by Nathan Hamm on 8/15/2006 · 1 comment

B137Tatarstan is suffering from a very serious problem. In July, new legislation required individuals to obtain licenses for selling alcohol. Faced with high costs and complex bureaucracy, many merchants chose to simply stop selling the most common cure for boring village life. Enter Tatarstan Pochtasi.

According to official figures, three major districts now have no shops at all and a further five have almost none.

With the competition wiped out, the director-general of Tatarstan Pochtasi, Olga Kuznetsova, sensed a chance to make a killing. “We have 58 shops and we are selling alcohol in 24 of those,” she says. “When we have shops, they sell everything: milk, bread, and alcohol.”

In the long term, the post office says it plans to extend alcohol sales to 1,058 of its outlets in 44 districts of Tatarstan.

What is a postal service doing selling alcohol and food? It would appear that Tatarstan Pochtasi successfully privatized. This might allow the postal service to get a monopoly on the legal sale of alcohol in most of Tatarstan, but the Alcohol Inspectorate says that they are the only legal entity with the ability to sell alcohol throughout all of Tatarstan. And, as RFE/RL reports, this will only make the post office more vital an institution in Tatar villages.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

Brian August 15, 2006 at 8:54 pm

Vodka at the post office. Now that’s the first sensible idea I’ve heard all week.

BTW, I like that Soviet kitch Stolichnaya label, I wish they had that on their bottles.

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