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Tibet grants loans to affected businessmen in March violence
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The Tibet government has granted 98.37 million yuan (about 14.5 million U.S. dollars) of loans to businessmen affected in the March 14 violence, according to the region's financial department.

The Tibet regional government has offered a series of preferential policies connected to taxes, loans, living allowances and reemployment to help business people restore their business.

The Yishion clothing store, a retail outlet where five female sales staff were burned to death in the riot, was the first one to obtain a loan, 1 million yuan, from the government. With this help, it was reopened on May 1.

"The store runs well now," said the manager Tang Qingyan. "We lost more than 1.8 million yuan in the disaster. Now, some of the loss has been covered."

The financial department has confirmed 1,216 vendors sustained damage from the riot. As of July 31, 188 affected vendors had got loans and 273 of them had had their applications accepted, involving 129.5 million yuan.

By now, 90 percent of the affected businesses have been reopened in Lhasa.

The Shuxin Group, which lost 21 million yuan in the riot, was trying to apply for a loan.

"Normal order is resuming, we are confident of the business prospect in Lhasa," said Dawa Cering, chairman of the board of directors of the group.

The March 14 violence led to the deaths of at least 18 civilians and one policeman. It also left 382 civilians and 241 police injured, businesses looted and residences, shops and vehicles torched, causing more than 200 million yuan in loss.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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