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China to subsidize seniors over 80: official says

02-26-2011 19:19 BJT

KUNMING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese over 80 years old would be eligible for receiving a special monthly allowance from local governments, China's civil affairs minister said Saturday.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs would bolster such a policy across the country on the basis of trial practice in some regions, minister Li Liguo said at a national conference on ageing held Friday and Saturday in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Li, deputy director of China's National Committee on Ageing, added that the government should also subsidize low-income and other disadvantaged elders in obtaining nursing services in institutions, communities or at home.

Moreover, Li called on his colleagues to coordinate and promote China's general social security, social aid and welfare network to benefit all seniors.

Based on Li's forecast, the number of Chinese older than 80 is expected to reach 24 million by 2015.

However, the country has not prepared itself for the ageing problem in terms of policy, theory or strategy, according to Li's colleague in the committee Chen Chuanshu who called for more input into relevant research.

Chen noted that although there had been more than 700,000 mass organizations for senior citizens, the seniors' participation in social activities remained "fairly low" in urban areas.

Since January 2009, the provincial government of Yunnan has issued allowances of 240 yuan to 600 yuan per person a month to seniors above 80 years old. A total of 598,000 old people benefited from the policy in 2010.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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