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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 10, 2000

10 July 2000
Wage Arrears To State Employees Increase In Kazan
Wage arrears to state employees in Kazan have grown following the start of the holiday season, Tatarstan's news agencies reported on 10 July. The Privolzhsky district owes the largest amount�3.5 million rubles, followed by Novosavinovsky and Sovetsky districts, respectively. The Kazan city administration has pledged strict measures against debtor districts, ordering them to take out external loans to repay the debt if necessary.

Local Governments Accused Of Funds Abuse
Tatarstan's parliamentary commission on local government announced the results of audits in several rural regions on 7 July. According to the commission, local government bodies in Tukay, Layesh, Apas and Nurlat regions used budget funds mostly to purchase office furniture and equipment rather than to build schools, kindergartens or other such facilities. Commission officials noted that "local governments mostly rushed to spend the money of the state, without trying to improve the collection of taxes in their areas."

KSU Receives American Grant
The Kazan State University has been awarded a $1 million grant from the joint Russian-US program "Fundamental research and higher education", Tatarstan's press reported on 10 July. According to the conditions of the grant, 50 percent of the total is to be provided by the American side, while the Russian Ministry of Education and Tatarstan's government must provide 25 percent each. The grant will reportedly be used to purchase new equipment for the scientific center "Materials and technologies of the 21st century," which trains specialists in physical chemistry and bio-chemistry.

Tatarstan's Languages Act Discussed By Governmental Commission
The government committee on implementing the act on the languages of the peoples in Tatarstan Republic convened on 7 July, RFE/RL's correspondent in Kazan reported the same day. The committee discussed a new republican program for studying and developing the languages of peoples living in the republic. It also considered the new spelling rules for the Tatar language that have emerged since the transition from a Cyrillic-based to a Latin-based alphabet. The committee passed a resolution on the introduction of a new Tatar alphabet for Tatar instruction for state officials from 2001.

By Iskender Nurmi