.
Another novelty is involvement of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast and representative bodies of municipal entities in the evaluation of the results of liquidation or reorganization of educational organizations.
SUPPORT FOR PRIVATE NURSERY SCHOOLS
The deputies adopted a new law stipulating that private nursery schools of Tomsk and Strezhevoy will get partial compensation of expenses related to labor remuneration, purchasing of textbooks and toys, starting from January 1, 2014.
Total amount of Oblast budget funds to implement this law in 2014 is 18.9m rubles. Provisions for the funds are made in the bill On the Oblast budget for 2014 and planning period of 2015 and 2016.
SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS
The Technology Incubator of the Tomsk Polytechnic University received Oblast-owned movable assets for its discretionary management for five years. The aim is to support small and medium business.
HOW TO ATTRACT INVETSTMENTS INTO THE REGION?
In the second reading the deputies adopted amendments to the Oblast law On government support of the investment activity in Tomsk Oblast. The amendments introduce additional measures to protect rights of investors.
Investors can apply for protection of their rights through a special communication channel opened for immediate resolution of issues emerging during investment activity. The law secures a possibility for investors, who not only create new jobs but preserve high-performance jobs or create high-performance jobs in the region, to get support from the Tomsk Oblast authorities.
The amendments follow the measures stipulated in the Presidential Decree On Long-Term National Economic Policy of May 7, 2012.
In the first reading the deputies adopted amendments to the law On additional tax concessions for organizations pursuing investment activity in Tomsk Oblast. The bill is aimed to promote investments in hydrocarbon production by extending the surface of developed areas in Tomsk Oblast.
The bill extends the additional tax concessions (property tax and corporate profit tax) to investors implementing investment projects in hydrocarbon production in the region.
According to the bill drafters, additional tax concessions incite the companies to develop new reserves, which will allow not only to maintain substantial oil production rate in the region, but also to increase it further.
TOGHER ELECTION REQUIREMENTS
Four laws of Tomsk Oblast were amended:
– On election of deputies to the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast
– On municipal elections in Tomsk Oblast
– On Governor elections in Tomsk Oblast
– On election committees and referendum commissions in Tomsk Oblast
The amendments to the federal law On basic guarantees of electorate rights and the right of citizens of the Russian Federation to participate in a referendum stipulate additional requirements to candidates for elections to government agencies, including those in the Russian regions, and elections of heads of municipal districts and city districts.
During election campaigns a candidate shall submit the following data to the election committee, along with a consent statement to stand as candidate and other documents for nomination:
– Record of real estate outside Russia owned by the candidate, his/her spouse and underage children, sources used to acquire this property, liabilities outside Russia of the candidate, his/her spouse and underage children
– Record of his/her expenses, as well as expenses of his/her spouse and underage children per each transaction of acquisition of real estate, vehicle, securities and shares made over the last three years, if the amount of the transaction exceeds total income for the last three years; and a record of sources used to finance the transaction
By the registration date the candidate shall close his/her accounts (deposits), cease depositing of disposable funds and valuables in overseas banks and (or) alienate foreign financial instruments.
Candidates for governor shall submit names of three nominees to the election committee. One of the nominees will be conferred with powers of member of the Federation Council – representative of the Tomsk Oblast Administration – in case the candidate wins the race.
The Oblast deputies backed the law on a constitutional amendment. The law on the amendment to the Constitution of the Russian Federation On the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation establishes a single highest judicial agency for civil cases, economic disputes, criminal, administrative and other cases within jurisdiction of courts.
The Law abolishes the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, with all justice administration tasks under its jurisdiction transferred to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.
Restructuring of the court system will secure cohesion of approaches in justice administration both against citizens and legal entities; eliminate the possibility to be denied of judicial defense in case of conflicts of jurisdiction; enable to establish common rules for proceedings and promote uniformity in court practice.
Along with the law on the amendment to the Constitution of the Russian Federation some amendments related to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation are being introduced. In particular, they redefine the name of Chapter 7 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and modify the assignment procedure for certain prosecutors.