Estonia to open embassy in India

The government has decided to establish an Estonian embassy in the capital of India, New Delhi.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that as of the spring the Foreign Ministry will send a chargé d’affaires to New Delhi, whose task it will be to make preparations for opening an embassy there in the fall of this year. “We plan to send an ambassador to New Delhi by the end of the year,” said Paet.

Paet stated that the opening of the embassy in New Delhi will help to intensify political co-operation with India and develop business and cultural contacts, as well as provide an opportunity to better address consular matters and to issue visas.

“On account of India’s important and growing role in the world and Estonians’ increasing interest in travelling to India, the plan to open an Estonian representation in India has been on the agenda for quite some time. From September 2005 to July 2008 an Estonian consular diplomat was working in the Finnish Embassy in New Delhi,” said Paet.

Currently Estonia’s non-resident ambassador to India residing in Tallinn is Peep Jahilo. The ambassador presented his credentials to Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on 8 December 2010. Estonia also has two honorary consuls in India: Anil Vig in New Delhi and Sunil Khana in Mumbai.

India re-recognised the independence of the Republic of Estonia on 9 September 1991. Diplomatic relations were established on 2 December 1991. At the time a British colony, India recognised Estonia for the first time on 22 September 1921 when Estonia became a member of the League of Nations.

 Source: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonian state budget taxes in 2011

According to the Tax and Customs Board, 4.34 billion Euros, i.e. 102.2 per cent of the estimate for 2011, accrued to the state budget in taxes by the end of December. The total amount of tax revenues increased 7.3 per cent compared to 2010 and 6.5 per cent compared to 2009. Tax revenues in December amounted to 378 million Euros.
One of the main reasons for the better than expected tax revenues is the positive effect of the adoption of the Euro on the Estonian economy. The Euro provided security for investors – direct foreign investments increased employment levels and raised export capacity.
The results for 2011 support the stability of Estonia in the uncertain economic environment and are in accordance with the estimates used for compiling this year’s state budget.
153.7 million Euros of social tax accrued in December; 102.9 per cent of the budget was filled during the year. Social tax revenues increased by 103.8 million Euros or 6.1 per cent compared to the previous year. The positive development of the labour market was reflected also on the tax declarations – the annual average increase  in wages was 7.7 per cent and 2.9 per cent in the number of employees.
26.9 million Euros of personal income tax accrued in December, 105.5 per cent of budget was filled during the year. In comparison to 2010, tax revenues increased by 35.6 million Euros or 18.6 per cent. Income tax returns decreased by 13.8 million Euros in 2011, while additional designations increased by 3.5 million Euros. In December, 52.4 million Euros of personal income tax accrued to local governments; annual increase was 33.8 million Euros or 5.8 per cent. 
12.6 million Euros of corporate income tax accrued in December and 87.9 per cent of  the budget was filled during the year. The revenues remained lower than the estimate due to postponing the dividends of Port of Tallinn to 2012 among other things. Compared to the previous year, revenues increased by 7.3 million Euros or 3.8 per cent. Tax revenues on dividends comprised 81.7 per cent of all corporate income tax.
In December, 120.1 million Euros of VAT accrued and 103.3 per cent of the budget was filled. Compared to the previous year, VAT revenues increased by 95 million Euros or 7.6 per cent. The declared monthly turnover reports indicated a rising trend and the motor vehicle sales sector as well as exporting companies showed the biggest increase in turnover. Regardless of cautious consumers, the turnover of retail business companies also increased; this was supported among other things by real wage increases starting from the  third quarter of the year. As of the summer months, revenues were also positively affected by tighter control over the fuel industry through changes in the legal framework . 
During the year, 717 million Euros of excise revenues accrued, which comprises 101.8 per cent of the budget. In December, 60.8 million Euros of excise tax was paid; the annual growth was 50.7 million Euros or 7.6 per cent.
16 million Euros of alcohol excise accrued in December and 105 per cent of the budget was filled during the year. Compared to the previous year, revenues increased by 13.4 million Euros or 8.1 per cent. During the year, revenues increased on nearly every type of alcohol, while declaration of strong alcohol, which formed the largest proportion, increased by approximately 7.7 per cent.
In December, 12.3 million Euros of tobacco excise accrued and 104.7 per cent of the budget was filled during the year. The end of the year summary concludes that revenues increased by 29.9 million Euros or 26 per cent as compared to 2010. The increase in revenues was caused by increased excise rates and a noticeable increase in the amount of cigarettes declared. Accrual was remarkably high in the summer months, exceeding 14 million Euros monthly.
29.6 million Euros of fuel excise accrued in December and 99 per cent of the budget was filled. The annual growth was 4.4 million Euros or 1.2 per cent. While a relatively strong growth trend could be observed throughout the year with regard to diesel fuel and diesel fuel for special purposes, an overall growth in fuel excise accrual was hindered by a decrease in excise paid on petrol. Consumption by private persons was strongly influenced by increased fuel prices; revenues  also decreased because of  warm weather conditions in the year’s final few months as compared to the previous year.
The prepayment account changes increased tax revenues by 8.8 million Euros in December, to a total of 386.8 million Euros. By the end of the year, prepayments had been made in the amount of 17.5 million Euros, which increases the annual  tax revenues to 4.36 billion Euros. The positive change in the prepayment account indicates that in December, the number of new prepayments made exceeded the utilisation amount of already made prepayments.
Source: Estonian Ministry of Finance