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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 9, 2001

9 February 2001
Tatarstan To Equip Russian Fleet
Russian Navy Commander in Chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroedov and Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov on 8 February signed a protocol allowing some ten republic defense enterprises to receive state orders, Tatar television reported. Kuroedov said that the Yeshel Uzen Gorky plant will build ships for the Caspian fleet. Earlier, the Gorky plant produced 30 ships annually, but since 1992, it has constructed only one. The republic will also provide the Russian navy with foodstuffs and provide housing for a cadet college in Yeshel Uzen.

District Official Urges Fight Against Radicalism
During an 8 February visit to Kazan, Vladimir Zorin, the deputy presidential representative to the Volga District, said that major task of the republic's Central Electoral Commission must fight "radicalism," Tatar-inform reported. He called the Tatarstan presidential elections "an important event not only for the republic but for all of Russia."

Court Says Deputies Can Serve in Executive Bodies
Tatarstan's Supreme Court on 8 February rejected a suit by the pro-Moscow Ravnopraviye i Zakonnost organization seeking to prohibit deputies from serving in executive bodies, Tatar television reported.

TPC Outlines What It Wants from President
The Tatar Public Center on 8 February said that it will support presidential candidates who defend Tatarstan's sovereignty declaration, support Tatar education, strengthen republic citizenship, and reduce tax payments to Moscow. The organization said that candidates should be able to speak both Tatar and Russian.

Duma Adopts Tatarstan-Sponsored Anti-Tobacco Law
The State Duma has passed on the first reading a draft law prohibiting tobacco advertising, RBC reported on 8 February. That measure had been proposed by the Tatarstan State Council.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Legislature Proceeds with Harmonization
On 8 February, the State Assembly passed draft laws on security on the second reading and on public associations on the first reading. In addition, it amended several laws (on notaries, lawyers, foreign investments, foreign trade), and codes (media, housing, and healthcare), Bashinform reported.

Ufa Increases Tax Collection
Rashit Sattarov, who heads the Russian tax ministry board in the republic, on 8 February said that tax revenues grew there by 90 percent in 2000 to 42 billion rubles, Bashinform reported. Payments to the federal budget more than doubled. Some 44 percent of the total came from the fuel industry.

Agricultural Workers Seek Back Pay�
Petr Bobylev, the head of the State Control Committee, on 8 February sharply criticized farm leaders for delays in pay to their workers, Bashinform reported. He said that such delays and the fact that most workers received only half of what they were due three months late were "immoral." Even worse, he said, the workers got only seven percent of the pay in cash.

�As Farms Seek Credits
Deputy agriculture minister Albert Lukmanov on 8 February said that the government should return to the practice of guaranteeing short-term credits to farms in order to enable them to pay wages in a timely fashion, Bashinform reported.

Infant Mortality Declines
The healthcare ministry on 8 February said that infant mortality in Bashkortostan is the lowest in the republic's history and now the lowest in Russia as well, at 13.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. The rate has been declining there since 1994 when it peaked at 17.8 per 1,000, Bashinform said. But officials said that infant healthcare remains in a "catastrophic" situation and that more funds must be directed at it to improve conditions for children and their mothers.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova