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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 11, 2001

11 December 2001
Moscow Has New Leverage In Talks On Power-Sharing--Paper
The federal government's tax revenues will significantly exceed the incomes of Russia's regions, according to state budget forecasts for 2002, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 10 December. The new ratio for distributing tax receipts between Moscow and Russia's territorial entities (63 percent:37 percent) will give the federal government added leverage in future talks on the division of powers. Meanwhile, regional and municipal budgets' planned expenditures for next year reportedly represent 55 percent of the country's consolidated budget.

According to the deputy head of Russian President Vladimir Putin's staff, Dmitrii Kozak, "[The] new federal budget system is to impose more control on state expenditures and thus prevent financial abuse."

Regional Heads Cheated By Swindlers Using The Name Of President's Son
Republican law-enforcement agents have detained a group of swindlers who extracted about 1.5 million rubles ($50,000) from a number of regional administration heads by saying they represented Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev's son, Ayrat. The individuals were offering agricultural machinery supplies with flexible terms of payment, Efir TV reported on 10 December. They took in sizable sums as down payments on attractive contracts.

President Shaimiev reportedly told a government meeting on 3 December that he was "offended" that those officials believed the scam.

Tatarstan Not Meeting Its Conscripts Quota
The Tatarstan Military Commissioner's Office has fulfilled just half of its planned draft figures for 2001, Tatar-inform reported on 10 December. This year, recruits from Tatarstan were to join the Russian navy, missile forces, and infantry -- with the latter reportedly likely to be involved in combat operations in the Chechen Republic. Some 3,028 young people reportedly have evaded the draft, 10 of whom have been sentenced to up to six months in prison.

Republican, Municipal Bodies To Probe Ethnic Education Issues In Kazan
The State Council's commission on science, education, culture, and ethnic issues -- together with a similar commission in the Kazan City Council -- will consider the implementation of republican legislation on languages aimed at ensuring native-language educational opportunity for the children of different ethnic communities in Kazan's schools.

Putin Congratulates Tatarstan President On Russian Constitution Day...
Russian President Putin on 10 December sent a telegram to President Shaimiev marking Russian Constitution Day, which is 12 December. Putin wrote that, during the years since the federal constitution was adopted, "its provisions have been solidly established in state and social life." Together with his best wishes, the Russian president said, "[O]ur main goal is preserving the values declared by the Russian Constitution."

Russian Civil Forum Body To Be Opened In Kazan
The chief federal inspector's office announced on 10 December that an Information Resources Center will be opened in Kazan for "accumulating the initiatives of public organizations and transmitting them to federal authorities," as agreed during a recent Civil Forum in Moscow.

...While Parliamentary Speaker Talks Of 'Independent, Dynamic' Entities
State Council speaker Farit Mukhametshin, addressing Tatarstan residents in connection with Russian Constitution Day, said the federal constitution adopted in 1993 "has become a major factor for Russia's progress toward the creation of a legal and democratic state, the provision of human rights, and the rights of different peoples living in Russia." In Mukhametshin' words, "Russia is strong as long as it includes independent, dynamically developing entities."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan To Keep Major Share Of Its Revenues
Bashkortostan's budget revenues are expected to grow by 10 billion rubles ($334 million) year-on-year in 2002 to a total of 57.6 billion ($1.9 billion). Roughly 48 percent of those budget receipts will be transferred to the federal budget. Moscow, in turn, is expected to contribute 8.6 billion rubles ($288 million) in subsidies to Tatarstan, leaving the republic with resources of about 37.5 billion rubles ($1.2 billion) for the year.

AROMI on 10 December noted that taxes on profits, income tax receipts, taxes on natural resources, and property taxes are expected to make up the major share of revenues left at Bashkortostan's disposal.

Construction Of Yumaguzin Reservoir To Be Accelerated
Prime Minister Rafael Baydavletov said on 11 December that the construction of Bashkortostan's Yumaguzin reservoir is nearing completion. Although 2 billion rubles ($100 million) has been spent on the project in the past three years, Baydavletov said that in 2002, 1,620 billion rubles ($54 million) will be invested. The republican government will earmark 25 percent of that sum, while the rest is to be covered by shareholders in the project.

President Rakhimov Says UNIDO Guidelines Being Implemented...
President Murtaza Rakhimov joined an international forum on industrial development held by UNIDO in Austria, Bashinform reported on 10 December. According to the president's report at the event, Bashkortostan is working to implement all UNIDO programs in modernizing industry and plans to expand its cooperation with the organization.

...And Visits Major Building Projects In Ufa
President Rakhimov visited a number of construction sites in the Bashkir capital on 8-9 December, including a recreational park, a new school, and a trade center, his press service reported. Government-controlled media said Rakhimov, as is his habit, "paid special attention to buildings constructed for children and youth." He also visited a creative center for teachers called the Ufa Pioneers Palace.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi