Thursday, 29 December 2011

Parliamentary Questions in December

On 29 December 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 Culture, Media and Information Society Predrag Markovic, Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic, Minister of Education and Science Zarko Obradovic, Minister of Justice Snezana Malovic and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Milutin Mrkonjic responded to the MPs’ questions.

MPs Riza Halimi, Srdjan Spasojevic, Ivan Andric, Vladimir Milentijevic, Stojanka Petkovic, Ljubomir Kragovic, Srdjan Milivojevic, Milorad Krstin, Srdjan Mikovic, Bozidar Delic, Vlatko Ratkovic, Momcilo Duvnjak, Gordana Comic, Dragan Stevanovic, Nada Kolundzija, Petar Jojic, Nenad Canak, Serif Hamzagic, Jovan Damjanovic and Aleksandar Jugovic asked the questions.

MP Riza Halimi referred to the question he had asked on 24 November and the response he was given by the Government pointing out that the answer had not fully sublimated the issue so he clarified his question of 24 November. Halimi explained that he had asked why, 10 years later, after the relaxation of the ground safety zone, the whole territory of southern Serbia was still peppered with mini military and gendarmerie bases and not only on the administrative line emphasised in the Government’s response.

National Assembly Speaker Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic Dejanovic informed the MP that he would receive a written response to his question.

MP Srdjan Spasojevic had a question about the problem of Bozevac in the Municipality of Malo Crnice. In 1963, the Municipality of Bozevac had constructed a residential building with commercial premises using its own funds. The commercial premises had been used under a use contract by the “Stig” cooperative from Bozevac which was currently under bankruptcy liquidation procedure so the commercial premises were now part of the bankruptcy estate. MP Spasojevic pointed out that this was not an isolated case and appealed to the Minister of Justice to act on the issue urgently.

National Assembly Speaker Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic Dejanovic informed the MP that he would receive a written response to his question.

MP Ivan Andric pointed out that only three ministers were in attendance, at the same time criticizing the Government for not ensuring the attendance of the competent ministers who might be able to answer some questions within their scope.

MP Vladimir Milentijevic agreed with MP Ivan Andric’s comment and asked why the Government had betrayed Kosovo contrary to the laws of the Republic of Serbia, the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and existing resolutions.

MP Stojanka Petkovic said that she had expected the Minister for Kosovo-Metohija to be in attendance today, hoping that she would receive an answer to her question in writing. Petkovic asked when the Ministry for Kosovo-Metohija would abolish the temporary compensation paid to persons established to be the citizens of the Republic of Montenegro and re-direct the funds to persons living in Kosovo-Metohija and who have for whatever reason failed to exercise that right at the appropriate time.

MP Ljubomir Kragovic criticised the Government’s policy toward Kosovo-Metohija pointing out the Serbian people’s problems on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija. MP Kragovic asked Minister of Education and Science Zarko Obradovic about the agreement as regards the recognition of university diplomas asking what has been improved for the Serbian students on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija by the agreement.

Minister Zarko Obradovic explained that the agreement, in compliance with the law, the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and Resolution 1244, helped a number of citizens from various parts of the Republic of Serbia who had earned their diplomas at the University of Pristina.

As his additional question, MP Kragovic asked why the Kosovo-Metohija budget lacked an allocation for agriculture.

MP Srdjan Milivojevic asked whether the announced initiative to call a referendum in the three municipalities in the north of Kosovo-Metohija complied with the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and if the representatives of said municipalities have contacted the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government.

MP Milorad Krstin asked the Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic when and how much agricultural households between half and 30 hectares would receive in payment and whether the subsidies of up to 14 000 RSD per hectare for households between 30 and 100 hectares would be paid in January 2012.

Minister Dulic informed MP Krstin that he would forward the questions to the Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Water Management Dusan Petrovic.

MP Srdjan Mikovic wanted to know what the Government was doing to improve the quality of air and reduce air pollution on the territory of Pancevo and whether the Government was following the new investments, particularly in the sphere of chemical industry, in Pancevo. Mikovic also wanted to know what was planned in the sphere of energy efficiency and individual hearths and whether it was being monitored, and how we can contribute to the reduction of air pollution.

Minister Dulic informed the MPs that according to the latest results of air pollution measurements submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency, Pancevo was no longer in the group of most endangered towns as regards air pollution. Dulic added that the air pollution problem in Pancevo has been reduced to accidental occurrences in cases of temperature inversion i.e. fog conditions. Dulic stressed that a lot had been done to solve the problem of Petrohemija i.e. finance and complete the basin i.e. covering of the equalisation basin which significantly reduced the concentration of volatile substances in the air. The Ministry has drafted new action plans for the facilities in the southern zone and achieved an agreement with each of the polluters on the manner and action in different situations, added Dulic.

In his additional question MP Mikovic asked about the potentials for relocating cargo traffic from the centres of Pancevo and Belgrade.

Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Milutin Mrkonjic reminded the assembly that part of the bypass around Vrsac has been opened. The Minister explained that it was important to commence the realisation of the Borca bridge and part of the bypass around Pancevo in the upcoming period i.e. starting from 1 March.

MP Bozidar Delic asked when the Government would submit answers to the Serbian Radical Party’s interpellations submitted on 26 and 27 July 2011, to the National Assembly.

To MP Vlatko Ratkovic's question about the construction of road infrastructure in Serbia, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Milutin Mrkonjic informed the assembly that, according to plan, the project design documentation for the Sabac - Ruma section should be completed by 1 March 2012 and the realisation should commence by 1 June 2012.

MP Momcilo Duvnjak asked why the investigation of the Football Association of Serbia has ceased.

MP Gordana Comic asked Minister Predrag Markovic for an explanation regarding the Law on Copyright and Related Rights and Law on Cinematography as the public has had some questions about the implementation of some of the provisions of said laws i.e. the uniform rate and special compensation for the use of sound carrying devices i.e. how the so-called film dinar was established.

Minister Markovic thanked all who had voted in favour of the Law on Cinematography and explained that the Law regulating the financing of cinematography and all types of production and distribution did not impose any new financial obligations on the citizens or those who pay certain licences and fees to the regulatory bodies.

Minister Obradovic explained that at today’s Government sitting he had informed the ministers that there were some dilemmas among the public, problems and demands of the industry dealing in new technologies, that the fee set by the Commission for Copyright and Related Rights was too high compared to the citizens’ financial capabilities. Obradovic expects the Commission to be amenable to the public appeal and lower the fee.

MP Dragan Stevanovic asked Minister Mrkonjic whether he agreed with the opinion of the part of the coalition he belonged to that Serbia was lead by psychopaths in the 1990s. He asked Minister Obradovic about the problems at the "Georgi Dimitrov” elementary school in Bosilegrad.

Minister Obradovic stated that any individual view was jut that an individual view and should not be given undue importance. Minister Obradovic asked MP Stevanovic to submit specific data about the elementary school in Bosilegrad so that he might send an educational inspection to check the allegations.

In his additional question MP Stevanovic asked when the landslide on the regional road between Surdulica and Bosilegrad would be rehabilitated.

Minister Mrkonjic said that an expert team from the “Roads of Serbia” Public Enterprise would be in said location within 24 hours to deal with the problem.

MP Nada Kolundzija asked whether the prosecutor for organised crime had stopped the police investigation of potential participants of the so-called corruption relating to the procurement of vaccines.

Minister Malovic reminded that the Government was founded on five goals one of which was intensifying the fight against organised crime, crime in general and corruption. Malovic stated that the National Assembly had passed the laws to create a normative framework for the fight against corruption and listed the proceedings launched in the current mandate relating to the health care system. Minister Malovic stressed that the prosecution's responsibility was decidedly regulated by the Law on Criminal Procedure and that noone can stop the police or any other authority if they believe that a person has committed a criminal offense and filed charges for it.

MP Petar Jojic asked why the Beovoz line and number of trains from Belgrade to Pancevo and back has been reduced from 18 to only eight.

Minister Mrkonjic responded that he would look into the MP’s question about the reduction of Beovoz trains on the said line tomorrow.

In his additional question MP Jojic asked the Minister of Justice when the election of court presidents would be completed.

Minister Malovic explained that the competition was called recently and the processing of received applications has commenced, and interviews with the candidates for court presidents would start after New Year’s.

MP Nenad Canak asked the Minister of Interior how it was possible that, in a secular state, the Ministry of Interior has a patron saint day and how long some of the ministers would ignore the National Assembly. He asked the Minister of Justice whether Minister Mrkonjic’s calls for the release of validly convicted persons were a pressure and attack on independent judiciary listing the cases of Rade Markovic, Mihalj Kertes and Dragoljub Milanovic convicted for the crimes at the Ibar highway and the murder of Ivan Stambolic. He asked Minister Dulic, considering that the import and storage of nuclear waste was prohibited in Serbia, how it was possible that a company dealing in the storage of nuclear waste realises about a quarter of its income from foreign trade arrangements. The MP was interested in said arrangements. He addressed his third question to the Minister of Finance, asking why the customs administration submitted customs documents on the import of IT equipment, which is a company’s business secret, to the “PI”, “OFPS” and “SOKOJ” agencies.

Minister Malovic reminded that ongoing procedures should not be commented on. Explaining her colleague Mrkonjic’s statement, Malovic said that these were persons serving valid prison sentences they were convicted to. There is legal procedure for their release – the institute of pardon.

Minister Dulic explained that the Law on Protection against Ionizing Radiation, as well as the Waste Management Law absolutely prohibit the import of dangerous waste or any other waste bearing nuclear waste characteristics. Also, Serbia is a state which prohibits the import of any kind of waste which might endanger the environment. Every year, Serbia generates between several tens and several hundreds of cubic metres of nuclear waste stored in the new warehouse built in compliance with international standards; said waste comes from health care institutions, the industry and some science research experiments. Dulic explained that nuclear waste can be found in some parts of lightning rods, replaced in the meantime, fire alarms and similar repeating that it was all stored in a safe and secure manner.

Minister Obradovic said that he would answer MP Canak’s question about the business transactions of company Nuclear Facilities of Serbia in writing. Minister Obradovic restated that he had informed the Government about the fees for copyright and related rights earlier today.

MP Serif Hamzagic asked Minister Mrkonjic about the 33-kilometer-long Novi Pazar - Tutin road pockmarked with potholes, indentations, bottlenecks and landslides.

Minister Mrkonjic informed the assembly that the section had been included into next year’s project and the realisation would commence in spring, but the Novi Pazar bypass must be completed before that.

MP Jovan Damjanovic thanked Minister Dulic for enabling the Roma community to open a recycling centre and become gainfully employed. The World Roma Organisation decided to award Minister Dulic its highest recognition at the signing of the contract, for everything he has done for the Roma community.

MP Ljubomir Kragovic asked Minister Predrag Markovic what had been done to protect the Serbian cultural heritage on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija. He asked all the ministers how they would feel if today and tomorrow were the last days when they could drive cars bearing Serbian license plates on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija and they had to hand them over to Kosovo authorities on 1 January.

Minister Markovic responded that the attempts to rename Serbian heritage primarily on the UNESCO list had been prevented. In the past years the Ministry managed to present Serbia as a country of frescoes. The best evidence for it is the extension of the fresco exhibition at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence due to mounting interest. The Minister added that thanks to that a permanent exhibition was organised at the Basilica and on the occasion Serbian frescos were recognised as the precursor of Renaissance in Italy.

MP Aleksandar Jugovic asked Minister Obradovic about the educational jubilee awards and when funds would be transferred to local self-governments.

Minister Obradovic explained that the payment of jubilee awards was in the purview of local self-governments, adding that the budget rebalance raised the local self-governments’ income so they should be paying the jubilee awards. According to the data at the Ministry’s disposal more than 50% of local self-governments in Serbia have paid the jubilee awards.

National Assembly Speaker Prof. Dr Slavica Djukic Dejanovic wished the attending ministers and other Government members a happy New Year on the behalf of the MPs.

On the behalf of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Minister of Education and Science Zarko Obradovic wished all the MPs present a happy New Year and Christmas holidays.

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monday, 18 october
  • 11.30 - the National Assembly Speaker takes part in the on-line meeting of the EP facilitated Inter-Party Dialogue (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, library)

  • 12.30 - the National Assembly Speaker makes press statement (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

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