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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 7, 2001

7 June 2001
New Russian Passports to Be Distributed in Kazan
State Council chairman Farit Mukhametshin and Presidential envoy Sergey Kiriyenko will present new Russian passports to a group of Tatarstan citizens in Kazan on 9 June, news agencies reported on 6 June.

Moscow Decree Causes Problems for Distilleries
Tatarstan�s State Alcohol Inspection chief Alexey Kazakov told on 6 June that the republic�s distilleries had finally received special excise labels and could begin selling it again from 7 June.

Tatarstan Invited to Join Islamic Conference Organization
Halit Iren, the general secretary of the International Islamic Culture Research Fund, said in Kazan on 6 June that Tatarstan could become a member of Islamic Conference Organization, but only as an observer.

Republic, Federal Justice Bodies to Coexist
Deputy PM Zilya Valeeva said on 6 June that the newly formed Board of federal Justice Ministry would operate �alongside the existing Tatarstan�s Justice Ministry.� She said that republican authorities prepared a draft agreement for dividing the fields of activities between the federal and regional bodies and it soon would be offered to the federal government.

KamAZ Cuts Production
KamAZ reduced its output by 600 vehicles in May from the previous month and produced some 1500 trucks, reported on 6 June.

Tatneft Increases Oil Extraction
Tatneft pumped about 2,1 million tons of oil in May 2001, which is by 5,8% more than the previous year�s average monthly output, reported.

Former Defense Plant Gets a Private Owner
The KOMZ-Baygish night vision and distance measuring equipment venture formerly owned by Tatarstan has been sold to the private Granit company for 87,000 rubles ($2,900) at an auction on 6 June. The extremely low price was reportedly justified by the venture�s looming debts to tax service, power suppliers and wages arrears.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Ufa Mayor Says Regions Need More Budget Funds
Ufa Mayor Rauf Nugumanov on 6 June told that mayors should not be involved in politics but only in providing good living conditions for residents. He said that he is �a person from the team of President Rakhimov.� In other comments, he called on Moscow to change mechanism of inter-budgetary relations with the regions both to remove from cities the burden of collecting taxes and to give urban areas more funds for key social services.

Bashkir Film Festival Opens in St. Petersburg
A festival of films produced by the film studio �Bashkortostan� opened in St. Petersburg within the framework of Bashkortostan Culture and Art Days there, Bashinform reported on 6 June.

Chelyabinsk Oblast Bashkirs Hold Congress
Ural-press-inform reported on 5 June that 450 Bashkirs representing the 20,000 Bashkirs in Chelyabinsk held a congress in Magnitogorsk. Participants said that more than 2,000 Bashkir schoolchildren do not study native language. Magnitogorosk administration head Viktor Anikushin and Bashkir World Congress chairman Niyaz Mazhitov were in attendance. Participants from the Ashin district noted that Bashkir language is taught only in local mosque.

Academician Urges Salary Hikes to Boost Consumer Demand
Robert Nigmatulin, the president of the Bashkortostan Academy of Sciences, said that Moscow must raise salaries in order to spark consumer demand, reported on 5 June.

Number of Repeat Offenders Grows
Many convicted criminals who have been amnestied commit crimes again, Bashinform reported on 6 June. Lawyers from the Ufa Juridical Institute said that frequent amnesties were undercutting the law enforcement system's effectiveness.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova