All Over the Globe

New Tax Code of Kazakhstan to be Approved


ASTANA, Jan 20


On April 1, 2000 the bill of the new Tax Code of Kazakhstan is to be submitted to the Parliament for consideration, the deputy of the Prime Minister Yerzhan Utembaev announced at a press conference in Astana.

According to Utembaev, the above-mentioned bill is expected to come into force from January 1, 2001.

To improve the tax legislation at present the intergovernmental commission headed by Utembaev, as well as the expert council work in the government.

The new Tax Code will consist of three parts: the general, special and juridical ones, Utembaev states.

Russians claim Grozny square, general captured

GROZNY, Russia, Jan 20 (AFP)

Russian troops took control of a central square in Grozny Thursday as they widened their hold on the heart of the Chechen capital despite the capture of a general by rebel forces.

Russian officers in Grozny identified the commander only as General Malafeyev, saying his first name was not immediately known. It was unclear whether the commander was dead or alive.

The capture was confirmed by top warlord Shamil Basayev, who said on rebel television that the general was seized in Grozny on Wednesday and was now being questioned in a secret location outside the besieged city.

Russian officials in Moscow refused to comment on the report, which would represent a serious loss to federal forces since a previous operation to storm Grozny began Sunday, resulting in heavy casualties.

Soldiers said the fiercest clashes raged in central Grozny�s Minutka Square, which pro-Moscow Chechen commander Bislan Gantamirov claimed was now under complete federal control.

His statement however was contradicted by soldiers who fought in the area on Thursday. They said the strategic junction was surrounded by federal troops but still remained in Chechen hands.

One interior ministry intelligence soldier who visited the scene said Chechen rebels allowed the Russians to approach the strategic square before showering them with artillery and sniper fire.

�They let us in, and then start destroying us,� the soldier told AFP. �They cut us off from our support � this happens all the time.�

The seizure of Minutka Square would allow Russians to secure access to the heart of Grozny from their heavily-fortified positions on the city�s southeast.

Basayev in his television address said that separatist fighters had lost 55 men since Sunday and that 60 were left wounded.

He denied that federal troops had on several occasions already reached the very heart of Grozny. Basayev said Russian progress never exceeded more than a few hundred meters on all other sides.

It was unclear where Basayev�s message was recorded. Reports say the feared Chechen warlord has already left the city and now was based in the separatist republic�s southern mountains.

Most rebels have also established their bases there. Russian warplanes have steadily intensified their raids in an effort to flush out the rebels from the mountains, with more than 200 sorties recorded over the last 24 hours.

Another 300 Russian soldiers were also sent in as reinforcements to the foot of the mountains where ground battles rage and into Grozny, Interfax reported.

Russian sources conceded that the fighting was deadly and difficult, although they reported only four killed in the past day.

One soldier said Russian forces were frequently coming under so-called �friendly fire� during the operation�s mayhem.

�Most of the wounded that I have seen here (in southern Grozny) got hurt either through their own stupidity or were hit by Russian grenade fire,� one soldier said.

�I will never forget how one guy lost his leg because he was hit by a grenade fired by someone standing next to him. Those guys get drunk and start shooting at everything in sight,� he said. �These are the realities of this war.�

Federal troops near Grozny have told AFP that Russian generals no longer reveal casualty figures even to their own direct subordinates. Soldiers complain that casualties are being under-reported in an effort not to turn public opinion against the war.

Senior Russian General Vadim Timchenko told ITAR-TASS that Chechen snipers presented the gravest danger to the Russians, noting that the rebels had built �multi-layered fortresses� in Grozny out of the buildings that have survived the air and artillery onslaught.

Snipers who closely follow the movement of Russian troops around Grozny are holed up in the top floors of the city�s buildings and are supported by rocket launcher fire delivered at federal troops from below.

Timchenko said the Russians were now in control of Grozny�s canning and milk factories � both the site of intense close-range shootouts over the past four days.

He added that federal forces were still in control of the Grozny railroad station.

The Deputy Prime Minister Sums up the Results


ASTANA, Jan 20


On Thursday at a press conference held in Astana the government Prime Utembaev announced that in 1999 the national budget had been fulfilled by 94%, according to the preliminary data.

According to Utembaev, the final results in 1999 will be announced at the press conference of the Finance Minister Mazhit Yesenbaev that is to be held soon.

If we refer to the government�s press release, in the last year the Kazakhstani national budget gained taxes and other obligatory payments in the amount of 394 billion 772 million 658 thousand tenge, when it was expected to earn 427 billion 706 million 176 thousand tenge.

The difference in the budget revenues was observed in the following articles: the leasing fee for the Baikonur space-vehicle launching site that was not paid by Russia and privatization of the state property, Utembaev said.

The projected plan was overfulfiled due to tax and non-tax deductions that are in the competence of the Ministry of State Revenues (MSR).

We remind you that for the previous year the national budget earned 344 billion 161 million tenge (i.e. 101.3% of the projected figure) of tax and non-tax payments (except the leasing fee for Baikonur, which is out of the MSR competence).

The deputy of the Minister empathized �a very high� level of tax and non-tax collections by the MSR. In December the daily collection came to US$ 13 to 14 million. This was three times more than the budget daily gained in February and March, Utembaev stated.

The deputy also said that in 1999 the growth of GNP of Kazakhstan was 1.7%, of the industrial production � 2.2%, of the agriculture � over 27%. The annual inflation was 17.8%. In 2000 they plan to keep the annual inflation within 9%.

Besides, according to Utembaev, for 20 days of this year, the inflation was 1.4 to 1.5%.

The deputy of the Minister expects to achieve �high economic indices� in the first quarter 2000, if positive trends of the last quarter of 1999 are the same. He refers to the fact that at present they fulfill 130 to 160% of the plan by some kinds of taxes.

All Over the Globe is published by IPA House.
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