May 29, 2014. 31st session (part 1) of the Duma of the 5th convocation
The session was broadcast online. The summary of the agenda items and the wordings of bills submitted for consideration by the deputies were published on the Duma website beforehand.
The Duma Council suggested holding the 31st session in two steps: part 1 on May 29 and part 2 on June 2 because the Governor of Tomsk Oblast Sergey Zhvachkin was on a business trip to the Russian Ministry of Economy working on a key project for the region INOTomsk 2020. At the June 2 session the Governor will present to the deputies the annual report on the performance of the regional executive bodies in 2013. The deputies supported holding the session in two parts.
Duma Speaker Oksana Kozlovskaya delivered her traditional address to the deputies.
“The economic forum in St. Petersburg was focused on looking for new solutions for the development of the national economy. The President made specific emphasis on the priorities of the ‘technological revolution’ in his speech.
First. Promote substitution of imports and return “our own market to the national producers” first of all for products such as software, radioelectronics, power equipment, textiles and food. The ultimate goal is to secure growth of non-energy exports. Tools are large scale implementation of advanced technologies and development of talent. A fund for the development of the national industry will be created to support that goal.
Second. Cheap long money for business (mainly, in industry) and tax benefits for greenfield projects.
Third. Streamline the development of a 160 bill package for the improvement of the Russian business environment. The package should be submitted to the State Duma before the end of this year.
Fourth. To satisfy the needs of business and regions the Government has to double the volumes of construction and reconstruction of federal and regional motor roads (industrial development is not possible without a well-developed road network) and, what is most important, include funding for the ‘technological revolution’ in the budget for 2015-2017.”
Summary of the Speaker’s speech
The deputies made amendments to Article 94 of the Charter (fundamental law) of Tomsk Oblast.
The position of the Executive Secretary of the Tomsk Oblast Administration was classified as the region’s public office. The Executive Secretary reports directly to the Governor of Tomsk Oblast. The responsibilities and functions of the Executive Secretary are mostly centered around immediate enforcement of the powers of the Oblast government.
The deputies passed in two readings amendments to the regional law On providing local governing bodies with specific public authorities to create and support the functioning of administrative commissions in Tomsk Oblast.
The amendments bring the regional law in alignment with the Budget Code of the Russian Federation.
The federal law-makers provided a more specific definition for ‘State financial control’, revised the authorities of internal and external control bodies and chief controller’s control functions.
The bill implies that utilization of subsidies will be controlled by the executive bodies in compliance with the fiscal legislation. An authorized body will supervise the execution of these public authorities by local governing bodies.
LEGAL ADVICE FOR FREE
Retired and non-working disabled individuals of group III will have free access to professional legal advice. The deputies passed amendments to the law On providing free legal advice to Russian citizens in Tomsk Oblast in two readings. The amendments will take force on January 1, 2015.
Currently, access to free legal services is provided to individuals with income below the subsistence level. That means that most pensioners and disabled individuals with higher incomes cannot use that right. At the same time, they are primary consumers of legal services. Amendments allow all pensioners regardless of the amount of their pensions to use verbal and written legal advice free of charge. Free court advocacy will be available to pensioners whose income is twice as low as the subsistence level. Up to 150,000 rubles will be allocated from the regional budget annually to finance the enforcement of the law.
In accordance with the federal law On free legal advice in the Russian Federation, nine categories of citizens have free access to all types of legal assistance, among them disabled individuals of groups I and II.
BUSINESS OMBUDSMAN ELECT
At the 31st session of the Duma the deputies considered candidates for the position of Business Ombudsman nominated by the deputies, initiative groups and public associations. There were 7 candidates in total.
Each candidate delivered a short speech where they outlined their vision of ways to solve the entrepreneurs’ problems and presented their programs. The deputies asked questions to all candidates, discussions were open and positive. Eventually, the deputies voted for Valery Paderin.