The government on Thursday approved providing special aid to Ida-Viru County to improve the competitiveness of local businesses and help preserve jobs.
As the oil shale sector is the largest employer in Ida-Viru County, the livelihood of thousands of families depends on it, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said.
"The outbreak has reduced both electricity consumption and global demand for oil products, government's support is important until the situations normalizes," Ratas added.
A package of measures has been developed in order to help the sector, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas said. "These included a reduction in the environmental fee for ash depositing and temporary compensation of the special use fee of the water pumped out of quarries and mines."
After studies, shale oil ash was excluded from the list of hazardous waste from this year. The fee rate of shale oil ash would be lowered to the same level with the fee rate of shale oil mining waste after the amendment. In the second half of the year, the Ministry of the Environment is planning on making larger scale amendment proposals regarding the system of pollution charges for waste in the oil shale sector.
The cost of the special aid amounts to some €14 million.
Editor: Anders Nõmm