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China issues public cemeteries service standard


08:21, April 03, 2013

BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Civil Affairs has issued China's first service standard for public cemeteries to better regulate an industry that faces increasing pressure with China's ageing society.

The standard for service reception, the production of graves, their maintenance and tomb sweeping will be effective soon, said the ministry's spokesman on Tuesday.

Cemetery workers should make on-the-spot introduction to customers of the location of graves, procedures involved in service and fees charged. They are also required to specify the quality commitment as well as after-sale services, according to the standard.

Ethnic conventions and religious beliefs must be fully respected during funerals. Workers should also make regular patrols to ensure the safety of graves and surrounding areas, the standard said.

It added that no charges should be made for repairing graves.

The standard was published ahead of Tomb-sweeping Day, which falls on April 4. During this traditional holiday, the Chinese pay respects to deceased family members with tributes involving burning incense and paper money.

As Chinese society ages, the growing number of deaths means the country has more need for cemeteries. However, the industry of public cemeteries faces problems such as no special budgets, imperfect laws and regulations, and difficulties in operation and maintenance, according to a report on Chinese funeral development published last week.

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