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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 20, 1999

20 January 1999
Russia's Tax Service Head Discussed Budget Issue With Tatarstan Officials
Russian Tax Service head Georgii Boos met with Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov and Tatarstan state tax inspection head Rinat Khairov during an unofficial visit to Kazan on 18-19 January. Minnikhanov said after the meeting that questions regarding the formation of the budget were discussed. Tatarstan's budget depends largely on the Russian budget, Minnikhanov said. He added that Tatarstan should "prove its outlays and receive appropriate funds (from Moscow)." Minnikhanov said the main goal for the Tatar government "is to not let the people of Tatarstan's standard of living to worsen."

Shaimiev To Attend Nazarbayev's Inauguration
The president of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev, arrived in the Kazakh capital Astana on 19 January to participate in the inauguration ceremony of newly reelected President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The election was highly controversial and deemed unfair by international observers. The two presidents are to meet the following day. Earlier, Shaimiev sent a letter to Nazarbayev thanking him for his support for the development of Tatar culture. Tatar cultural days were held in Kazakhstan within the framework of Nazarbayev's election campaign, Tatar television reported.

Head Of Russian State Property Committee To Retire
The "Vremya i Dengi" newspaper reports that Farid Gazizullin, the former Tatarstan Republic official and current State Property Minister for Russia, is going to retire due to poor health. Gazizullin underwent a heart operation (similar to the one performed on Russian President Boris Yeltsin) in Germany earlier this month. Gazizullin was advised by doctors in Moscow afterwards that he should sharply reduce his workload. Gazizullin will reportedly spend all his time as chairman of the board of directors of Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom.

Government, Unions Sign Work Agreement
At the Tatarstan Republic's Cabinet of Ministers session on 19 January, a 1999 general agreement was signed by the republic's Trade Unions Federation (TUF), the Association of Industrial Enterprises, the Trade-Industrial Chamber, and the government of Tatarstan. According to the agreement, the Tatarstan Cabinet of Ministers should propose to the State Council a hike in the minimum wage in accordance with cost-of-living increases. TUF will also require the government to adopt a law on indemnification for damages incurred as the result of the delayed payment of wages. The agreement also states that the unemployment rate in Tatarstan should not exceed 2.5 percent of the workforce. TUF chairperson Farida Gainullina stated that the main clauses in last year's agreement, including limits on the growth of production, the sale of production, maintenance of salary payments, and the settling of wage arrears, have not been honored.

Compiled by G. Khasanova