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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 20, 2001

20 March 2001
President Calls for Improvements at KamAZ
Saying that the republic had already helped to save KamAZ, President Mintimir Shaimiev told the Chally city council on 19 March that the company must now work to improve efficiency. Afterwards, he visited the Alabuga offshore zone for the presentation of the joint Swedish-Tatar bus production line.

Kazan to Cut Red Tape for Small Businesses
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov said on 19 March that the government must cut the red tape involved din opening and operating small businesses, which number 147,000 in the republic.

Leninogorsk Communists Don't Support Communist Candidate agency reported on 19 March that Leninogorsk Communist Party members are refusing to support their party's candidate for president, Robert Sadikov, because he has "disappointed" them. They said they were going to support President Mintimir Shaimiev.

Russian Presidential Envoy Opens Office in Kazan
Russian Presidential envoy to Volga Federal District Sergei Kirienko will open an office in Kazan on 20 March, Tatarstan television reported. The office will have three or four staffers and deal with complaints.

Valcom Workers Protest Wage Arrears
Some 750 employees of Valcom footwear company gathered on 19 March to demand payment of back wages owed to them. The company is already in trouble as Tatenergo recently cut off power to it because of debts of five million rubles ($175,000) for electricity

Chechen Refugees Find Shelter in Tatarstan
Tatarstan's migration chief Rishat Khairutdinov told the media on 19 March that 151 Chechen refugee families have already submitted applications to the republican government for compensation for their lost property and other assistance.

Per-Minute Phone Charges Upheld
The Tatarstan Supreme Court has rejected a suit against the introduction of per-minute telephone charges after a four-day hearing, Kazan media reported on 19 March.

BBC to Rebroadcast In Kazan
The BBC Russian Service intends to rebroadcast its programs in Kazan, Tatarinform reported on 19 March.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

President Meets Frontier Guards Official
President Murtaza Rakhimov met the chief of Russia�s South-East regional frontier guards board Ramil Mullayanov, presidential press service reported. According to the press release, the two discussed the possible ways of cooperation between the republic and frontier guards and exchanged opinions on social-economic development of Bashkortostan and Russian Federation.

Ufa Works to Counter Grain Production Declines
Deputy Prime Minister Shamil Vakhitov said on 19 March that grain production had been falling in the republic over the last several years and that the government must do more, including ordering grain from producers in advance, to spur production.

Tax Benefit Regime Helps Business
An experimental system of tax relief intended to help businessmen should be extended from 19 crisis regions in the republic to the entire republic, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Robert Vagapov told Bashinform on 19 March.

More HIV Infections Reported
Some 335 HIV positives have been reported in the republic so far this year, the health ministry announced on 19 March. That brings the total to 811, more than 100 of whom are minors.

Anniversary of Bashkir ASSR Marked
March 20 is the 82nd anniversary since the foundation of Autonomous Soviet Bashkir Republic.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi