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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 10, 2004


10 March 2004
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Government And Unions Meet To Discuss Economy
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov chaired a meeting of Tatar government officials and leaders of the Federation of Trade Unions and reported the economic performance of the republic's industries on 9 March, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. In 2003, the average monthly income in Tatarstan was 4,272 rubles ($150), which represents a 13 percent growth compared to the previous year. The republic's industrial output exceeded $9 billion, which is 4.7 percent higher than in the previous year.

American Muslim Leader Visits Kazan
Zakheed Boukhari, the head of the Muslims in the American Public Square organization, visited Kazan on 9 March for meetings with members of Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board, Academy of Sciences, and officials from Tatar State Humanitarian University, Islam.ru reported the same day. Boukhari also visited the republic's Muslim religious schools and National Library.

TAIF Opens Up Its Financial Books
For the first time in more than eight years of its existence, the TAIF group of Tatarstan has published consolidated reports on its business performance in 2003, AK&M reported on 9 March. The group's income is reported at 14.9 billion rubles ($532 million), with profits of $145 million. The group is controlled by Radik Shaimiev, the son of the Tatar president.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Court Bans Scientology Center
A 9 March verdict in the Bashkir Supreme Court has banned the Dianetics Center, which is connected with the Scientology movement, RosBalt reported the same day. The Bashkir prosecutor's office filed a suit against the center, arguing that it doesn't have a license for educational or medical activities. The prosecutor's office said that the center was a threat to people's health and was in violation of the Russian Constitution and federal health-care legislation. The Ufa Psycho-neurological Clinic also presented negative conclusions about the methods employed by the center. The center, which has been operating in Bashkortostan since 1994 and has trained over 2,000 people, is appealing the verdict in the Russian Supreme Court

Preparations Finalized For Presidential Elections
Bashkir Central Election Commission spokesperson Rif Arslanov told RosBalt on 9 March that preparations for the 14 March presidential elections are complete in Bashkortostan and that polling stations in the 3,576 polling districts have been equipped with fire alarms, communications equipment, and are under guard. Arslanov said that some 2.9 million ballots have been printed. According to the commission's forecast, turnout on 14 March will exceed 80 percent. City and raion elections will also be held the same day in the republic.

New Power Station Opened In Sibai
A new thermoelectric power station was launched on 5 March in Sibai, NTA Privolzhe reported on 9 March. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov said "this is the highest capacity thermoelectric power station in Europe." Bashkirenergo General Director Nikolai Kurapov said the construction cost his company 770 million rubles ($27 million). The facility reduces the dependency of Sibai on energy from neighboring regions, in particular the Chelyabinsk Oblast.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
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