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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 5, 2001


5 March 2001
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Rossiiskaya Gazeta to Open Office in Kazan
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 3 March met with "Rossiiskaya gazeta" chief editor Vladislav Fronin to discuss the opening of the paper's office in Tatarstan. Fronin told tatnews.ru that the representation will cooperate with republic bodies and that Shaimiev had promised his support. He added that Moscow media routinely misrepresent the image of Tatarstan including its federative system proposals.

Speaker Greets Muslims
Speaker Farid Mukhametshin on 2 March congratulated Muslim religious board chairman Mufti Gusman khazrat Iskhakov and the republic's Muslims on the Qurban holiday being celebrated on 5 March.

Tatarstan Expands Publishing
The communications ministry said on 2 March that Tatarstan had moved within the past 7 years from 68th to 19th position among Russia's regions in its communications activities and occupied first place by the number of periodicals. But it is only 52nd among telephone access by rural families.

Small Businesses Seek Tax Breaks
Russian Trade and Industry Chamber president Stanislav Smirnov on 2 March in Kazan called for the state to introduce tax breaks for small businesses, to provide more economic freedom for regions and to protect personal and property safety of businessmen. He said that Tatarstan's state program for small business development is an "important step in this direction," tatnews.ru reported.

Gas, Municipal Services Prices Rise
Gazprom officials said that gas prices for Tatarstan residents had increased by 25 percent as of 1 March, tatnews.ru reported on 3 March. Meanwhile, construction and municipal services minister Ildus Shaidullin on 2 March said that municipal services prices will rise by 50 percent in 2001, Efir-inform reported. He said that currently residents currently pay only 53 percent of the municipal services cost and the ministry plans to bring this share to 100 percent in 2003.

Tatneft to Issue More Bonds
Aleksei Panferov, head of the Russian Zenit bank financial board, said on 3 March that Tatneft plans to emit in three months 800 million rubles ($28 million) worth of ruble bonds, skrin.ru reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
Legislature Still at Work on Harmonization
As part of the harmonization process, the State Assembly on 1 March passed laws on President of Bashkortostan, on market basket, on living wage, and amended the land code. It also agreed on appointment of judges and formed a consent commission to harmonize the draft law on security.

District Official Concerned About Emergency Situations
Chief federal inspector in Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov, who previously headed republic emergency ministry, called for stepping up efforts directed at the prevention, prediction, and monitoring of emergency situations in the republic, Bashinform reported on 2 March. He proposed the formation of a permanent center for anti-crisis management of the Volga Federal District on the basis of the Bashkortostan emergency ministry operations service.

Bashkortostan, Chelyabinsk Oblast To Boost Cooperation
Chelyabinsk oblast governor Petr Sumin on 2 March said that trade turnover of his oblast with Bashkortostan had grown 2.5 times over the past three years and now totals more than 4 billion rubles ($140 million). He said that broadening cooperation depends on creation of favorable conditions for each other. Meanwhile, Bashkir Deputy Prime Minister Midkhat Shakirov said on the same day that bilateral cooperation had been entirely successful, Bashinform reported. He called for further integration of the two entities' metallurgy sector plants.

Bashkirs Congress Board Gathers In Magnitogorsk
The Bashkirs congress executive committee on 2 March met in Magnitogorsk to discuss national cultural issues, Bashinform reported. Committee chairman Mindikhian Kotlukhuzhin said that Magnitogorsk gives the 20,000 Bashkirs there "some support" but added that both schools and television broadcasts in Bashkir are needed. He also said that Bashkortostan should set aside a certain number of entry slots at the republic's higher educational institutions for Magnitogorsk's Bashkirs.

Government Promotes Young Housing Program
The government provided last year 2600 young families and some 400 servicemen who participated in the Chechen conflict with loans for housing and also constructed some free apartments for young people, Bashinform reported on 2 March.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova
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