In accordance with an amendment planned by the new government coalition, state-owned companies in Estonia would be allowed to sponsor only research and development-related activities in their own field of business in the future, weekly Eesti Ekspress said.
The Ministry of Finance must come up with a legislative amendment to this effect by Jan. 26.
"The state receives dividend income from state-owned companies and finances education, culture and sports from the state budget," said Minister of Finance Sven Sester (IRL). "It's appropriate for state financing for these fields to be decided in a transparent manner based on uniform rules, and to not depend on the discretion of the supervisory board of a state-owned company for whom processing of individual requests is a non-essential side duty."
It has been agreed between the coalition parties that every year from 2018-2020, an additional half a million euros will be provided for sports from the state budget. The decision will not apply to marketing and advertising expenses that state-owned companies must incur in connection with their day-to-day business operations.
The minister said that in its analysis of the sponsorship practices of state-owned companies, the ministry arrived at the conclusion that many subsidies did not have an identifiable effect on achieving the operational and financial objectives of the company. "Unfortunately, corruption in the form of conflict of interest also occurred in the payment of support," admitted the minister.
Sponsorship by state-owned companies was analyzed by the ministry as part of the drafting of the White Book of state policy on participation in policymaking. The Ministry of Finance stated in the working version of the document that sponsorship by state-owned companies should be banned because the payment of support is very subjective and its effect on a company's business operations is impossible to estimate.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla