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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 10, 2001

10 January 2001
Duma Deputies Discuss Tatar Alphabet
A State Duma nationalities affairs committee delegation on 9 January arrived in Kazan to discuss Tatarstan's plans to shift the republic's alphabet to Latin script, RBC reported. They have already met with academic specialists and are scheduled to meet republic officials. The delegation was formed on the initiative of Duma deputy (KPRF) Anatoliy Chkhoyev who argued in December that such a shift threatens Russia's national security

Tatarstan Swaps Pipelines for Debt to Gazprom
Kazan will hand over 461 million rubles worth of gas pipelines to the Gazprom's Tattransgaz as a means of repaying earlier debts, Tatar-inform reported. As the two sides had agreed, Tatarstan's debt to Gazprom has been restructured by its efforts to connect rural districts with pipelines.

Kazan Satellite Enthusiast to Represent Russia
The chairman of the Kazan Satellite Club Amir Gismatullin will represent Russia in the international SAT-CLUB, Tatar-inform reported on 9 January. That international organization was created to promote the development of satellite and cable television throughout the world.

Kazan Clears Slums, Boosts Production
Boris Pavlov, Kazan administration official in charge of economics and industry, said on 9 January that the city will construct 540,000 square meters of housing in 2001 and that more than half of this will involve buildings for people currently living in slums, Tatar-inform reported. He added that production in the city had grown by 40 percent in 2000, investment by 30 percent, and average salaries by 50 percent, while wage arrears had been reduced by 26 percent.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Wages Arrears Increase In Agriculture
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 9 January sharply criticized the republic's agricultural sector for its failure to reform, Bashinform reported. And he called on the responsible officials to end the wage arrears crisis in the sector. Deputy Agriculture Minister Farit Sirazetdinov provided details on the extent of that crisis. He said that such arrears had grown by 10 percent in 2000 and now constituted 620 million rubles.

Chelyabinsk is Bashkortostan's Main Partner
Bashkortostan's Foreign Relations and Trade Ministry on 9 January said cooperation with Chelyabinsky is now better than with any other federal region, reported. A 1998 accord between the two is working well, the ministry says, with a republic representation now operating in Chelyabinsk and a Bashkir Trade House in Magnitogorsk.

Bashkortostan Now a Major Electricity Exporter
Bashkirenergo now exports one billion kilowatt-hour of energy to neighboring regions, Bashinform reported on 9 January. It is among the top ten Russian energy concerns and ranks second among thermal plants.

Oil Production Exceeds Plan
Arlanneft, the Neftekamsk department of Bashneft, produced three percent more oil in 2000 than it had planned for a total of 1.9 million tons, Bashinform reported on 9 January.

Bashkortostan Red Cross Helps Kursk Families
Bashkortostan's Red Cross and Red Crescent societiessaid on 9 January reported that it they have received some 80,000 rubles in contributions for the families of the Kursk disaster.

By Gulnara Khasanova