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China gives one-off living allowance to poor people before Lunar New Year

January 26, 2009

    BEIJING, Jan. 24, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Governments of various levles throughout China have given allowances to poor people to relieve the impact of a sluggish economy on their daily life as the Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches.
 
    The central government has allocated more than 9 billion yuan (1.3 billion U.S. dollars) to 74 million low-income people both in urban and rural areas.
 
    Low-income urban residents could get 150 yuan each and those in the rural areas could get 100 yuan each. The standard of low-income resident differs in different cities.
 
    China's GDP growth fell to 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, dragging down the pace of expansion for all of 2008 to a seven-year-low of 9 percent.
 
    The one-off subsidy could help the low-income tier get through the traditional Spring Festival, which falls on Jan. 26.
 
    "We can have a happy New Year thanks to the subsidy," said Yangzom, an elderly Tibetan woman, after receiving 800 yuan living allowance from the government. Her family of four received 3,200 yuan in total.
 
    The Tibet Autonomous Regional government handed out 800 yuan in cash or coupons to each of the 37,026 low-income urban residents and 31,375 retired workers of the state-owned enterprises.
 
    Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality has discharged 323 million yuan subsidy to 1.96 million low-income residents.
 
    China's affluent coastal Guangdong Province are giving more subsidies. In Dongguan, the low-income residents could get 150 yuan subsidy from the government, an extra monthly living allowance from the provincial government and 100 yuan from the municipal government.
 
    In the northern port city of Tianjin, low-income residents has also enjoyed a 500 yuan subsidy from the government.
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