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Elderly Tibet monks, nuns gets pension allowance

(Xinhua)

08:46, March 14, 2012

LHASA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- All monks and nuns in Tibet aged over 60 will get a basic pension allowance from this year as local authorities move to ensure their quality of life.

Thirty-seven monks at a major monastery in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, received the government-funded basic pension on Monday afternoon, an official with the city's human resources and social security bureau said Tuesday.

It's the first time in the 1,300-year history of Tibetan Buddhism that the clergies get a pension allowance from local government, said Doje Namgyai, head of the bureau's rural insurance department.

Each clergy member aged over 60 in Tibet can now get a basic pension of 120 yuan per month without having to pay any premiums, said Doje Namgyai.

"We used to live only on the temple's earnings and believers' donations. But now, with the pension allowance, our life can be better," said Changchub, an elderly monk at the Sera Monastery.

"This has never happened before in history! It can help to get rid of the worries over the livelihood among elderly clergies," he said.

Around 1,900 monks and nuns across Tibet will receive the basic pension this year, according to Lhasa's human resources and social security bureau.

The sum of the pension more than doubled the 55 yuan paid each month to senior citizens in Tibet's rural regions.

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