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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 26, 2003

26 June 2003
Russian Railways Minister Visits Kazan
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev and Russian Railways Minister Gennadii Fadeev discussed on 25 June in Kazan bilateral cooperation, Tatarinform and reported. A protocol on leasing of 250 million rubles ($8.2 million) in production was signed after the negotiations, RosBalt reported the same day, citing the ministry press service. According to the document, which came in the wake of the May 2002 agreement on social and economic partnership between Tatarstan and the Railways Ministry, the Gorkii Railway will lease two new electric trains, 15 KamAZ vehicles, and 14 compressors. The sides also discussed the establishment of a logistics center in Tatarstan.

Commenting on the negotiations, Shaimiev said Tatarstan has recently purchased a total of six new trains and built and reconstructed railway stations in Bua, Sviyazhsk, Archa, and Shemordan. Shaimiev said he agreed with Fadeev on large orders for Tatar machine-building companies from the Railways Ministry. Speaking at a ceremony bestowing two new trains to Tatarstan at the Kazan railway station, Fadeev said the ministry proposed that Tatar industrial enterprises supply it with tank trucks, carriages, vans, and spare parts. The ministry spends 50 billion ruble on spare parts a year, and Tatarstan could get the lion's share of it, Fadeev said.

World Bank Studies Possibilities For Loans To Kazan
World Bank loans to Kazan for reform of the housing and municipal sector and for underground construction were on the agenda of a meeting between President Shaimiev and the World Bank's Russian representation director, Julian Schweitzer, on 25 June in Kazan, reported the same day. Schweitzer said following the meeting that the $200 million credit agreement on the project of reforming the housing and municipal sector can be signed within a year. He also said World Bank experts will visit Kazan in September to consider possibilities of distributing another loan of $250 million for the completion of construction of the first underground line in Kazan. Loans will be distributed under the guarantees of the Russian government, which allocated 12 billion rubles for the federal program of preserving and developing of the historical part of Kazan. The news agency cited Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhaqov as saying that the strategy for development of Kazan has been developed to meet requirements by the World Bank to provide the loans.

Turkish Company To Construct Ikea Store In Kazan
The Turkish Enka construction company has signed a $43.8 million contract to build two Ikea stores in Russia, "Vremya i dengi" reported on 25 June. The two facilities, located in Kazan and St. Petersburg, will have a total area of 66,000 square meters.

Tatmetall Issues 100 Million-Ruble Bond
Tatmetall General Director Rustem Geliekberov said on 25 June that his company will issue on 27 June a one-year 100 million-ruble bond on the Russian Trade System's stock exchange, reported on 26 June. Geliekberov said 18 million rubles will be spent on equipment modernization and 80 million rubles on stocks of goods. The company also plans to increase its capital from 40.6 million rubles to 60.6 million rubles. Geliekberov added that the company's management prefers to issue bonds rather than receive bank credits and plans to issue another 60 million-ruble bond soon.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

President Rakhimov Visits UNIDO Headquarters
Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov left on 24 June for Austria for a three-day visit at the invitation by UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) General Director Karlos Magarinyos, Bashinform reported on 25 June. The Bashkir delegation is to discuss with the UNIDO leadership amendments to the April 2000 bilateral agreement on the establishment of a trust fund to which Bashkortostan was supposed to contribute $100,000. Cooperation between the republic and UNIDO is based on a 1999 cooperation agreement and five-year program on increasing Bashkortostan's industrial potential and competitiveness. The program includes measures for support of industry, industrial partnership, and protection of the republic's environment. Specifically, UNIDO took part in financing the construction of the Yumaguzy reservoir in Bashkortostan.

Bashkir Official: Republic Doesn't Need Complete Connection To Gas Pipelines
Bashkir Regional Energy Commission head Midkhet Shakirov told a press conference on 24 June that Bashkortostan's leadership is not seeking total connection of the republic's residential areas to gas pipelines. Shakirov said there is no need to cover the entire territory of Bashkortostan with expensive gas pipelines. There is no sense in replacing firewood with gas in villages located in forested areas, he said. Currently, 86 percent of Bashkortostan's population is connected to pipelines, including 96 percent in urban and 60 percent in rural areas. Until 2002, 3,000 kilometers of gas pipelines a year were constructed in the republic, while in the past two years this has fallen to 1,500 kilometers per year. This year, 50,000 apartments are to be connected to pipelines, 35,000 of these in rural areas.

Government Supports Housing For Young Families
President Rakhimov on 25 June signed a decree on state support of young families in need of improved housing conditions, Bashinform reported the same day. According to the document, young families will be issued apartments after they put down 10 percent of the cost, while the remainder will be paid in installments over 15 years. The republican budget will double its allocations for subsidies to families with young children; those subsidies will cover the cost of 8 square meters of housing for the first baby born, 12 square meters for the second one, and 16 square meters for each child born after that.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova