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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 28, 2004

28 September 2004
Budget-Dependent Organizations Urged To Undertake Own Business Initiatives
Education Minister Reis Sheikhelislamov said on 27 September that Tatarstan�s state-owned educational institutions are currently failing to raise sufficient revenues from commercial projects of their own, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the next day. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov tasked all budget-dependant enterprises in his republic with expanding the number of services they offer to citizens in an effort to bring in additional revenue.

According to Health Minister Kamil Ziyatdinov, his ministry is likely to be the only one to meet the task, by contributing more than 45 percent of total amount of additional revenues brought in by Tatarstan's state-owned social-sector ventures. As Finance Minister Radik Giyzatullin told the ministers, by September 2004 such ventures had earned as much as 916 million rubles ($31 million) and less than 50 percent of that amount was used to help pay back wages to budget-sector employees.

Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov concluded the meeting by saying that directors of the state-owned social-sector ventures should be granted more leeway in managing the additional revenues they bring in. "Otherwise," he said, "people have no motivation to seek additional profits." Most of the extra revenues are reportedly spent by the local offices of related ministries in the regions and cities of Tatarstan.

Kazan Aircraft Plant Loses Out On Contract
Russia's Tupolev aircraft company and the Project-3000 leasing company cancelled the signing of a $1.3 billion contract with Kazan Aircraft Plant (KAPO imeni Gorbunova) that was slated to 27 September, "Kommersant-Daily" reported. The Kazan plant was expected to ink a deal to manufacture 100 short-distance Tu-334 airliners. The Kazan plant was to cooperate with its counterparts in Taganrog, Ulyanovsk, and Lukovisty near Moscow.

Former Defense Ministry Plant Offers More Civilian Products
Tatarstan's POZIS plant located in Yeshel Uzen has expanded production to include hunting-rifle cartridges in addition to its traditional produce, antiaircraft shells, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 28 September, citing Intertat. The first $25,000 worth of cartridges was reportedly sold to a Ukrainian firm specializing in the sale of hunting ammunition. The former Soviet Defense Ministry plant previously successfully pulled off an effort to diversify its product line by assembling household refrigerators.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Newspaper Lists Rakhimov Among Undesirables
"Versiya" published on 27 September a list of governors who are supposedly "disagreeable" to the Kremlin. The newspaper speculated that Rakhimov could face dismissal because of corruption scandals and his image problems. The daily wrote that the Kremlin is looking for a "worthy" Bashkir candidate that could replace Rakhimov.

Bashkortostan To Face Unprecedented Budget Deficit
Bashkortostan's budget deficit is expected to total 2.5 billion rubles ($85.6 million) in 2005, Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov told a government meeting on 27 September, RIA-Novosti reported the same day. The 2005 budget will be formulated under much more complex conditions than previously seen, and "we have never had such a budget deficit," Baidavletov said. The situation results from the reduction of the amount of revenues generated from the oil-production tax and transferred to the republican budget from 14.4 percent to 5 percent, of profit taxes from 19 to 17.5 percent, and the social-tax rate from 35.6 to 26 percent. According to the forecast, budget revenues will total 49.3 billion rubles while expenses will reach 51.8 billion rubles. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Airat Geskerov said at the meeting that 3 billion rubles will be allocated in the budget for increasing salaries by 20 percent; more than 10 billion rubles will be spent on education; 6.8 billion rubles on health care; 5 billion rubles on budgetary assistance to raions and municipalities, 2.35 billion rubles on housing and municipal services; 6 billion rubles on industry, energy and construction; and 3.1 billion rubles on social-policy measures.

Supreme Mufti Included On Beslan Commission
Supreme Mufti of Russia and the European countries of the CIS Telget Tajetdin was appointed as a member of a public council for helping victims of the Beslan siege, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 27 September. The council is headed by Southern Federal District envoy Dmitrii Kozak and includes Patriarch Aleksii II, Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov, Krasnodar Krai Governor Aleksandr Tkachev, and others. Kozak said the body was established to supervise the distribution of funds donated to assist victims of the Beslan crisis. More than 600 million rubles have been collected so far. The funds are intended to be spent on the construction of new schools, hospitals, and housing.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova