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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 14, 2001

14 June 2001
Tatarstan Proposes Its Model of Inter-Budget Relations
State Council spokeswoman Lyubov Ageeva on 13 June told that speaker Farid Mukhametshin has sent to Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev his proposals on the improvement of inter-budgetary relations in Russia. Mukhametshin noted that as a result of power sharing in the budget sector performed in 1990s, Tatarstan had tripled the amount of taxes it collected but that the 2000 tax and budgetary reform promoting budget centralization and equalizing budgetary provisions for regions represented a serious blow at the economies of donor-regions. He stressed that current budget system deprives donor-regions of stimulus to increase production and collect more. As for regions receiving subsidies, he added, they have incentives not to invest but rather to "spend all their money" on immediate needs. Mukhametshin proposes to give subsidies to needy regions for investing in production rather than for consumption.

Repression Victims Monument Planned
A stone has been laid on 13 June in Kazan in the place near the former NKVD and current FSB building where a monument to the victims of political repressions will be erected, Tatar-inform reported. Abdulla Valiev, the president of the Association of the Political Repressed said that 25,000 Tatarstan residents had been illegally convicted of high treason and that 3,000 of them had been executed.

Harmonization Leads to Increase in Alcohol Poisonings
The Tatarstan Health Ministry said on 13 June that the number of deaths from alcohol poisoning had increased 300 percent in 2001 compared to the same period a year ago, Tatarstan television reported. Officials blamed the increase on the use of ersatz alcohol caused by changes in federal legislation and the harmonization of local legislation as a result.

Crime Said Rampant in Business Sector
The interior ministry is working with local businessmen to fight the large amount of corruption in that sector, Tatarstan television reported on 13 June.

Taiwan Businessmen Visit Kazan
A delegation of Taiwanese businessmen visiting Tatarstan on 13 June met with Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Minister to discuss economic cooperation, Tatar-inform reported.

Zenit Bank Receives Western Credit
The Zenit bank has received a $20 million credit line from Western banks, Tatarstan television reported on 13 June. It is the first Russian bank to do so since the August 1998 crisis, the television station said.

Former Tatenergo Head Chairs Amurenergo Board
Rasim Khaziakhmetiv, former Tatenergo general manager, has been elected for the second time as Amurenergo board chairman, AK&M reported on 13 June.

Leader of Kazan Jewish Community Visits Spain
Leonid Sonts, the leader of the Kazan Jewish community, took part in the Assembly of Jewish communities in Madrid, reported on 13 June. Sonts told the news agency that the forum discussed assimilation, cultural preservation and religious education.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Nuclear Power Plant May Be Built in Agidel
Agidel city mayor Valery Fyodorov said on 13 June that Russian funding may allow the construction of a nuclear power plant in his city by 2010 if seismic and ecological findings allow the project to go forward. That city has the highest official unemployment in the republic -- 11.6 percent.

Rakhimov Greets Media Workers
President Murtaza Rakhimov congratulated Bashkortostan's mass media workers on the occasion of their holiday on 14th June. President's greeting message said that the first official printed outlet of Bashkir Republic appeared 84 years ago on 14 June 1917. He also emphasized "the growing role of media in linking the state bodies and the public." Rakhimov added that "the introduction of republican satellite TV would assist in expanding the broadcasts in languages of different ethnic communities of Bashkortostan."

Vision Problems Increase in Russian Republic
President Rakhimov met a group of Russia's major ophthalmologists on 13 June, the presidential press service reported. They told him that the number of people in Russian with weak eyesight was increasing by 500,000 a year

Russian Passports Distributed in Tuymazi
Tuymazi mayor Rim Khamzin handed out the new Russian passports to local schoolchildren, Bashinform reported on 13 June.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi