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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 16, 2001

16 January 2001
Tatarstan Premier Visits Iraq
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov is visiting Iraq to develop trade and economic relations under the terms of the UN's Oil for Foods program, Tatar television reported on 15 January. He met with Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, Vice-President Ramadan and Oil Minister Amir Mukhammad Rashid.

More Candidates Enter Presidential Race
Tatarstan's Central Electoral Committee chairman Anatoly Fomin on 15 January said that 11 people have already informed his body that they plan to run for president. Among those joining the race in the last several days are a driver, Samat Khashimov, and pensioners, Samat Rizvanov and Ildus Sadykov.

Moscow to Support Tatarstan Aviation Production
The Russian government has announced a federal civil aircraft development program which calls for Kazan's Gorbunov Plant to produce planes, helicopters and engines over the next 15 years, Kazan radio announced.

Tatarstan to Sell Off Two Companies
The Tatarstan cabinet on 15 January decided to hand over a controlling interest in the ICL-KPO VS computer firm to its employees, Tatar-inform reported. The company was set up in 1991 by Kazan EVM plant and British ICL firm and in 1996 joined Fujitsu corporation. In 2000, its sales increased by 50 percent and totaled 150 million rubles. The cabinet also announced on 15 January that it will sell in an investment competition 97 percent of the shares of the Leninogorsk's Gazspetsmashremont, Tatar-inform reported.

Apartment Explosion Claims Two Dead
Two women died on 15 January as a result of an explosion in an apartment house in Kazan. Tatarstan's Emergency Ministry told ITAR-TASS that the explosion had been caused by an device with the equivalent of 200 grams of TNT. Investigators are looking for the individual who may have planted the device.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Says State Must Raise Teacher's Salaries
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 13 January told the republic's teachers that the government must raise the salaries of teachers, especially younger ones, because of their role in educating the younger generation.

Control Bodies Seek Inspection Powers
State Control Committee chairman Petr Bobylev on 15 January said that law enforcement bodies frequently ignore reports and recommendations about taking legal actions against violators of law made by his institution. And he appealed to State Assembly chairman Konstantin Tolkachev to give control bodies the power to conduct inspections.

Fuel Company Has Better Record
Ufa on 15 January said that Bashkir Fuel Company over the last year had reduced its debts and wages arrears the past year while doubling the salaries of its workers, Bashinform reported. In addition, production increased by 13 percent to 25 million tons of oil a year.

Tuimazy Authorities To Control Paper Plant
The Tuimazy district administration on 15 January have taken a controlling interest in the Tuimazy paper factory, Bashinform reported. The plant had been controlled by a Russian government agency.

Heavy Snows Claim Life
One person died and another was injured on 14 January in Beloretsk when a roof crashed because of snow, Bashinform reported. Meanwhile, Bashavtotrans told RIA-Novosti that 60 percent of the bus runs to suburban areas had had to be cancelled because of deep snow.

By Gulnara Khasanova