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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 14, 2001

14 November 2001
Parliament To Discuss State Budget For 2002
The Tatarstan State Council on 14 November will debate the draft 2002 budget proposed by President Mintimer Shaimiev. According to the draft budget, 65 percent of the expenditures (over 20 billion rubles, or $637.4 million) are earmarked for social spending that includes social payments, expenditures on medicine, and education.

The State Council will also deliberate on a federal language law and consider the Russian prosecutor's protests against republican laws on local councilors that contradict federal legislation.

Chally Faces Serious Problems With Heating Network
Tatenergo will spend an annual 160 million rubles ($5.4 million) on renovating the heating networks of Tatarstan's second city, Chally, in the next decade, Tatar-inform reported on 13 November. The networks are currently estimated to be operating at minimum safety standards.

A Chally board formerly responsible for the city's power and heating networks is in bankruptcy due to a 400-million-ruble ($13.5 million) debt to Tatenergo and another 240 million rubles ($8.08 million) owed by Chally residents in unpaid bills.

Tatar-inform quoted an unnamed Tatenergo official as saying that during the winter Chally might face heating interruptions due to the present financial and technical difficulties.

Tatarstan Finishes Gas Networks Construction...
Jaudat Minnakhmetov, director of Tatarstan's off-budget fund for gas-pipeline construction, told a press conference on 13 November that 86 percent of rural areas and 99 percent of urban areas have been equipped with natural gas networks. Although not all rural residents can afford paying 15,000-20,000 rubles ($505-$673) to connect to the gas network, Minnakhmetov praised the republic's gas-networks program. "Even those villages with few residents able to pay for gas will get centralized gas pipelines to make it possible for other residents to connect later."

...And Reveals Growing Demand For Gas
Minnakhmetov told the same press conference that Tatarstan was holding talks with Russian monopoly Gazprom on increasing its limit of annual gas supplies from 14 billion cubic meters to 17 billion cubic meters due to growing demand from newly established industrial companies in the republic.

Future Recruits Get Health Regime To Meet Army Standards
The Military Commissioner's Office in Bogelme, Tatarstan, opened a rehabilitation center on 13 November to improve the mental and physical state of future recruits through medical assistance and improved nutrition. The first group of 20 potential recruits is expected to meet army health standards in one month's time, while they currently cannot be drafted because they are underweight and in weak health.

Political Repression Victims List Published
The Memorial Society of Moscow published a list of more than 10,000 victims of political repression during the Soviet era in Tatarstan at, Tatar media reported on 13 November. The list was composed with the efforts of Tatarstan's "Memory Book" group, which has researched the KGB archives.

Tatar Muslim Leader Welcomes The Arrival Of Ramadan
Gusman Khazrat Iskhaqi, the chairman of Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board, told residents that Ramadan, which begins on 16 November, is an opportunity "to get rid of bad habits and evil," RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. Gusman khazret stressed that Islam "contributed to the moral revival in Russia, progress, and prosperity."

LDPR Pickets State Council Building
Ten activists of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) branch in Tatarstan picketed the State Council on 13 November, urging its deputies to make public their stances on military actions in Afghanistan. Picketers were holding placards condemning "Russia's possible assistance to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan" and expressing "solidarity with the Afghan people." LDPR coordinator Yuri Petruk urged Tatarstan's and Russia's governments to "refuse to help the Americans wage war against a Muslim country."

Two members of Youth Initiatives Center joined the picket, saying they were "against sending soldiers from Tatarstan to die in Afghanistan."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan To Send Nearly Half Its Revenues To Moscow...
RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent quoted Bashkir Finance Minister Foat Khantimerov as saying on 13 November that the draft republican budget for 2002 stipulates some 57.6 billion rubles ($1.94 billion) in revenues, with a 48 percent share to be transferred to the federal budget.

...And Get Subsides In Addition To Remaining Revenues
Bashkortostan State Assembly Budget Committee member Khamit Mokhemetyanov told RFE/RL on 13 November that the republic would keep 29.8 billion rubles ($1.003 billion) of its revenues and receive an extra 7.05 billion rubles in subsides from the federal budget.

State Assembly Speaker Joins Solidarity Conference In Iraq
Konstantin Tolkachev, Bashkortostan's State Assembly chairman and a member of the Russian Federation Council, joined the international "Conference of Solidarity With Iraq" as part of a Russian delegation on 13 November, RIA-Novosti reported. Tolkachev explained his mission by saying, "Russia has to express its support to Iraq on the eve of the UN Security Council meeting, which is to discuss the 'smart sanctions' against that country offered by Great Britain." In his words, "A resolution approving these sanctions would serve not only Iraq's interests, but also Russia's national interests."

Republic Seeks To Curb Property Mismanagement
Bashkortostan's State Property Committee began the elaboration of a program for effectively managing state property, including state-owned land, Bashinform reported on 13 November. The document will reportedly enable the open sale of land used by Bashkortostan's major industrial companies and therefore establish realistic, market prices.

Bashkir Trade Unions Ignore Russian Protest
No public events were organized by Bashkortostan's trade unions in conjunction with a national protest action organized by Russia's Trade Unions Federation on 14 November. The leaders of the republic's professional unions did gather at the conference hall of the Trade Unions House in Ufa to discuss the current state of workers' rights in Bashkortostan.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi