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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 12, 2003

12 May 2003
Tatarstan Prepares Program For Training More State Officials
According to a governmental commission that is discussing a draft program on the reform of the state bureaucracy, an average retired state official will draw a monthly pension of 2,000 rubles ($64), Intertat reported on 7 May. Some 10,000 bureaucrats are currently serving in Tatarstan, 75 percent of them women. Between 15 and 20 percent of positions in the republic's bureaucracy are reportedly unfilled. Due to the large number of officials who are nearing retirement age, around 50 percent of jobs in the bureaucracy are expected to be freed up in the next decade. The state bureaucracy reform is expected to introduce measures for preparing new, qualified personnel. The draft program was approved by the commission on 7 May, but is yet to be endorsed by Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev.

Supreme Court Rejects Suit Against Kazan Helicopter Plant Executive
The Tatar Supreme Court on 6 May rejected an appeal by a Kazan prosecutors' office regarding a lawsuit filed by the state arms export company Rosoboroneksport against Aleksandr Talov, the general director of the Kazan Research and Production Enterprise, which assembles Mi helicopters, (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 17 April 2003), "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 9 May. Rosoboroneksport had accused the Kazan company -- which won a tender for repairing Mi-17-1B helicopters used by the Turkish police -- of illegal business practices. The Supreme Court confirmed an earlier decision by the Moscow district court in Kazan, which ruled that the lawsuit filed by the prosecutors' office was illegal.

Shaimiev Signs Off On Sabantuy Holiday Schedule
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 7 May signed a decree on holding the traditional Sabantuy holiday on 7-8 June in rural regions of Tatarstan, on 14 June in the cities of Yeshel Uzen and Tuben Kama, on 15 June in Chally, and on 21 June in Kazan. The document recommends that local governmental bodies, companies, and organizations "take an active part and assist in organizing and holding the national holiday." The Sabantuy holiday celebrates the end of the sowing season.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Dismissed Tax Head Restored To His Post
The Russian Tax Ministry issued an order on 7 May to restore Reshit Sattarov to his duties as the head of the ministry's Bashkir Directorate, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 11 May. The ministry had accused Sattarov of allowing Bashkir oil refineries to evade the payment of 10 billion rubles ($324 million) in taxes (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 27 March, 2 and 5 May 2003). After the Ufa Lenin Raion court ruled on 28 April that Sattarov's dismissal was illegal, the ministry was expected to appeal to another higher authority, but didn't. Local experts cited Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov, who reportedly said that Russian Tax Minister Gennadii Bukaev, who headed the Bashkir directorate in the past, is light-fingered himself. Bashkir State Supervision Committee Chairman Petr Bobylev echoed Rakhimov, saying, "We have a thick folder [of compromising material] against Bukaev."

Treasury Directorate Employees On Hunger Strike To Protest Financial Violations
A group of employees from the Bashkir directorate of the Russian Treasury began a hunger strike on 7 May to demand the investigation of violations they say have taken place within the body, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 11 May. Sergei Merezhko, the head of the directorate's human resources department, pitched a tent in front of the directorate's building in downtown Ufa to stage the hunger strike. Another 12 employees have joined the strike without leaving their work places. Merezhko said the Russian Treasury has completed shady transactions, but not a single body is willing to investigate them. On the evening of 8 May the tent was removed by police officers. Merezhko said that the strikers decided to stop their action on 9 May as a sign of respect for Victory Day. He added that if an investigation does not begin on 12 May, they will continue the strike.

Chemical Poisonings Unit Inspected
Officials inspected Bashkortostan's toxic therapeutic mobile hospital on 7 May in Ufa, Bashinform reported the next day. The hospital was established to provide care in cases of mass chemical poisoning. The inspection, which involved 170 people, was undertaken in order to assess the hospital's readiness to perform its duties. A commission from the Bashkir Emergency Situations Ministry and the Bashkir Health Ministry praised the hospital for being in good shape.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova