Valentinas Stundys, chairman of the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture, MP Paulius Saudargas and Ažubalis registered a draft Law on the Development Fund of Southeastern Lithuania.
The bill suggests raising excise duties for alcohol and tobacco by 1 percent and transferring the extra revenue to the fund; the money would be used for all projects in southeastern Lithuania, excluding those funded from other governmental programs aimed at resolving regional issues related to employment, economic development, culture, and education.
The document says southern Lithuania covers the area of Vilnius and Šalčininkai Districts.
The fund would be run by a council whose members would be appointed by the Cabinet for a two-year term. The council would consist of 1 representative from Vilnius and Šalčininkai District Municipalities each, local community associations and seven members would represent state institutions.
The law is expected to come into force on 1 January 2013.
The bill drafters note that unemployment in Vilnius and Šalčininkai Districts is higher than in Kaunas and Klaipėda Districts, labor taxes are lower and crime levels exceeds the national average. Attendance of cultural and sports events in Vilnius District is five times lower than in Kaunas District.