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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when her Department's Green Minister attended meetings of the Green Ministers' Committee; on what dates meetings are planned to take place; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with Premium Credit about the compliance of their instructions to policyholders of Independent Insurance Company to continue payments with the terms of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: None. I understand Premium Credit have discussed this issue with the Provisional Liquidator. Premium Credit have now written to individual policy holders saying they will not be required to make further direct debit payments when they assign their right to a premium refund from the Policyholders Protection Board in respect of the remainder of the policy year.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the costs and outcome of the advice given by departmental lawyers in respect of the allegations made in the Daily Mail on 19 March. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 16 July 2001]: Legal advice is sought and received in confidence. All such advice is covered by legal professional privilege and is therefore exempt from disclosure. Information on the costs of any advice given by departmental lawyers in respect of these allegations is not available.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 10 July 2001, Official Report, columns 47779W, what her estimate is of the costs of decommissioning radioactive waste from decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines in and around the Kola Peninsula and in the rest of the Russian Federation. 
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Mr. Wilson [holding answer 17 July 2001]: The problems associated with decommissioning Russian nuclear submarines are huge. The sums of money involved in tackling the problems are expected to be equally large. Russian estimates for NW Russia range in the £100 millions. The scale and nature of the problems are still emerging and UK assistance is being directed at priority projects.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many days on average were lost per employee in her Department because of sickness; and how many officials retired early from her Department in each of the past 10 years. [R] 
The DTI Group, in addition to DTI HQ, consists of: ACAS, Companies House, Patent Office, Insolvency Service, National Weights and Measures Laboratory, Employment Tribunals Service, and The Radiocommunications Agency.
The figures are taken from the annual reports on public sector sick absence commissioned by the Cabinet Office each year since 1993; there are no comparable figures available for previous years. Various adjustments are made to the figures to take account of factors such as flu epidemics that may occur in any given year.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how she will respond to the International Development Committee's recommendation on the establishment of a commission on trade in services. 
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on what impact assessment the Government have undertaken on commitments that it has made under the general agreement on trade in services. 
Nigel Griffiths: None, as there were no impacts to measure. The UK already has a substantially open market for the provision of services by foreign service suppliers and most GATS commitments made by the UK during
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the Uruguay Round reflected actual levels of open market access or non-discriminatory national treatment. In subsequent negotiations on telecommunications and financial services, commitments were in line with the liberalisation in the single European market. In the area of movement of natural persons, the elimination of economic needs tests and the establishment of a special GATS application process for work permits in certain professional services has resulted in only a handful of new applications, which would have been granted under previous arrangements.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement about the commitments the Government have scheduled under the general agreement on trade in services in the health and education sectors. 
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will ensure that an assessment, independent of the WTO, is carried out of the likely impact of the extension of the general agreement on trade in services on the provision of key services. 
Nigel Griffiths: We agree that there should be an assessment of the services negotiations now taking place in the WTO. Article XIX of the GATS provides that for each round, negotiating guidelines and procedures shall be established; and that the Council for Trade in Services shall carry out an assessment of trade in services with reference to the objectives of this Agreement.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has for ensuring that an impact assessment of existing trade agreements has taken place before the Government develops its position on the fourth ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Qatar; and if she will make a statement. 
A 1995 study by WTO economists estimated that the agreement on industrial products and agriculture could boost global incomes by up to $214 billion (0.94 per cent. of GDP) p.a. and EU incomes by up to $32 billion (0.48 per cent. of GDP) 2 .
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what studies she has carried out on areas of the UK that are disadvantaged through the recent closure of large numbers of retail petrol stations; and if she will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department has not carried out any studies. The Government are committed to ensuring that a free and open market between fuel suppliers operates within the UK petrol retail sector to the benefit of consumers. The Director General of Fair Trading continues to monitor the market to ensure that anti-competitive behaviour does not occur.
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department collects and collates data from the individual companies that supply petroleum products into the UK market. This information is provided under strict commercial confidentiality constraints, and as such details for individual companies cannot be published. However, the Department publishes aggregated data giving total retail petrol and diesel sales data for the hypermarket sector. The latest information is in the June 2001 edition of "Energy Trends".
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what studies are being carried out by the National Weights and Measures Laboratory on temperatures of road transport fuels delivered to retail filling stations by supply companies; and if she will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: A study has been carried out by the National Engineering Laboratory for the National Weights and Measures Laboratory. This has been the subject of wide consultations, and discussions with interested parties are continuing.
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