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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 5, 2000

5 July 2000
Kazan Software Producers Seek Tax Breaks From Moscow
Officials from the joint venture between Kazan Computing Systems and the ICL Company (the British affiliate of Japan's Fujitsu) urged Russian Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev on 4 July for more flexible taxation policies toward Russian software companies, Tatarstan's media reported. Computer and software producers in Kazan are reportedly asking Russian legislators to create more favorable taxation terms in order to protect domestic producers.

The general director of KCS-ICL, Victor Dyachkov, told reporters on 5 July that a "revival of domestic software production would stop the exodus of Tatarstan's high-qualified computer specialists to foreign companies and win more orders from foreign customers." Russia's Gazprom, the Ministry of Defense, Tatarstan's National Bank, the health, interior, and emergency ministries all reportedly use software produced in Kazan.

State Languages Act Being Implemented In Kazan
A Tatar-language teaching course for Kazan city administrators held its first graduation on 5 July. Courses were taught according to Tatarstan's State Languages Act, which requires officials to know both of the republic's official languages--Tatar and Russian. Some 207 students finished the course, while 24 failed it. According to the Tatarinform agency, Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov demanded to see the list of failed students. Earlier this year, a "roundtable" of opposition parties in Tatarstan appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to abolish the State Languages Act because it was not being implemented.

Tatarstan's Poor Roads Discussed
The low quality of roads in Tatarstan was the topic of discussion at a seminar on road development in the republic held on 4 July in Kazan. According to state traffic inspection officials at the seminar, 32 percent of the car accidents that occur every year are due to the poor condition of roads in the republic. Most of Tatarstan's road funds are currently going towards the completion of the bridge over the Kama River, which will connect the northwestern and southwestern parts of the republic.

By Iskender Nurmi