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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 8, 2000

8 February 2000
Republican Polls To Be Held On Presidential Election Day
Elections for local self-government bodies in Tatarstan will be held on 26 March, the same day as the Russian presidential election, the republican press reported on 8 February. Additionally, elections in seven regions will be held for State Council seats where the election laws were seriously violated or none of the candidates received sufficient support during the parliamentary vote on 19 December 1999.

Tatarstan To Research Alternative Fuels
The deputy general-director of the Tatenergo company, Fanis Nafikov, told the AK&M agency on 7 February that Tatarstan was considering the possibility of replacing natural gas in the republic's energy system with some alternative fuels. In 1999, electric power stations in Tatarstan were reportedly fueled 85 percent natural gas and the rest with black oil. According to Nafikov, Tatenergo could increase the share of oil to 30 percent in case of an emergency, but current economic, technological, and ecological requirements allow it to only use oil for 10 percent of the total share. Oil costs twice as much as natural gas and severely pollutes the environment. Only one out of nine electric power plants in Tatarstan has been transformed to burn coal and some 500 million rubles are still needed to complete the adjustment, Nafikov said.

Kazan Reports Industrial Growth
Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov told the press on 7 February that the city experienced a 124 percent increase in industrial production last year. According to Iskhakov, the city budget received 144.9 percent of planned income. He added that some 531,000 square meters of housing were constructed in 1999. Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev recently expressed dissatisfaction with the way in which municipal rent and taxes are collected as well as the management of money flows in Kazan. He said there was a "lack of control over the sales tax collected in city districts."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi