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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 20, 2004

20 July 2004
Tatarstan's Farmers Report Revenue Rise
In the first half of 2004, Tatarstan's farms increased their revenues by 20 percent year-on-year, Agriculture Minister Marat Akhmetov told a meeting of major agricultural industry heads on 19 July, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. Revenues for the first half of the year reportedly amounted to 4.2 billion rubles ($144 million). Akhmetov emphasized that the current state purchase prices of agricultural products have created the necessary conditions for profitable farming. In the first six months of this year, according to Akhmetov, farmers reduced their debts by 12 percent, and the total debt now stands at $650,000. Meanwhile, the current wage arrears to collective-farm workers stands at 30.2 million rubles ($1.04 million), 8.2 million rubles less than at the beginning of 2004.

Preparations Continue For 200th Birthday Of Kazan University
Riyaz Minzaripov, deputy rector of the Kazan State University and head of the board preparing the university's 200th anniversary this year, told reporters on 19 July that the budget for renovating the university, which is one of the oldest in Russia, has been almost halved by the federal government. According to Minzaripov, the initial budget totaled around 2 billion rubles ($69 million) but the federal authorities have only transferred around $30 million.

Old Believers Head Meets With Tatar President
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev met with the head of the Russian Old Believers, Andrian, on 19 July in Kazan, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. Andrian, who has previously served in the Kazan and Vyatka area, had previously asked to meet with the president to discuss the controversial construction of a Catholic church close to an Old Believers church in downtown Kazan and preparations for the Kazan millennium anniversary in 2005. The construction of the Catholic church has been approved by Pope John Paul II and the Kazan authorities.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

A Majority Of Graduates Won't Find Spot At One Of Bashkir's Universities
Eight thousand secondary-school graduates in Bashkortostan will be accepted at state-funded university faculties this year, with another 8,000 expected to find places within tuition-based institutions of higher learning, an RFE/RL correspondent in Ufa reported on 20 July. Meanwhile, as many as 40,000 graduates have applied to universities so far, many of them aspiring to Ufa State Oil University, Ufa State Aviation and Technical University, or Bashkir State University.

Gallup Media Gauges Ufa Television Viewership
Public-opinion research group TNS Gallup Media has announced the results of its "peoplemeter" research into television viewership in the Bashkir capital Ufa, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 20 July. Researchers concluded that ORT has the largest share of viewers at 29 percent, followed by RTR at nearly 17 percent; NTV at 12 percent; STS at nearly 12 percent; TNT at 4.5 percent, RBC at 3 percent, and TV-Tsentr at nearly 2 percent.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi