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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 22, 2000

22 December 2000
Now Profitable, KamAZ To Increase Production
All ten of its plants having become profitable during 2000, KamAZ plans to increase production in 2001, Moscow's "Kommersant" reported on 21 December. Another achievement of the past year was that the company's $1 billion debt was fully converted into securities. In 2001, KamAZ plans to assemble 26,000 trucks and 38,000 small cars. It will also increase production of KT-240 tractors, buses, and gas engines.

Museum for Former RFE/RL Staffer to Open
Chally city authorities have decided to open at the local lyceum a museum in honor of and named for Ali Aqysh, a distinguished Tatar public figure, honorary president of the Tatar World League, and member of RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service from 1966 to 1983, Tatar-inform reported on 20 December.

Shashurin To Address Pensioners
Tatarstan's Duma deputy Sergei Shashurin will speak to a meeting of the Tatarstan branch of the Russian Pensioners Party on 23 December, Tatar-inform reported. Party members are to consider social protection issues. Shashurin for his part is expected to discuss corruption and the legitimacy of Tatarstan's State Council, whose activities he opposes.

Drug Rehabilitation Studies Center Opens
A drug rehabilitation studies center has been set up in Kazan by the republic government, Tatar-inform reported on 21 December. The new institution will help to develop methods to fight illegal drug use and rehabilitate those who use drugs. It is to work closely with the republic government, with educational institutions and with the media.

Tatar Youth Evade the Draft
Some 2500 young men called up in the last round of the draft have evaded service, Tatar-inform reported on 21 December. The agency said that approximately 90,000 men of draft age currently reside in the republic. The draft commissions have called on prosecutors to bring charges against those who seek to avoid service.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Speaker Asks Moscow Media to End Bias on Bashkortostan
Bashkortostan State Assembly chairman Konstantin Tolkachev said on 20 December that Bashkortostan is one of strongholds of Russian statehood, and he urged the Moscow media to stop adopting a skeptical attitude toward processes there. Tolkachev's comments came in Moscow in advance of Bashkortostan Constitution Day on 24 December.

Parliament's Lower Chamber Harmonizing Legislation
A plenary session of the Bashkortostan State Assembly Legislative Chamber was devoted to bringing republic legislation into line with federal laws, Bashinform reported on 21 December. Deputies adopted a republic administrative code, a licensing law, modifications of the labor code, as well as on a variety of other issues. They also passed on third reading a law on the election of municipal heads as well as amended laws on state protection of judges and law enforcement personnel. And they agreed to consider a draft law on land system at the next session.

Deputy Premier Welcomes New Passports
Speaking to a conference on national development and interethnic cooperation in Bashkortostan on 21 December, republic Deputy Prime Minister Khalyaf Ishmuratov argued that destructive forces will not be able to weaken civil peace and national accord in the future. He noted that Bashkortostan is the only territory where Bashkirs can fully develop their language, culture, traditions, and at the same time it �s a multiethnic republic, the home of representatives of 113 peoples. At the same time, he expressed his regret about the absence of a nationality line in the Federation passport, while welcoming the additional pages approved for such passports issued in Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. But he noted that Bashkirs living outside Bashkortostan are unlikely to be able to get a similar new passport.

By Gulnara Khasanova