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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 16, 2001

16 February 2001
Shashurin Registered as Presidential Candidate
The Central Electoral Commission on 15 February registered Duma deputy Sergei Shashurin as a presidential candidate, Tatar television reported. After checking 11,000 of 57,500 signatures on his petitions, the commission said that 14.8 percent of them were invalid. The electoral law allows not more than 15 percent.

SPS Outlines What It Wants in a President
The SPS republic branch on 15 February passed to the CEC its call for a future president to carry out political and economic reforms, Tatar-inform reported. The party called for requiring State Council deputies to work fulltime and for half of them to be elected on party lists. It also called for reducing staffs and electing local administration heads.

Will Sales Taxes Be Harmonized?
The Russian Constitutional Court said that sales tax which had been introduced by federation subjects contradicts the Russian Constitution and must be harmonized within a year, Tatar-inform reported on 15 February. The Court said that variations in taxation undermines efforts to create a common economic space. But Ilsur Safiullin, the State Council budget commission head, said that unified tax rules would be a mistake since conditions vary. He added that such an approach could in fact undermine economic development.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim Interested In Oil, Gas Extraction
Nizhnekamskneftekhim general manager Vladimir Busygin on 15 February said that his company has arranged to have all the gas and oil it will need through 2003 by purchasing 40 percent of Gazprom enterprises in Urengoi, Tatar-inform reported. He said that the Tatarstan petrochemical company is also negotiating agreement with German Vintershal firm for future deliveries of gas condenser from Novyi Urengoi.

Tatneft Expands Filling Station Network
Tatneft general manager Shafagat Takhautdinov on 15 February said that his company plans to increase the number of its filling stations from 183 to 312 including 124 in Moscow, Tatar-inform reported. The company recently opened the first station in the Ulyanovsk oblast. Tatneft also has agreed to invest in oil exploration in Chuvashia. The company recently purchased the controlling interest of Chuvashnefteprodukt and opened a filling station near Tsivilsk.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Legislature Proceeds With Harmonization
The State Assembly on 15 February passed the draft laws on security, freedom of public associations, and foreign trade. It also amended laws on notaries, lawyers, state service, foreign investments, privatization of state and municipal property, veterans, referendum, foreign trade treaties and codes concerning media, land, timber, traffic rules, housing, the presidential press service reported.

Ufa Harmonizes Electoral Code
Nailya Altynova, the Central Electoral Commission secretary, said on 15 February that harmonization of Electoral Code is the main task of the body. She said that new rules provide that a third of electoral commissions members are to be recruited by political parties and added that CEC will propose the draft Electoral Code in May, after adoption of federal laws on political parties.

Bashkortostan To Boost Ties With Chelyabinsk Oblast
YuzhuralEKSPO general manager Vadim Meshcheryakov on 15 February said that some 70 Bashkortostan oil extracting and processing companies will take part in a "days of economic and culture of Bashkortostan and Chelyabinsk oblast" program on 1-3 March in Magnitogorsk, the Ural information bureau reported.

Russian Land Official Praises Ufa Land Policies
Aleksei Shinkarev, an official from the Federal land service, said on 15 February in Ufa that Bashkortostan is one of the best land-users in Russia as it had not reduced the area of agricultural lands and uses them efficiently, Bashinform reported.

Tax Official Calls for Strict Measures
Engels Kilmukhamedov, chief of the Federal tax police board in Bashkortostan, has called for more discipline by the courts of those who seek to evade taxes, reported on 15 February. His comments came at a Russian-wide meeting of tax bodies and tax police heads in Moscow.

Environmental Problems Remain Urgent
The State Environment Protection Committee on 15 February said that the ecological situation in the republic is troubling because of obsolete industrial equipment and technologies, inadequate utilization of wastes, and frequent accidents. It blamed transport for 60 percent of all pollution.

Ufa To Provide Moscow With Food
Representatives of Moscow's Alfa-Eko trade-industrial group and deputy prime minister Mikhail Mineev and Bashspirt heads on 15 February agreed on deliveries of agricultural and alcohol production from the republic to Moscow, Bashinform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova