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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 5, 1999


5 February 1999
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
Shaimiev Hospitalized
The president of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev, was taken to Kazan's Republican Diagnostic Center on 1 February after being diagnosed with high blood pressure, the president's press center reported on 4 February. The president's condition was reported to be "stable." His doctors were quoted as saying that Shaimiev, 62, would have to stay in the hospital for about two weeks. Along with his treatment for high blood pressure, Shaimiev will undergo a complete battery of tests.

Economics Minister Disputes Tatarstan's 1998 Economic Performance
Tatarstan's economics minister, Renat Gubaidullin, said on 4 February that industrial production in Tatarstan did not decline last year, as has been reported, but said that incomes have decreased and the wage arrears problem continues to plague workers. Addressing a session of the Economics and State Property Committees, he characterized the reported economic results from 1998 as controversial. Gubaidullin said there was increased production in the fuel, chemical, petrochemical, lumber, and food industries last year. Many other big and medium-sized companies, especially in the defense industry, experienced a drop off in production, he said. The total debt of the republic's industry by the end of 1998 was some 40 billion rubles. Under a program aimed at helping Tatarstan's industries, which was proposed at the session, the Tatar government would increase state orders to the enterprises by some 7 billion rubles in 1999, up from 5 billion rubles in 1998. Another objective is to have the order fully paid, in cash, in the current year. Less than 30 percent of the production ordered in 1998 has been paid for, state media reported.

Government Concerned With Year 2000 Computer Problem
The governmental Commission on Information and Information Security discussed on 4 February -- for the first time -- the year 2000 (Y2K) computer bug problem and measures that should be taken to prevent it from adversely affecting Tatarstan. It was decided that a Y2K headquarters would be established to help deal with the problem. Special working groups will also be organized in various ministries and departments. Up to now, however, neither the consequences associated with the problem nor the sources needed to deal with it have been determined. A telecommunications researcher from Canada, Azat Vartanyan, attended the commission's session. He said in an interview with Tatar television that under a treaty between Tatarstan and Canada, the Canadian side would help Tatarstan pay for the costs of dealing with the Y2K problem.

UN Group Studies Tourism Development In Tatarstan
A group of experts from a UN development program is currently visiting Tatarstan that will result in a plan to support the development of tourism in Russia. The group met with the heads of Kazan tourist agencies on 3 February and studied the potential for tourism and business in the republic. They also looked at possible regional strategies for developing tourism, and possibilities for new investment deals, Tatar-Inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

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