China allocates $16b to subsidize the poor

Updated: 2013-07-09 18:40


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BEIJING - The central government has allocated 98.77 billion yuan ($15.98 billion) this year to fund the country's subsistence allowance system to promote social equity and justice.

The money is an increase of 12.9 percent, or 11.27 billion yuan, from 2012, the Ministry of Finance said Tuesday. Some 48.14 billion yuan will be used to fund urban subsistence allowances while rural recipients will receive 50.63 billion yuan.

Official data showed that at the end of 2012, there were 21.425 million urban recipients and 53.41 million rural recipients of subsistence allowances. The average payment for urban and rural recipients was 3,960 yuan and 2,068 yuan per person per year respectively.

China's subsistence allowances, set up in the late 1990s, are handed out by the government to residents with per capita household incomes below the local minimum subsistence level. It effectively guarantees the basic living expenses of disadvantaged rural and urban families.