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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 22, 2000

22 September 2000
Tatarstan's Parliament To Amend Presidential Election Law
Tatarstan State Council is scheduled to discuss the second reading a draft law amending the republican law on president elections at a plenary session on 22 September, Tatar Television reported. Rafail Khakimov, a state adviser to Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, commented on the issue of moving up Tatarstan's president election from March to December at a news conference the previous day. In Khakimov's opinion, since a very strict time-limit--31 December--was established to complete bringing Tatarstan's laws into harmony with federal legislation, moving the election to December could stabilize the situation, not only in Tatarstan, but in Russia as well. Draft laws on the privatization of state property, the minimum wage, and on a minimum living wage are also on the agenda.

Duma State Debt Commission Backs Guaranteeing KamAZ Debt
The State Duma state debt commission recommended that the budget committee approve an amendment to the 2000 budget ordering the government to guarantee a credit to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the KamAZ truck concern, Rosbizneskonsalting reported on 21 September. The $70.5 million credit is necessary for restructuring KamAZ's debt to EBRD. The bank loaned $100 million to KamAZ in 1995, but the concern failed to repay the debt on time. In 1999, it agreed with the bank on a restructuring of the debt, half of which had to be converted into stock shares, and the other half to be guaranteed by Russian government. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Kolotukhin was cited as saying that the state guarantee will be given on the security of the company's real estate and under the guarantee of Tatarstan's government. Some 47 percent of the KamAZ shares are owned by the Russian government, 17 percent by Tatarstan, and the rest by the banks/creditors: EBRD, Vneshekonombank, and Sberbank of the Russian Federation, among others.

Bashkortostan Preparing To Celebrate Sovereignty Anniversary
Bashkortostan's representations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Chilebe, and Vienna will participate in a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the republic�s sovereignty, Bashinform reported on 20 September. Regional leaders and the heads of companies working in the republic will be invited to receptions at Bashkortostan's missions on 11 October. Representatives from neighboring territorial entities -- Tatarstan, Udmurtiya, Kurgan, and the Orenburg and Perm oblasts -- are expected to attend. Regions which have close ties to Bashkortostan -- Tyumen Oblast, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Marii El, and Mordovia -- will also be represented. Anniversary meetings, a scientific conference, literary gatherings, youth and folklore holidays, fairs, festivals, competitions, art and book exhibitions, cultural and sporting events are scheduled to take place in Ufa and other cities and towns in the republic.

Tatarstan's Mufti To Attend Saudi Arabian Holiday
The head of Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board, Gusman khazrat Iskhakov, left for Moscow to participate in a Saudi Arabian Holiday on 22 September, Tatar-inform reported. Iskhakov was invited by the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Russia, Khasan Abdulvali. Iskhakov told the news agency about his intention to invite the ambassador and his adviser on religious affairs, Suleiman Mokushi, to attend the opening ceremony of a new building at the Russian Islam University in a week.

By Gulnara Khasanova