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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 30, 2001

30 May 2001
Shaimiev Meets Putin to Discuss Power Sharing.
President Minitmer Shaimiev on 29 May met with Russian President Vladimir Putin behind closed doors meeting to discuss power-sharing arrangements, the development of the aerospace industry, and the harmonization process, Russian news agencies reported. He also met Justice Minister Yuri Chayka, Transneft oil company president Semen Vainshtok and the deputy chief of Russian president's staff Dmitry Kozak.

Food Prices to be Set by Market.
Major dairy and bread producers announced on 29 May that as of 1 July the prices of their products will be set by the market. They said that the republic government will help subsidize the poorest members of society.

Tatarstan to Spend More on Social Security.
Social Security Minister Klavdia Novikova said on 29 May that Tatarstan will increase spending on social security services by 250 percent beginning on 1 June.

Moscow Wants Tatenergo to Repay UES.
The Russian government has recommended that Tatarstan's cabinet force Tatenergo to repay its debts to UES, Tatnews reported on 29 May.

Tatneft Disagrees with New Tax Measures.
Tatneft's chief representative in Moscow Azat Yagafarov told on 29 May that "it was necessary to use a number of indexes for calculating the tax sum to be collected from the oil companies, instead of the single index reflecting the world oil prices as suggested by the Russian government." He added that "if Duma endorses the government-proposed amendments to the Tax Code within the first quarter of 2001, many of [country's] oil companies would become unprofitable." Meanwhile, "Kommersant" reported on 29 May that Tatneft will purchase Volga Petroleum, one of the major oil retailing companies in Nizhny Novgorod.

Per-Minute Telephone Charges to be Cut for Pensioners, Veterans.
Tatarstan's Trade Unions Federation won a lawsuit against the introduction of per-minute telephone fees system for all social groups, Tatarinform reported on 29 May. The Federation claimed that when planning the new system, Cabinet of Ministers and Kazan Telephone Networks should have made exemptions for war and labor veterans as well as decorated military officers. Constitution Court ordered the telephone networks to give a 50% discount to the mentioned groups of people.

One Chally Taxpayer in Four Hides Income.
According to Chally city Tax Service officials quoted by Efir TV on 29 May, one taxpayer in four currently reports inaccurately about his income. Such false reports can ultimately mean that the individual will not get the pensions they expect, the officials said.

New Taxes on Gambling.
Tatarstan's government asked the State Council on 28 June to double the taxes on gambling businesses to compensate for the increase of federal budget's share in gambling tax revenues.

By Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov to Head State Council Highways Group.
President Murtaza Rakhimov was appointed chairman of the Russian State Council group on road construction problems on 28 May, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported. He also met with President Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials.

VGTRK to Take Over Bashkortostan State TV and Radio.
The Bashkortostan State TV and Radio Company will become a part of Russian state holding company VGTRK, "Kommersant" reported on 29 May. The daily said that republic officials had resisted the transfer.

Ufa City Administration Wants To Cooperate With Media.
Ufa city administration head Rauf Nugumanov told editors of the major local newspapers on 29 May that he plans to meet with them regularly �because we have to develop the feeling of responsibility and order, legal culture in our people and give them truthful information.�

Nikoil Offers Partnership to Bashkir Banks.
The Nikoil company offered its assistance to the National Bank and commercial banks of Bashkortostan, Bashinform reported on 29 May.

By Iskender Nurmi