Vice Finance Minister Zhu Zhigang said on Tuesday that China had offered a total of 8.48 billion yuan (over US$1 billion) in oil price subsidies to the disadvantaged including grain growers, fishermen and taxi drivers.
Addressing a national meeting for officials from central and provincial finance departments the vice-minister urged local departments to deliver the subsidies to the various sectors including those involved in public transport.
China raised the price of processed oil twice in the first five months of this year. Following a price hike last March the price was raised again by over 10 percent on May 24.
China's net oil import in 2005 totaled 136 million tons which is about 42.9 percent of its total requirement.
The country has to balance any increases with assistance to those communities and sectors vulnerable to higher oil prices on the international market.
(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2006)