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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 25, 2004

25 November 2004
Parliament Finally Approves Draft Budget...
Despite the stipulated 2.191 billion rubles ($75.5 million) deficit Tatarstan�s State Council approved the republican budget for 2005 in the final third reading on 24 November, RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported the same day. Similar to the previous year�s parliamentary deliberations, deputy representing Equality and Legality movement (RiZ)

Aleksandr Shtanin numerously stated during the hearings that Tatar cabinet deliberately promotes the adoption of the deficit-containing budget for obtaining extra powers for handing the surplus budget revenues acquired during the year. However, the Cabinet�s representatives explained the deficit by that its is necessary to ensure the extra funds for cases such as possible slump of oil prices or other unexpected developments.

Tatarstan�s expected state incomes in 2005 are reported at 43.5 billion rubles ($1.5 billion), while the expenses are estimated at 45.7 billion ($1.576 billion). That year is also expected to bring a 6.1 percent growth of gross regional product, as 11.9 billion rubles ($410 million) of the budget will be used for developing Tatarstan�s economy.

According to unnamed experts cited by Aleksandr Shtanin for covering the budget deficit, Tatarstan�s government will reportedly use loans, revenues from state-owned stocks, incomes from the sale of state-owned land and valuables, which in 2004 already brought the republic some 8-9 billion rubles ($275-%310 million).

Before taking force, the draft budget approved by the Tatar parliament has to be endorsed by president Mintimer Shaimiev.

...As Republic Plans To Get Rid Of Half Of Its External Debt
According to draft Tatarstan�s budget, which finally sailed through the State Council on 24 November, in 2005 the republic will reduce its 9.5 billion rubles ($327 million) external debt by almost a half - 4.7 billion ($162 million)

Tatarstan To Take Care Of 1.5 Million Socially Unprotected Citizens
Also on 24 November Tatarstan�s State Council adopted a law on implementing the federal reform on monetarizing the existing system of social benefits, which handed the regions the responsibility of paying personal subsidies to veterans of WW2, veterans of combat actions, their families, those injured during the liquidation of Chernobyl nuclear power plant incident and donors, who total more than 67,000 of the republic�s residents.

The republic will also have to take care of the 218,000 of disabled people who are unable to work and 1.2 million more people, who receive pensions, work in state and municipal schools and hospitals.

According to the republican law, the subventions are to funded by the republican budget through the bodies of municipal self-government.

Birthrates Descending Along With The Health Statistics Of Newborn Babies In Tatarstan
Expert of the Tatarstan�s Healthcare Ministry � Lyubov Sheikhetdinova told the republic-wide conference devoted to female health on 24 November that in last 15 years Tatarstan�s birth rates have folded by at least two times, as the negative trend towards decreasing also resumed through this year and only 7 percent of babies currently born in the republic are healthy.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Pro-governmental Tatar Congress Condemns The Alternative One Organized By Tatar Civic Groups
The executive committee of pro-governmental Congress of Tatars in Bashkortostan led by Eduard Khemitov made a public statement on 24 November condemning the Tatar civil groups of the republic led by Ramil Biugnov, which are planning to establish an alternative Tatar Congress in Bashkortostan in Moscow, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the next day. According to Khemitov, there will be no Congress of Bashkortostan's Tatars on 27 November because currently there is no need for such gathering, because there is need for "persistent everyday work on solving the existing problems with Tatar culture, which is already being done by thousands of people uin the spirit of respect to our own and other peoples of Russia." The meeting of Tatar national-cultural autonomy in Bashkortostan on 24 November issued a resolution announcing that the abovementioned criticism about the civic Congress of Tatars in Bashkortostan was organized by the public affairs department within Bashkir presidential administration.

Tatar Public Activist Wins Suit Again Pro-governmental Daily For The Third Time
Russia's Supreme Court upheld the claim of the chairman of the Tatar national cultural autonomy in Ufa, Zegyr Khekimov against the state-owned "Kyzyl Tan" daily, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 24 November. Earlier this year the claim was supported by the Sovetskii district court of Ufa, but rejected and disputed by the newspaper.

The Ufa court considered the suit for the second time on 23 November and ruled that the daily should pay Khekimov 10,000 rubles ($344) in moral damages for denouncing him in article published earlier this year. However the summer 2004 ruling of the court in Khekimov's favor had mentioned that 50,000 rubles ($1,724) bet paid to the public acitivist.

Bashkortostan Get A Stable Emiter Rating From Moody's
The Moody's international rating agency on 25 November increased the emission ratings of 8 regions of Russian Federation including Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Samara and Perm oblasts, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and Komi republics in connection with the improving macroeconomic situation and lowering of risks of major crisis across the country, Rosbalt reported on 24 November. Bashkortostan acquired "Ba1" (stable) rating as an emitter of valuables in local and hard currencies, while Tatarstan was rated with "Ba1" as an emitter in hard currencies.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi