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    STATE DUMA TO EXAMINE 128 BILLS THIS MARCH

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 20 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The Russian State Duma endorsed its legislative-work plan for the March 2004 period at a plenary session here today.

    House members are to examine 128 bills this March, Deputy Speaker Lyubov Sliska noted. Their list includes 102 documents, due to be examined in the first reading; the lower parliament house will also examine 21 bills in the second reading. Moreover, the State Duma would be expected to ratify five international treaties.

    24 bills were submitted to the State Duma for consideration by the President and the Government, Sliska noted. Two more bills were submitted by the Federation Council, i.e. the parliament's upper house, with State Duma members submitting 67 documents. For their own part, Russian territories contributed 35 bills.

    The plan of legislative work includes 16 top-priority bills out of a total of 20 documents, which must be examined in the first reading, Sliska went on to say. In her words, the remaining four bills require additional consultations with the presidential administration and the Cabinet. The bill on ratifying an agreement on intra-CIS interaction in the field of anti-terrorist operations should also be coordinated.

    The list of documents, due to be examined in the second reading, includes the bill "On State Civil Service In The Russian Federation," as well as specific bills on amending and augmenting the law "On The Social Security Of Handicapped Persons" and the Tax Code, Sliska went on to say.

    Plans are also in place to add another chapter on gifts and inheritance issues to the Tax Code.

    The State Duma must examine a bill on amending and augmenting the mandatory third-party car-insurance law this March, no matter what. Members of parliament will also discuss a bill on amending army-service legislation; among other things, they are to clarify the status of contract soldiers.

    A bill on amending article 100 of the federal law "On The Constitutional Court Of The Russian Federation" ranks among other top-priority bills, which will be examined in the first reading, Sliska noted. Moreover, the deputies are to discuss a bill on ratifying a protocol, which stipulates the relevant procedure for organizing and conducting joint anti-terrorist operations on CIS territory.

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