The Finance Committee of the Riigikogu has endorsed a proposal to allocate an additional €5 million for the payment of state transitional aid to Estonian farmers, raising the total sum of payouts under that item in 2020 to €10.3 million.
The Finance Committee's proposal, which is expected to be approved by lawmakers along with the rest of the 2020 state budget on Wednesday, will effectively double the amount earmarked for that purpose in next year's state budget.
Committee chairman Aivar Kokk (Isamaa) said that additional support for Estonian agricultural producers is undoubtedly necessary.
"We must ensure that our farmers are competitive in Europe, and thus I proposed to the Finance Committee that the amount initially envisioned for transitional aid be increased by €5 million," Kokk said.
He said that he understands farmers' position that the state should make an even bigger amount of aid available, and voiced appreciation that farmers actively raised the topic, adding that attempts have been ongoing to find a solution to the issue since the 2020 state budget bill reached the Riigikogu.
"While I understand that the actual wish was to achieve an even bigger amount for net year, the state budget always sets certain limitations," Kokk explained. "In the last government, we achieved the restoration of national transitional aid, and with the decision to be adopted on Wednesday, we will continue to pay this aid next year as well."
Editor: Aili Vahtla