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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 26, 1999

26 February 1999
Meeting on Inter-Budget Treaty Postponed
Tatarinform reported that a meeting of the Tatarstan and Russian governments' working groups on the inter-budget treaty has been postponed until 4 March. Geliy Kobelev, chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee of Tatarstan's State Council and member of the working group, told the news agency that the meeting, which was scheduled to take place on 25 February, was postponed not because of "strategic matters" or a desire to drag out the talks but for the "sake of convenience."

Kobelev said that at the earlier negotiations the Russian government insisted that the excises collected from Tatarstan's oil-exporting companies be transferred to the federal budget. It also proposed that the treaty be valid for only one year. Tatarstan, on the other hand, is insisting that the document be valid for five years because of the uncertainty associated with the upcoming presidential elections and the elections to the Russian State Duma. "The political and economic situation in Russia may change, and obviously, the new Russian authorities will not be eager to take responsibility for what was done by the present cabinet, Kobelev said.

Bugulma Trade Unions Reach Agreement With Employers, Local Administration
Trade unions, local administration, and the leading employers in Bugulma region signed an agreement improving social protection for local workers. Under the agreement, directors of the signatory companies will have their salaries frozen if a special commission discovers any wage arrears at their enterprises. In addition, employers are obliged to inform workers about lay-offs three months in advance.

10 Women Died At Work In 1998
According to Tatarstan's branch of the Russian State Inspection of Labor, 10 women died at the work place in Tatarstan last year. The most dangerous industries are reportedly chemicals and oil products. According to Tatarstan's State Committee of Statistics, last year 1,700 women were involved in hard physical labor, while 27,000 were working in conditions harmful to their health.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi