Thursday, 30 June 2011

Parliamentary Questions in June

On 30 June 2011, in line with article 205, paragraph 1 of the National Assembly Rules of Procedure, the MPs posed various questions to the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

Minister of Health Zoran Stankovic and Minister of Education and Science Zarko Obradovic responded to the MPs’ questions.

MPs Velimir Ilic, Bojan Djuric, Miletic Mihajlovic, Zeljko Tomic, Dragan Sormaz, Milovan Radovanovic, Zika Gojkovic, Zlata Djeric, Zoran Ostojic, Sasa Dujovic, Milica Vojic-Markovic, Dobrislav Prelic, Olena Papuga, Miroslav Markicevic, Milan Dimitrijevic, Momcilo Duvnjak, Daniela Lovrin-Gavrilovic, Srboljub Zivanovic, Aleksandar Jugovic, Milan Nikolic, Zoran Krasic and Gordana Pop-Lazic asked the parliamentary questions.

MP Velimir Ilic asked why no budget rebalance was completed for the reconstructed Government. Why only 36 million RSD were allocated for the natural disasters which struck Serbia and what the Government would do to contain the landslide in Mramor near Nis which has already destroyed 17 houses and is presently threatening additional 80 houses.

Minister Obradovic explained that a rebalance is done when there are economic reasons for it and should the need arise the Government would put the issue of rebalance on its agenda. Obradovic added that he would convey the other two questions to the Government members.

MP Bojan Djuric opined that there was reason enough to do a budget rebalance. He supported his belief by the fact that the National Assembly adopted a Law envisaging a new 10 billion RSD obligation in the Serbian budget. Regarding the new obligation, Djuric asked the ministers what money the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education would give up.

Minister Stankovic reminded the MPs that the budget for the Ministry of Health was twice lower than in 2007, expressing his belief that that the Ministry would request to be exempt from the obligations.

MP Miletic Mihajlovic asked the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice when the Government would forward the amendments and modifications to the laws regulating the seats and territories of courts and public prosecutor’s offices in Serbia since the MP believes that enough time has elapsed from the adoption of the Law so that its effects can be discussed, as well as when it would complete certain analyses and possible amendments and modifications so as to improve the subject matter regulated by the Law.

In the absence of the Minister of Kosovo-Metohija and Minister of Justice, MP Zeljko Tomic asked Minister Obradovic about the accountability of the highest state dignitaries for the statements proposing that Kosovo-Metohija be split between Serbia and Albania stressing that it is contrary to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.

Minister Obradovic said that this was not a proposal but a position voiced by Ivica Dacic. He urged the MP to file charges with the competent authorities if he believed the Constitution has been violated.

MP Dragan Sormaz pointed out to the Government representatives present that he had not received an answer to his question regarding Zezelj Bridge which he addressed to Minister Mrkonjic in November last year. The MP wanted to know how far the realisation of the project has come by which the World Bank granted a 25 million USD loan to Serbia in 2005 for the realisation of the project of consolidation of payment and reform of pensions and pension administration in Serbia.

Considering that, besides Kolubara, the Aleksinac coal mine has the biggest energy potential in Serbia, MP Milovan Radovanovic asked the Government whether it maybe had a strategy or plan to open and exploit it, and whether there was a strategy or plan for the exploitation of shales particularly in the Subotinca village district.

Minister Obradovic said that he would forward the questions to Minister Oliver Dulic.

MP Zika Gojkovic asked when the laws on restitution and opening of dossiers would go into assembly procedure. Gojkovic wanted to know why the town of Sombor did not make it onto the list compiled in line with the Ordinance on conditions and manner of attraction of direct foreign investment.

MP Zlata Djeric asked which countries Serbia had diplomats or economic ambassadors in. How much they have cost the budget of the Republic of Serbia so far, what investors they brought to Serbia, whether they enabled Serbian companies to place their products abroad thus stimulating export. The MP wanted to know which laws allowed the payment of RTS subscription to be collected along with the electricity bill.

MP Zoran Ostojic addressed the Government with a request that in future more Government ministers who can respond to specific questions from their ministries’ purview attend the parliamentary question sessions. Ostojic appealed that this situation does not repeat.

MP Sasa Dujovic asked Minister Obradovic whether the scholarship quota for the children of fallen and/or disabled servicemen would be raised. Dujovic asked the Government what it would do regarding the review of privatisations. Dujovic asked the Minister of Justice about the position of the Court of Cassation regarding the payment of compensation to disabled veterans. As his additional question the MP asked Minister Stankovic whether all the war veterans can still receive treatment at the Military Medical Academy.

Minister Obradovic stressed that state faculties are doing their best and helping a number of children of war veterans and orphans be enrolled without paying school fees at the faculties’ own expense. The Ministry has been financing more than 50% of students of all the faculties for years, added Obradovic.

Minister Stankovic explained that the Ministry of Health tends to enable the continuation of a treatment where it was started for the duration of the time necessary to complete it, which has been its policy so far and from which it does not deviate.

MP Milica Vojic-Markovic asked who was to blame for the damages incurred by the bad weather (24 June) followed by a gale-strength wind and walnut-sized hail which struck a number of municipalities in Serbia viz. Aleksinac, Arilje, Lucani, Ivanjica, Uzice, Nis and Cacak. The Government offered 36.7 million RSD in assistance, and the MP wanted to know whether the budget allocated for these purposes has any funds left. Vojic-Markovic also asked why the reorganisation of the anti-hail service was put on hold when the law had been passed on time.

Minister Obradovic said that his colleagues from the Ministry of Interior would answer these questions.

MP Dobrislav Prelic requested an explanation of the Government’s Ordinance of 3 June regarding the subsidizing of processing material and 14,000 RSD worth of subsidies for agricultural households.

Minister Obradovic said that he would convey the question to Minister Dusan Petrovic.

MP Olena Papuga had a question for the Minister of Culture, Information and Information Society Predrag Markovic regarding the media strategy. The MP wanted to know whether the strategy would resemble its proposal and whether the requests made by media houses and national minority councils would be taken into consideration.

Minister Stankovic pointed out that various suggestions can be made during the public debate period. Once the discussion is completed all the submitted comments would be analysed.

MP Miroslav Markicevic asked Minister Obradovic whether he, as a member of the Government, voted on the purchase of vaccines. Markicevic also asked why the other ministers and Prime Minister failed to come. As his additional question, Markicevic asked the Minister of Education what his ministry was doing regarding the protection of Serbs in Montenegro where they are pressured to accept the Montenegrin language even though, according to the unofficial census in Montenegro, more than 50% of the citizens stated they spoke Serbian.

Minister Obradovic said that the Government was unanimous in all its decisions regarding the procurement of vaccines. To the second question, Obradovic said that they were waiting on the results of the census so as to see how many people declared themselves Serbian, particularly those who use the Serbian language.

MP Milan Dimitrijevic asked Minister Stankovic about the partial shortage of medicines in Serbia.

Minister Stankovic repeated the promise that there would be enough medicines, saying that the MP’s allegations that there would not be enough medicines were untrue. He added that the Ministry had made sure that the market has all the medicines necessary to treat our citizens.

MP Momcilo Duvnjak asked the Government what it would do regarding the malpractice at the Serbian Football Federation. He again asked how the House of Football at Stara Pazova was made.

Minister Obradovic said that he would convey the question to Minister Samardzic-Markovic so that she might answer it, keeping in mind that the state does not interfere in the work of the Serbian Football Federation.

MP Daniela Lovrin-Gavrilovic asked the Minister of Health whether he knew how many families were unable to receive medical treatment in Serbia. The MP asked the Minister of Justice whether she had any record of the total funds paid for the treatment of these people and into which giro account and whether it would be possible to open a single giro account for all the funds intended for their treatment.

Minister Stankovic said that there are 36 people suffering from rare diseases registered in our country and an additional 4% are waiting to be registered. He explained that a unified register is being compiled containing 40 patients which would, at the Ministry’s proposal and in agreement with the Prime Minister, attempt to secure part of the funds from the games of fortune in addition to the existing fund financing the treatment of rare diseases. The Minister said that the treatment of Batten disease requires 250 thousand EUR a year.

MP Srboljub Zivanovic had a question about the deposed director of “Our Child” pre-school institution in Sabac who was, having been deposed, given the post of child psychologist at the same institution. Zivanovic pointed out to Minister Obradovic that the parents of the children attending the kindergarten have written a petition asking that the person be removed from the institution. The MP also asked about the director and owner of “Majstorovic Deal” company who had incurred 24 million RSD worth of damages on the villagers who sold them cattle and were never paid for it by said company.

Minister Obradovic said that he would forward an answer to the question about “Our Child” pre-school institution next week, once he has gathered the necessary information and reviewed the report of the competent inspection.

MP Aleksandar Jugovic asked the Minister of Education whether he thought it necessary to include a revised objective image of General Mihajlovic and hundreds of thousands of his fellow fighters in the historic textbooks.

Minister Obradovic pointed out to the MP that no minister may influence the content of a textbook, neither to approve or restrict it. It is the job of those competent, added Obradovic.

MP Milan Nikolic pointed out the material damage in several Serbian municipalities caused by weather disasters. He stated that the damage was estimated at 40 million EUR, and the Government has decreed 35 million RSD to assist the municipalities. At the same time, Nikolic requested and asked the Government whether it intended to help the damaged municipalities with their anti-hail protection. The MP also pointed out that this year’s price of raspberries is 80 RSD as opposed to 150 RSD last year.

Minister Stankovic explained that the 35 million RSD are just Government first aid for the endangered areas, and that after the damage is estimated, in accordance with the material possibilities, the Government would help the recovery of the damage with a higher amount.

MP Zoran Krasic drew Minister Stankovic’s attention to the problems in smaller and underdeveloped municipalities regarding the delay in maternity leaves, allowances and compensations. Krasic pointed out to Minister Stankovic that the issue of the price of domestic medicines is at the same time the issue of devaluating of Galenika before its privatisation.

Minister Stankovic thanked the MP for pointing out the problem, saying he was sure that the Ministry would do all in its power to make sure new mothers get all they are due under the law considering the present “white plague”.

MP Gordana Pop-Lazic wanted to know whether the Government was aware that the town of Nis, as a local self-government, had opened an office in Brussels and under what law it had done so.

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