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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 11, 2001

11 May 2001
New Cabinet Structure Approved.
The new cabinet will have 19 ministries and state committees instead of the former 27 under a plan presented by President Mintimir Shaimiev and approved by the parliament's commissions on 10 May, Tatarstan television reported. Presidential administration head Egzam Gubaidullin said that the State Property Committee and the State Land Resources and Land Reform Committee will be united in the Ministry of Land and Property Relations while the current Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, of Forestry, and the State Geology and Natural Resources Committee will form the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. The State Committees on Youth Affairs and on Sports will be merged into the Ministry on Youth and Sports Affairs. The Ministry of press, television and communications and the State Committees of Cinematography and of Consumers Rights Protection are to be abolished with their functions transferred to the Communications Ministry, Culture Ministry, and Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Ministry. KGB (FSB board in Tatarstan) and the State Committee on Sanitary and Epidemiological Control are to be removed from the cabinet and treated as federal bodies branches in the republic. The State Labor and Employment Committee is transformed into the Ministry. The Ministry of Transport and Roads is formed which will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister. Ministers of Economics and Industry and of Agriculture and Foodstuffs will also be Deputies of Prime Minister. The Prime Minister will have two more deputies without �portfolios� � a First Deputy and a Deputy in charge of relations with parliament, public relations and media. Gubaidullin said that Ravil Muratov and Zilya Valeeva have been proposed as First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively.

Shaimiev Meets British Veterans.
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 10 May told the British delegation of the World War II veterans that Great Britain had made a great contribution to the common victory over the German fascism, Tatar-inform reported.

Tatenergo Threatens to Shut Off Gas to Debtors.
Tatenergo on 10 May said that it will stop supplying hot water to several municipal services providers in Chally, Tuben Kama, and Zei which owe some 400 million rubles ($13.8 million), Tatar-inform reported. Tatenergo has filed 159 suits at the Arbitration Court against companies-debtors and signed an agreement with Tatarstan�s Prosecutor to join efforts on returning debts.

Tatarstan�s Federal Bodies Design Web-Site.
The heads of federal state bodies in Tatarstan on 10 May plan to create a new official Internet site �Open government� which will contain information about federal ministries and departments in the republic, Efir-inform reported.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Legislature Continues Harmonization Process.
The State Assembly's Legislative Chamber at a 10 May plenary session passed amendments to the laws on wastes, municipal services, and public self-governance, the presidential press service reported. Deputies also adopted amendments to the federal law on principles of the power-sharing and called on the Duma to consider them as legislative initiative.

Ufa Pays More Taxes.
Rashit Sattarov, the head of the Tax Board in Bashkortostan, told �Trud� on 8 May that the republic has transferred to the federal budget 5 billion rubles ($180 million) of taxes during the first quarter of 2001, 2.3 times the sum paid during the same period last year. Incomes Rise. The State Statistics Committee on 10 May said that average monthly incomes in the republic were seven percent higher than during the same period ayear ago, Bashinform reported. Industrial production grew nine percent between those two periods.

New Bashkirenergo Chief Named.
The cabinet has appointed Ufa deputy mayor Nikolai Kurapov to be Bashkirenergo general manager in place of Azat Salikhov who has resigned, Bashinform reported on 10 May. Bashinformsvyaz Head Against Joining Svyazinvest. Bashinformsvyaz general manager Salavat Gaisin on 10 May told that the federal ommunications holding Svyazinvest is attempting to absorb regional companies that are still independent, including Bashinformsvyaz and Tatarstan�s Tatincom. He said that it is vital that such facilities remain under republic control.

Forcible Assimilation Casts Shadow on Census.
Bashkir historian Rim Yanguzin said in an article published in �Bashkortostan� on 10 May said that the forcible assimilation of Bashkirs in the northwestern districts of the republic had led to 25 percent of them declaring Tatar as their native language in the 1989 census. He said that in the upcoming 2002 census, some 216,000 people who are in fact Bashkirs may declare themselves to be Tatars. He said that the Mishers and Tipters should be counted as separate ethnic groups rather than included under the Tatar label as now.

By Gulnara Khasanova