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Subsidies Given to Businesses Affected in Lhasa Unrest

Shop owners who suffered losses in the March 14 riot in Lhasa will receive monthly living allowances from the government, sources with the regional civil affairs authorities said on Thursday.

Xu Jianzhong, deputy director of the regional civil affairs department, said that by Wednesday, 180 people from 51 households had received their allowances for March and April.

"Some of the people had nothing left after the riot. We are trying to help and give them a little support, but it would still take some time for them to restore what they had," he said.

The monthly allowance of 260 yuan, which is equal to the minimum living allowance in the Tibetan capital, will be given to the riot-affected businesses from March this year to February 2010.

Over the same period, owners of the damaged shops will be exempted from business and corporate income taxes, urban maintenance and construction taxes, the Tibetan government said last week.

Xu added that plans are being drafted to help cover the medical expenses of those injured in the violence.

The deadly unrest that hit Lhasa on March 14 has left seven schools, five hospitals and 120 homes torched and 908 shops looted. Total damage was more than 244 million yuan.

A total of 18 innocent civilians and one police officer died, in addition to 382 injured civilians and 241 policemen.

(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2008)

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