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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 25, 1998

25 November 1998
Tatar-Indian Relations To Be Boosted
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev met with Indian Trade Minister Ramakrishna Khegde on 24 November in New Delhi, Tatarinform agency reported. Both Shaimiev and Khegde agreed that bilateral trade of $560,000 between India and the Republic of Tatarstan was unsatisfactory.

The Tatar delegation said it intends to develop economic cooperation with India by establishing direct ties between the KamAZ and Hyundai-India car companies. Negotiations are also being held on the export of Tatar-made Mi-172 helicopters, oil products, and passenger boats to India.

Public Auction For Tatincom Shares Fails
In early October, the government of Tatarstan intended to sell 75 percent of its shares in the Tatincom Company (the major provider of mobile communications in the republic) to the TAIF company. One week after this information was made public, Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov signed a decree calling for a public auction of a controlling share in Tatincom, the republican press reported. The main condition of the auction was a payment of $40 million, the partial price of the shares, in 105 days from the date of purchase. The terms of this auction were declared unaffordable by the Tatar Commission on Valuables and by the administration of Tatincom.

The main companies that intended to take part in the auction -- TAIF, Vimpelcom (Moscow), Ericsson and Israeli Clal Trading -- have withdrawn their claims to participate in the bidding.

A governmental commission is expected to announce new conditions for the auction.

Restructuring Of Railroad In Bugulma To Result In Layoffs
A federal Transport Ministry decision will result in the removal of the locomotives at the railroad station in Bugulma, the republican press reported. Railroad transport will therefore be transferred to larger stations in other parts of Russia. The technical workers at the station in Bugulma have protested the decision, which will leave them jobless and with little help to find other work.

The Bugulma city administration sent a letter to Tatar President Shaimiev asking for his support in overturning the decision by the Transport Ministry. Railroad station workers say they will not block the tracks to protest the decision but will await the result of negotiations between Shaimiev and the Transport Ministry. An estimated 400 families will be affected by the expected layoffs.

Tap Water In Kazan Impure
A republican inspection of the water in the Tatar capital of Kazan on 23 November found that 30 percent of it contained undesirable elements. Though the impurities were declared not to be harmful to people's health.

Compiled by I.Nurmi