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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 14, 2000

14 September 2000
Mukhametshin Calls For Revision Of Russian Draft Budget
Tatarstan's State Council chairman, Farid Mukhametshin, attended a meeting of "donor" region leaders held by the Federation Council budget committee on 13 September, Tatar Radio reported citing AK and M. It was agreed at the meeting that the 2001 draft budget needs to be modified up. Mukhametshin said in his speech that budget income should be alloted taking into account regions' interest in their economic growth, and that the budget shouldn't decrease the living standards of the population. Participants agreed that the Russian government should not concentrate the main part of the tax income into the federal budget, and strictly follow the tax code, which fixes regional income at a level of at least 50 percent of the total income of the Russian budget. The upper chamber's budget committee recommended that the State Duma reject the draft 2001 budget on its first reading and form a commission to finish the document. It was noted that the draft budget contradicts many federal laws and the Russian Constitution.

Tatar Deputies Intend To Ban Tobacco Advertising
The Social Issues Committee of the Tatarstan State Council passed an amendment to republican law at a meeting on 12 September that bans tobacco advertising, the daily "Vremya i Den'gi" reported. If the amendment is supported by Tatarstan's parliament, then the plan is to introduce a draft federal law banning tobacco advertising to the Russian State Duma. The measure was initiated by the republican Center for Medical Prophylaxis. The center's chief doctor and the Tatar prime minister addressed letters to Tatarstan's parliament speaker expressing their worry about the continuing growth of smoking among teenagers and children. They consider one of the main reasons behind the trend to be advertising by large cigarette companies.

Tatarstan's Trade Minister On Expo-2000 Results
Tatarstan's trade and economic cooperation minister, Khafiz Salikhov, told journalists on 12 September that a contract between the Tatar petrochemical company Nizhnekamskneftekhim and the BASF chemical firm on joint production of polystirol is expected to be signed as a result of the republic's participation in the World Expo-2000 in Hanover. Khafizov said that one more republican chemical company, Kazan-orgsintez, is also negotiating cooperation agreements with German businessmen. According to the experts' forecasts, Tatarstan's foreign trade turnover will grow by 3 percent due to contacts made at the exposition.

KamAZ and Kharkov Plant Produce Tractor
The general manager of the KamAZ truck concern, Ivan Kostin, told the press on 13 September that the assembly of 200 tractors this month and 500 by the end of the year is being planned according to a joint project with the Kharkov tractor plant that is being financed by the Tatar government. Tractors are produced in Chally using Kharkov chassis and cabs and equipped with KamAZ engines, as well as tires produced by the Nizhnekamskshina company. Kostin said that the share of Tatarstan-produced spare parts in the new tractor will be gradually brought up to 90 percent.

By Gulnara Khasanova