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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 4, 1999

4 February 1999
Parliament To Consider Switch To Latin Alphabet
The presidium of Tatarstan's State Council supported a proposal by the Commission on Culture and Ethnic Development on 4 February to consider a draft law on restoring the Tatar alphabet based on Latin letters. Parliament hearings are scheduled for 17 March. Deputies also discussed preparations for the next plenary session of the State Council to be held on 12 February, where amendments to the parliamentary regulations are expected to be adopted, state radio and television reported.

Health System To Be Reformed
Reforms for health institutions necessitated by financial shortcomings were discussed on 3 February at a session of Tatarstan's Health Protection Ministry. According to the draft measures, inpatient departments in hospitals will only open during the day, while small hospitals will be joined with multiservice institutions in an effort to cut expenses. A maximum surcharge of 25 percent will be added to some medical services in the republic in order to lower medicines prices. The chairman of Tatarstan's State Council, Farid Mukhametshin, said at the session of the Health Protection Ministry that a significant part of the population can't afford medicines because of high prices.

The Health Protection Ministry said in its report that the greatest result of the Ministry's work in 1998 is a decrease in infant mortality rates and a stabilization in the occurences of tuberculosis, diphtheria, and measles.

Several State Council Deputies To Be Elected Next Month
Fifteen deputies will be elected to Tatarstan's State Council on 28 March to fill various vacancies. The heads of district administrations, the president's chief of staff, and the general director of the Tatagrokhimservis holding company have all been nominated as candidates, state radio reported. They have until 26 February to collect signatures in order to be registered. According to republican legislation, elections are not held using party lists, and political parties must nominate their candidates for each territorial okrug. The next elections to the republic's State Council will be held later this year.

Russian Civil Code Published In Tatar Language
Tatarstan's Justice Ministry has published the first part of the Russian Civil Code in the Tatar language, state radio reported. The measure was taken as a first step towards implementation of Tatarstan's law on state languages as it applies to law enforcement bodies. Up to now, laws in Tatarstan were developed and adopted only in Russian -- the republic's other official language. State Council deputy chairman Renat Kharisov, Prosecutor General Saifikhan Nafiev, Justice Ministry and Supreme Court officials took part in translating the document into Tatar.

Researchers Receive Award For PR Work
The Center for Economic and Social Research won a Russian-wide prize for public relations work, the Serebryanyi Luchnik. It was rewarded for work on the organization and development of a pr campaign for the KamAZ truck plant in an effort to overcome the Russian economic crisis. The award was founded by the Trade-Industrial Chamber of the Russian Federation, Russia's Journalists Union, and the Russian Association for Public Relations, Tatar radio reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova