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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 14, 2000

14 February 2000
Mukhametshin Praises Imperfect Power-Sharing Treaty
Tatarstan's State Council chairman, Farid Mukhametshin, said that the power-sharing treaty between Tatarstan and Russia was the beginning of great democratic reforms in Russia and brought an end to the possibility of a return to totalitarian rule, Tatar Radio reported on 12 February. Mukhametshin made his comments at a meeting of the Tatars' Federal National-Cultural Autonomy Council, which was held in Moscow to mark the sixth anniversary of the treaty. Representatives of all Tatar diasporas in Russia participated in the forum. They said that despite measures aimed at preserving the Tatar language and culture in Russia, russification continues. It was also reported that attempts at solving national problems at the federal level hasn't brought significant results.

Tax Collection Increases
The head of Tatarstan's tax board, Rinat Khairov, said on 11 February that the republican tax bodies have collected 22 billion rubles for the republican budget in the last year, Tatar Television reported. Khairov told the board's annual meeting--which is devoted to the previous year's results--that this figure is 1.7 times more than the 1998 level. He said that over 56 percent of the total sum was paid in cash. Khairov added that payments in owed taxes increased last year in the republic by 40 percent and was worth some 9.5 billion rubles. Tatarstan's premier, Rustam Minnikhanov, told a news conference following the meeting that Tatarstan's target on payments to the federal budget will most likely be reduced as was agreed upon during recent negotiations with Russian Tax Minister Aleksandr Pochinok.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim Restructures Debt To Federal Budget
The head of the Russian Tax Ministry's republican board, Rinat Khairov, told a news conference on 11 February that Tatarstan's petrochemical company Nizhnekamskneftekhim has signed an agreement with federal officials on the restructuring of its 250 million ruble debt to the Russian budget. The document, which was negotiated last year, defers payment of the debt for 10 years. Khairov said that 17 more republican companies are currently working on agreements to restructure their debts with Moscow. Among them is the Nizhnekamskshina tire company with its 700 million ruble debt.

Tatneft Increases Drilling
Mikhail Studenskii, the deputy general-manager of Tatarstan's leading oil company, Tatneft, said that the company intends to double the number of drilled wells this year, Tatar Radio reported on 12 February. Studenskii said Tatneft plans to purchase 500 million rubles worth of equipment and spare parts for drilling enterprises. He said that the Volgograd drilling machinery plant has ordered 50 million rubles in equipment.

Tatarstan's Communists Hold Plenum
The Communist Party of Tatarstan nominated its candidates for Tatarstan's State Council deputy vacancies and discussed the upcoming presidential election campaign in Tatarstan at a plenum on 12 February. The party also proclaimed its support for Communist Party (KPRF) head Gennadii Zyuganov, Tatar Television reported. The plenum was chaired by the first secretary of the KPRF's republican committee, Aleksandr Salii. Salii was re-elected as a State Duma deputy during the December poll and was nominated as the deputy chairman of the State Building Committee and the chairman of the commission on control of election legislation.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova