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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 25, 1999

25 January 1999
President Shaimiev Stresses Importance Of Tatarstan's Oil, Gas, And Chemical Industries
Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiev held a meeting on 22 January with the heads of energy industry firms to discuss ways of increasing production in the sector. Shaimiev reiterated the importance of the hydrocarbon industry for the republic, saying that the increased development of 24 enterprises in this sector over the past four years now means that 30 percent of Tatarstan's workforce is employed in the energy industry. He added that 50 percent of the republican budget is comprised of payments made by the hyrdocarbon sector. Despite this dominance, Shaimiev said that this sector is only utilizing 60 percent of its production capacity. Shaimiev said that the program of oil and gas chemistry development from 1999 to 2003 that was approved by the republican government is "concrete and purposeful." He urged the enterprises heads to cooperate by providing timely deliveries of raw material and payments. "The top goal for us," Shaimiev said, "is to exploit the oil, gas, and chemical industries for the best interests of the republic."

Tatarstan's Premier Expresses Concern For Dire Defense Industry Situation
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov said in an interview with republican television on 24 January that the main goal of the government in its takeover of several defense ministry plants (see "Tatar-Bashkir Report," 21 January 1999) is "to help them survive." He said the Tatar government was "not afraid to take the pain of those enterprises if we can eventually help them. We don't want to prevent those enterprises from executing any federal orders." Minnikhanov said that the running of the enterprises also meant that the government would provide social assistance to employees at the ailing plants. The government signed an agreement earlier this year with the Trade Unions Federation and the Trade-Industrial Chamber on the provision of timely wage payments and the general improvement of living standards for the republic's workers.

Safarov Gives Dismal Report On His Internal Affairs Ministry
Tatarstan's minister of internal affairs, General Asgat Safarov, held a critical meeting with Tatarstan's militia leaders on 22 January to review the ministry's activities in 1998. Safarov sharply criticized virtually all departments within the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for the inefficient measures taken amidst growing crime and the misuse of funds. The MIA control board recommended dismissing 12 high-ranking militia officers including the chief of the economic crime department, Anas Adiyev, the head of Tatarstan's internal affairs headquarters, Nurgayan Akbarov, and a number of directors of regional internal affairs headquarters. Safarov said the crime detection rate in Tatarstan in 1998 went down by 8 percent, with 603 murders left unsolved. Just 107 murders were unsolved at the end of 1996. Safarov also said he would impose stricter control over the disbursement of funds to militia officers.

Wage Arrears Burden In Yar Challi Unchanged
Republican television reports that doctors and technical workers in the Yar Challi city ambulance station have not receiving their regular salaries since last June, receiving instead periodic payments of 100 to 120 rubles. A number of doctors have left Yar Challi for Kazan, where the degree of wage arrears is not as severe. Hospitals in Yar Challi are also experiencing a serious shortage of medicines.

Compiled by I. Nurmi