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China doubles allowance to needy people ahead of major festivals


13:13, December 16, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government will double the allowance to needy people from last year's level for the New Year's Day and Spring Festival, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs here Thursday.

An urban resident covered by the minimum living standard program will receive 300 yuan (48 U.S. dollars), while a rural resident in the same program will get 200 yuan, according to a ministry statement.

Those receiving state consolation funds and elderly people who joined the Communist Party of China before 1949 but are not covered by pension programs, will get 360 yuan each, the statement said.

The money will come from the central budget, and local governments are urged to strictly check the qualification of beneficiaries and improve the transparency of the distribution procedure.

The statement also warned local governments against embezzling and misusing the allowance money.

Local authorities are encouraged to provide assistance to other needy people ahead the Spring Festival, the most important traditional Chinese festival, which falls on Jan. 23 next year.

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