China issues 6.6 bln yuan in subsidies to offset price hike amid COVID-19

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China has issued over 6.6 billion yuan (about 937.5 million U.S. dollars) worth of price-linked temporary monthly subsidies since the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the well-being of those living in difficulties, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Friday.

Temporary monthly subsidies in relation to price increase have so far totaled 16.5 billion yuan, said NDRC official Peng Shaozong at a press conference.

To mitigate inflation-induced impacts on those living in difficulties, the NDRC also decided to double the temporary monthly subsidy from March to June and expand its coverage to benefit additionally eight million people.

The central government announced on March 31 that the temporary monthly subsidy would be doubled under the mechanism of raising social benefits pro rata with the price increase, as part of efforts to intensify support for the livelihood of low-income groups amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 4.3 percent year on year in March, moderating from the 5.2-percent growth in February, official data showed. 

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