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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 25, 2001

25 September 2001
Small Oil Companies To Ensure Tatarstan�s High Output Figures�
Tatarstan�s government has adopted a concept for oil and gas industry development till 2015 to ensure the stable oil production and attract more investments in local extraction companies, republic media reported on 24 September. Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov said that the document would create �normal working conditions for small oil companies for maintaining the [region�s] annual oil production at 30 million tons, [something very important] because our budget revenues directly depend on the world oil prices.� Tatneft annually produces some 27 million tons of oil, while the remaining 3 million are to be shared by smaller oil companies.

�As World Oil Prices Are Predicted To Grow
After that meeting, presidential advisor on natural resources and oil Rinat Muslumov said that in his opinion current situation in the USA would most likely be followed by the general growth of oil prices in the world market.

Constitution Commission to Begin Work
This week the newly formed Constitution Commission headed by President Mintimer Shaimiev is to begin working on the new draft of Tatarstan�s fundamental law, which will be discussed by the State Council deputies in late October, reported.

Prime Minister Says Draft Budget Already Completed
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov said on September that his Cabinet has finished its work on draft republican budget for 2002. All major tax payers and regions of the republic reportedly were consulted with while planning the tax revenues for the next year. In Minnikhanov�s words, later this week the draft budget will be considered by the president and the State Council.

Tatarstan�s Alcohol Industry Fails To Compete With Russian Producers
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Industry Sergey Kogogin said on 24 September that Tatarstan�s alcohol producers had failed to win the competition with their Russian counterparts. The same day he told the meeting with republican alcohol industry bosses that domestic alcohol industry should increase sales by �producing more soft drinks rather than specializing in vodka,� as had been the case earlier. After Tatarstan lifted the high excises on imported and Russian�produced alcohol beverages at the request of federal government in January 2001, sales of the regional Tatspirtprom monopoly fell by 50 percent, with vodka imports jumping by 200 percent.

Tatar Organizations Want Bush to Rethink His Policy on Terrorism
A number of Tatar ethnic organizations from Chally, Tuben Kama, Bogelme and other cities of Tatarstan sent a telegram to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him to �explain to President Bush that any kind of terrorism has its grounding and reasons and that it is necessary to respect the interests and traditions of different peoples, abstaining from bombing the peaceful peoples, blackmailing Islamic and Arabic worlds, actions that can cause group terrorism to grow into international terrorism,� Tatarinform reported.

Federal Tax Police Chief Visits Kazan
Director of the Federal Tax Police Mikhail Fradkov arrived in Kazan on 24 September to take part in a national seminar of tax bodies and meeting senior officials of the Tax Police board in Tatarstan.

Kama Water so Polluted that It is Good for Washing Laundry
"Vecherniye Chelni" reported on 24 September that water tests made by the Sanitary-Epidemic Inspection of Kama river water near Chally revealed high concentrations of active synthetic agents, which are usually contained in detergents.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov Says More Should Be Spent On Defense�
President Murtaza Rakhimov supports increasing federal spending on defense, Interfax Eurasia reported on 24 September. He said that �it is a shame to see the poor state of our army, when the officers cannot feed their families and have no homes, soldiers steal weapons and flee their service posts.� Rakhimov called for restoring "the prestige of army service especially in the wake of recent tragic events in the world.�

�But Political Process Should Be Also Used For Solving Chechen Problem
Admitting that security services should also have their funds increased, Rakhimov also noted, �both special operations and political process should be used for resolving the crisis in Chechen Republic.� In his words, some 250 Bashkortostan militiamen have been killed and 300 more wounded in combat there. He stressed that the Russian Interior Ministry �didn�t send a single letter to the families of those killed in action, while his government worked to provide them with extra social security.�

School Education Statistics
Some 672,000 students are attending schools in the republic, Bashinform reported on 24 September. That makes Bashkortostan the third largest school district in the country after Moscow and Moscow oblast. Among the students, 130,700 study in Bashkir, 102,700 study in Tatar, 9200 study Chuvash, and 6500 study in Mari.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi