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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 27, 2000

27 January 2000
Tatarstan Restructures Debt To ING-Barings
Tatarstan's Minister of Finance Robert Musin told news agencies on 26 January that the ING-Barings bank has agreed to restructure the $100 million debt that the republic owes without adding extra fines for the delayed payment. The debt is to be paid off over the next seven years with an annual interest rate of 8.5 percent. The agreement is to be endorsed by the Central Bank of Russia within three months. Republican Ministry of Finance officials were cited by the AK&M agency on 27 January as saying that the original repayment deadline was 23 October 1998.

Volga Regions Do Well In Collecting Taxes
Members of the Bolshaya Volga regional association exceeded expected tax payments by an average of 8 percent in 1999, Russian Deputy Minister of Taxes Vasilii Kovalev said at a press conference in Kazan on 26 January. The Bolshaya Volga includes the republics of Tatarstan, Mari-El, Mordovia, and Chuvash, and the Nizhny Novgorod, Ulyanovsk, Saratov, Volgograd, Astrakhan, Samara, and Penza oblasts. Kovalev noted the "excellent performance" of tax services in the above mentioned regions. He also admitted that there still were "some issues to be settled concerning the interbudget agreement between the Tatarstan Republic and the Russian Federation." Kovalev said that the major financial difficulties for the federation in 2000 were "the country's growing external debt burden" and "colossal funds spent on military operations in the south of Russia."

Tatarstan's Electricity Producer Boosts Output
Tatarstan's major electricity producer, Tatenergo, produced 6.21 billion rubles worth of energy in 1999, exceeding the previous year's output by 110.7 percent. The company's press service announced on 27 January that the production increase was reached because of the additional supplies of natural gas received in 1999 and the growing efficiency of the Zey hydro powerplant. As a result, the republic was able to cut the volume of electric energy purchased from Russia's United Energy Systems by 53.7 percent. Tatenergo reportedly paid off its debts to the republican and federal budgets by 60 percent and abolished wage arrears to its employees. The republican press announced the same day that in the second half of 2000 Tatenergo expects to receive 100 percent of the supplied energy cost paid in cash due to the growing demand for payments in cash from its main supplier, Gazprom.

Tatneft Pays 30 Percent Of All Taxes In Tatarstan
Tatarstan's Tax Agency announced on 27 January that the republic's major oil extracting company, Tatneft, pays 30 percent of the total taxes collected in the republic. Tatneft reportedly paid 1.7 billion rubles in federal taxes in 1999. The company's business plan for 2000 is based upon expected world oil prices of $17-19 per barrel. In 2000 it intends to pay about 16 billion rubles in taxes into Tatarstan's budget.

YelAZ To Cooperate With British Company
The YelAZ automotive works and the British Ignotech company intend to register a joint venture for producing silicone ignition wires, news agencies reported on 27 January. This production will reportedly be the only domestic one supplying the growing demand for silicone wires, though there are imported brands available on the market. Ignotech is expected to contribute to the joint venture by delivering essential technical equipment by the end of the first quarter of 2000.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi