If tractors become scrap, who profits from it?
13/06/2005, Daniel Shemratov
Tyulkubas district, South Kazakhstan region, regularly provides some scandal for the public.
Now it appears that a big VIP of the district wrote off a school tractor as metal scrap.
The pre-history of the conflict is the following: a very real tractor was on the balance sheet of a Tyulkubas secondary school named after M. Lermontov for several years.
The tractor was maintained in an ideal working condition thanks to efforts of the school administration and district authorities and it was used at practical lessons for senior pupils.
Having experienced machine operators as pedagogues, its own tractor testing ground, and a training farm, the school was successfully practicing courses for machine operators, and as a result its graduates were acquiring a category of tractor driver apart from the diploma. Which for many rural boys is just equal to a University diploma in its importance.
Briefly, the tractor worked for the sake of the kids and nobody had any complaints about it. However, late last year the school received an unexpected message - the tractor was taken away from the school property and transferred to the balance sheet of the district administration.
On the same day the tractor left the school garage in the company of two administration employees. Only an agricultural tractor plough remained, but soon Kairat Mendybayev, deputy governor of the district, arrived to take it away in person.
Teachers and pupils, realising that the tractor had to be needed for some more important state interests resigned themselves to that loss. But on the same spring the tractor resurfaced on the fields ploughing the land for private persons for rent. Naturally, a question arose - had the district administration really started to lend the public property? District deputies started to investigate the matter and soon it appeared that as soon as the tractor was registered as a property of the district administration, it was immediately recognised as useless and written off as scrap.
The same deputy governor K. Mendybayev signed the decision of the liquidation commission that wrote off the tractor. The administration documents also had a reference paper from "Kazvtorchermet" that the tractor was received as scrap.
In reality employees from the district branch of "Kazvtorchermet" were surprised to hear that an entire tractor was supposedly received by them in winter from the deputies. The reaction of "Kazvtorchermet" employees was unambiguous - we have neither ever received any tractor nor signed any reference paper about it.
In private conversations "Kazvtorchermet" employees actually said that during their whole history they received something similar to a tractor only once (because it was really too deficient). But even then the whole village managed to restore it and this tractor is still working. So nobody would send a currently operating school tractor, which is too well familiar to our peasants, for remelting.
However, the reality itself was disproving the assumption that the tractor was supposedly remelted - by the fact that the transport was ploughing land very well.
A young tractor driver honestly confessed that he was a waged worker and he did not actually care who was the real owner of the tractor. Although rumours have it that Kairat Mendybayev, deputy governor of the district, is the owner.
When a rumour of the scandal started to spread, the tractor was returned to the school right away. Although the teacher of labour Ibrahim Ismailov right after a checkup only shook his head in disbelief:
- The tractor was away from our school for only half year. But now it is practically unusable. Many spare parts are lacking and the available ones have been worn out by 40-50 per cent. Quite big money will be needed to restore the machine.
Nevertheless, the school is determined to repair its property.
And now law enforcement authorities started to take interest in this story. The investigation must establish for whom it was profitable to write off the operating tractor as scrap.