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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 4, 2001

4 July 2001
Tatneft Defends Its Interests in State Duma
"Nezavisimaya Gazeta" carried a story on 3 July saying that the Tatneft oil company "had initiated a number of amendments to the draft federal law on mineral resource extraction tax, suggesting that the index for used for tax calculation" be made dependent on the difficulty of extraction and purity of oil. The company's deputy general director Vladimir Lavushenko told the newspaper, "differentiated approach would ease the burden of old, nearly exhausted deposits or the ones with high sulfur oil."

Kazan Aircraft Producers to Have a Stronger Partner
The Financial Leasing Company announced on 3 July the increase of its capital from $1 million to $50 million, Tatarinform reported. The company expects to win the tender held by Russian ministry of economic development for supporting leasing programs in the domestic aircraft industry. If this happens, FLC which is owned by Tatneft oil company, Zenith Bank and Solid Investments would sell 50% of its shares to the state and pay off the debts of the Kazan Aircraft Plant. It is still unclear whether the Russian or Tatarstan's government would become the owner of shares package.

Future Layoffs Seen Necessary for KamAZ, Bad For The Republic
KamAZ treasury department chief Yuri Avdeev on 3 July confirmed media reports concerning future layoffs at Tatarstan's major industrial company. He said that 10% of KamAZ employees will lose their jobs in 2002. The same day Minister of labor and employment Boris Zakharov expressed his concern with the future redundancies at KamAZ, because of its impact on the republic's unemployment rate.

State Ownership Share in Tatagropromstroy Reduced
Tatarstan's major agricultural construction company Tatagropromstroy cut the percentage of its shares owned by the state from 28% to 26%.

Tatarstan Domestic Debt Down, Foreign Debt Up
A Ministry of Finance spokesman said on 3 July that the domestic debt of the Tatarstan Republic had fallen by over 50% to 1.05 billion rubles ($36 million) in May 2001. But at the same time, the republic's debt to foreign creditors increased to 1.7 billion rubles.

Ethnic Communities to Cooperate with Federal Government
The association of ethnic-cultural organizations of Tatarstan signed a cooperation accord with the local branch of the Russian Ministry on federation affairs, nationality and migration policy, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported on 3 July. The signatories agreed on "reaching and maintaining the positive inter-ethnic and inter-confessional climate in Tatarstan."

KSU Still the Most Popular University in Tatarstan
Kazan State University has retained its position as the most popular higher education institution in Tatarstan, Efir Inform reported on 3 July.

Russian Agency Recommends KamAZ for International Quality Certification
The State Standard of Russian Federation [Gosstandart] has recommended that the quality control system used at KamAZ be used as the basis for granting it the international ISO-9001-94 standard.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkirenergo to Discuss UES Demands
Bashkirenergo�s board on 6 July will discuss the demand of Russia's United Energy Systems to hold the special meeting of company's shareholders, Rosbalt [] reported on 3 July. UES has demanded that the meeting should be held to elect a new board.

Rakhimov Inspects Water Reserve Construction
President Murtaza Rakhimov visited the construction site of Yumaguzin water reserve on 2 July, his press service reported. He emphasized the reserve's strategic importance for republic's economy. Construction managers told him that it would be finished by mid-2004.

Elshe Region Administration Reshuffled
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 3 July appointed Ildar Lukmanov, 47, to be head of the Elshe region administration in place of Fanil Vildanov, Bashinform reported.

State Assembly to Continue Harmonization
The Legislative Chamber of Bashkortostan's State Assembly will resume adjusting republic laws to federal ones on 5 July by amending the republic acts on elections, the administrative-territorial system and local government bodies, RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi