The Chinese government set aside 300 million yuan (43.9 million U.S. dollars) to help farmers who lost money during the country's contaminated milk powder scandal, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Thursday.
According to the MOF, subsidies will mainly go to dairy farmers who suffered financial losses after disposing of raw milk in five major dairy-production provinces of Hebei, Liaoning, Shanxi, Shandong and Henan as well as Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
There has been no official figure on just how much money dairy farmers in the country had lost. However, an estimate released by the industry research institute of Shenyin & Wanguo Securities, said right after the scandal was exposed, Chinese farmers lost about 30 million yuan a day because no one was buying their raw milk.
The MOF also said it would act in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture to distribute the 300 million yuan which will come from the central treasury.
The government enacted the subsidies to help reduce farmer's losses and to maintain development of China's dairy industry, the MOF said.
Both ministries issued notices urging local governments to use the emergency funds in a transparent way.
(Xinhua News Agency October 9, 2008)