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China's funeral industry accused of robbing the living to bury the dead (3)

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09:59, April 05, 2010

GOVERNMENT ACTION

A report released by the MCA on April 2 says the country spent 399 million yuan subsidizing the funeral services of 924,000 deceased people.

About 132 million low-income Chinese are eligible for subsidies or remissions of funeral costs, the report said.

In South China's Shenzhen City, poorer residents can have basic funeral services for free. The municipal government also puts flowers, urns, coffins and other funeral products out to tender to ensure fair pricing, says Zhen Xiaoxia an official with the city's civil affairs department.

Shenzhen is also pioneering ecological funerals. The ashes of 32,251 dead people have been scattered at sea since 1998, Zhen says.

The city also launched a tree burial project in 2008. The ashes of 122 people have been buried under banyan trees, Zhen says.

Source: Xinhua

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