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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 13, 1999

13 January 1999
Kazan Won't Increase Payments To Russian Budget
Tatarstan's payments into the Russian budget will not exceed the figures based on the interbudget agreement of Tatarstan and Russia during the past four years, Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev said in an interview with Tatar Radio on 12 January. Shaimiev said and Russian Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov agreed on this in Moscow on 10 January (see "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 11 January 1998). Shaimiev added that it would be unacceptable to reduce the level of budget maintenance in Tatarstan that has been reached during these years. While meeting with Zadornov, the preliminary results of 1998 were reviewed, he continued. Shaimiev said that last year the Russian government and the Finance Ministry infringed upon the interbudget agreement. A working group has also been created to interbudget relations in 1999. According to the 1994 bilateral treaty between Moscow and Kazan, the special interbudget relations are to last for five years (ending in 1999).

Nearly One-Fifth Of Tatarstan's Population Living In Poverty
According to a report by the State Statistics Committee, some 18 percent of the population of Tatarstan lived below the poverty level in 1998, as the incomes of some 700,000 people were considered to be less than a living-wage. Meanwhile, the incomes of the majority of the population last year decreased by 32 percent compared to 1997, while the prices of goods and service have increased between three- and fourfold.

Teachers Protest Against Wage Arrears
The teachers at a school in Kazan held a one-day protest for back wages on 12 January. The teachers have not been paid since November. The school's director told Tatar radio that school employees are preparing documents to begin a strike. She said a strike committee has formed and that a strike budget has been figured.

Illegal Drug Route Cut Off
On 9 January the Tatarstan State Security Committee (KGB) and the Ulyanovsk Federal Security Service (FSB) Board infiltrated an illegal drug route originating in Central Asia and ending in Ulyanovsk oblast. The head of the KGB Public Communications Center, Rovel Kashapov, told Tatar radio on 12 January that some 1.5 kilos of heroin were confiscated from the drug couriers. Four members of a criminal group were apprehended and charged in the operation.

A Commission on the fight against drugs, created in October in Kazan, has appealed to Tatarstan's scientific institutions, enterprises, and other organizations to develop technology that will help enforcement officials to more readily locate and identify illegal drugs. Incentives such as tax breaks will be awarded to individuals and corporations that contribute new methods and equipment that aids in the drug war.

Tatarstan Communist Party of Bolsheviks Created
A new party, the Tatarstan Communist Party of Bolsheviks, has formed after a split in the republic's Communist party. The new party was registered by the Justice Ministry as an independent political organization on 12 January. Members of the new party had earlier left the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and stopped supporting its regional branch.

Compiled by G.Khasanova