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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 9, 2004

9 December 2004
Self-governments Council To Take On The Demarcation Of Tatarstan�s Territorial Borders
State Council chairman Farid Mukhametshin told the 8 December meeting of republican Self-governments Council that Tatarstan�s regions and municipal entities of his republic need to re-define their border lines in order to avoid legal suits versus each other and from the neighboring republics, RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported the next day. The problem is reportedly explained by that the official Tatarstan�s border lines have already become outdated, and now are passing through �woods which have been cut and rivers that have dried.�

The federal law on general principles of local self-governments organization taking force 1 January 2004 reportedly will contain provisions on status and territorial border of municipal entities. By that date Tatar parliament will have to define the status and territorial bodies in Tatarstan�s entities, something that is to be done by a special parliamentary commission.

Meanwhile in December Russian State DUma will reportedly consider the possible postponing of the law�s introduction into force till 1 March 2005.

Moscow Maintains Program For Tatarstan�s Socio-Economic Development
Within the framework of federal program of Tatarstan�s social and economic development in 2005 the republic will receive 8.184 billion rubles ($301 million), which is 9.7 percent lower than in 2004, Tatar-inform reported on 8 December. The obtained funds will reportedly be used for developing Tatar agriculture, education, healthcare, culture, healthcare, general social policies and roads as well as preserving the historical center of Kazan. Some $31 million will be used for making capital investments in Tatarstan�s economy. The 4-year federal program will be accomplished in 2006.

Tatarstan�s IT Market Expected To Power Up By The Kazan Millenium Celebrations
General director of the Kazan City Telephone Network (KGTS) Akhmat Fakhriev told a press conference in Kazan on 8 December that by the city�s millennium anniversary celebrations in 2005 the company will complete the transition of its telephone stations from analog to digital technology by investing some $9.2 million of its own funds, �Kommersant-Povolzhye� reported the next day. KGTS is one of the major telephone companies in Russia with the total capacity of 240,400 subscribers, which has earned 74 million rubles ($2.7 million) in net profits in the first nine months of 2004, exceeding the previous year�s profits by 17.5 percent.

In 2005 alone Tatarstan�s market of information technologies may increase by some 25 percent and reach $130 million, chief spokesperson of the Diline electronic businesses center Kirill Alyavdin told the reporters in Kazan bureau of Interfax-Povolzhye on 8 December. He sited some analysts as expecting the market to total some $100 million per year, which is explained by �relatively high socio-economic [development] results, which stimulate the consumer� and �well thought-over policies of the government in IT market, which stimulate the development of the market itself.� Some 250 companies currently operate at the Tatarstan�s IT market, which is equally divided between local and Moscow�based companies. Fifteen of the mentioned 250 enterprises possess a 30 percent market share, while the rest is equally distributed among the minor companies.

KamAZ Gains Contract With A Major Coal-mining Industry
The Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK) � the major coal mining company in Russia and the KamAZ automotive works signed an agreement on long-term supplies of the Tatarstan-made trucks to the group of SUEK enterprises after a thorough bilateral check up of the Siberian company�s transport utilities, �Kommersant-Povolzhye� reported on 9 December. The program for renewing SUEK �s transport will reportedly cover the term till 2010, while most of the vehicles will be provided according to the leasing schemes. SUEK owns coal mines in Krasnoyarsk, Primorye, and Khabarovsk krai, Irkutsk, Chita and Kemerovo oblasts, Buryatiya and Khakasiya republics, occupying a 33 percent share of the Russia�s internal coal market and some 25 percent of its coal exports.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov's Opponent Praises Federal Reform For Canceling The Gubernatorial Elections
Aleksandr Arinin, one of the Bashkir presidential candidates of 2003 and director of the Institute of federalism and civil society, member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences told Ufanweb in an interview published on 8 December that he supported the Vladimir Putin's reform for canceling the direct elections of governors as "a way to overcoming the irresponsibility of governors and presidents of the republics and teaching them to respect the law. This reform will allow to break up the unity of business and political elites, which have usurped the powr and liquidated free and fair elections in the regions. The reforms will also allow to withdraw the governments from the influence of the criminal groups."

Arinin also emphasized that Russia's political experience of 1991-2004 "showed that the fact of electing the regional heads by direct elections did not guarantee the honest and efficient work of the governors and the presidents of the republics, as well as their compliance with the laws."

President Signs A Decree On Single-Time Subventions To Families With Children
In the light of the coming New Year holidays President Murtaza Rakhimov on 8 December signed a decree on single-time payment of 200 rubles ($7,40) for each child in families, which currently receive monthly child subventions according to the federal law, Bashinform reported the same day. The payment within the presidential program for social support to the children of Bashkortostan in 1999-2005 will be contributed by the republican budget and controlled by the presidential staff.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi