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China allocates new subsidies to support spring farming

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BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Wednesday that it has earmarked 24.3 billion yuan (3.86 billion U.S. dollars) as subsidies for farmers to support the upcoming spring farming work.

The move aims to ensure that farmers' incomes will not be dragged down by recent oil price hikes and possible price rises for agricultural materials later this year, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The ministry urged local governments to distribute the subsidies to farmers before spring plowing in order to boost agricultural production.

The country on Tuesday raised gasoline and diesel prices by 600 yuan per tonne, the second hike in less than six weeks.

So far this year, the MOF has allocated 107.8 billion yuan in subsidies to help farmers buy agricultural materials such as equipment to plant seeds and reapers, an increase of nearly 30 percent year-on-year, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, the ministry said it has earmarked 67.4 billion yuan in oil subsidies for the fishery, forestry, public transport and taxi industries to minimize the impact of oil price rises on the sectors' earnings.

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