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    UNITED RUSSIA'S SUPREME COUNCIL SHOULD FIRST DISCUSS LAWS, SHAIMIYEV BELIEVES

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    KAZAN, May 13 (RIA Novosti) - President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiyev, who is co-chairman of the Supreme Council of United Russia, expressed dissatisfaction that the laws, for which the party's faction votes in the State Duma (the lower house of the parliament), are not first discussed at its Supreme Council.

    "We want the history-making decisions for the country to be discussed first at the Supreme Council of the party, which should decide whether it supports the given initiative or not," Shaimiyev said at a press conference on Thursday.

    "At present, most State Duma deputies are representatives of the United Russia party and due to this they began adopting laws very quickly. This worries me as a co-chairman of the Supreme Council and not only me," the president of Tatarstan declared.

    Mr. Shaimiyev did not specify which laws adopted by the State Duma he meant.

    He told journalists he insists that tax on the extraction of minerals should be differentiated.

    "We hope that this differentiation will occur," he told journalists on Thursday.

    He estimated that Tatarstan's losses through the increased tax on the extraction of minerals will amount to 2, 600,000,000 roubles in 2005.

    The oil prices are growing throughout the world and this is good for Russia and not for Tatarstan. Only 5% of the oil extraction tax will remain in the republic, the rest will go to the federal budget," Mr. Shaimiyev said. He specified that the increased tax rates for the new and old deposits would make part of wells unprofitable.

    Mr. Shaimiyev declared that it was very important for the republic to retain the existing volumes of prospecting for oil and its financing from the federal budget.

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