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Tibet offers free insurance for residents, clergy

(Xinhua)

09:25, November 02, 2012

LHASA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The government of Tibet Autonomous Region recently initiated a social security program to offer free life and accident insurance for all local residents and clergy, a government source said on Thursday.

Under the program, the government will earmark 44 million yuan (about 7 million U.S. dollars) each year to cover its urban and rural residents as well as registered monks and nuns, said Xiao Houguo, a social security official with the autonomous region's financial department.

The program, which has been in operation since Oct. 18, will give each beneficiary up to 50,000 yuan in case of casualties with an annual premium of 11.5 yuan, which will be paid by the government, according to Xiao.

The premium will also provide an additional health insurance of up to 10,000 yuan.

With the increasing mobility of Tibetan residents as a result of economic and social development, accidents and cases of disease are also on the rise, while clergy in the monasteries are particularly vulnerable to such risks, Xiao said.

The insurance will help Tibetan residents and clergy raise their capability in coping with accidents, according to the official.

"The move by the Tibetan government indicates that Tibetan people are enjoying a more optimized social security system that has so far covered pensions, health, unemployment, occupational injury and maternity," Xiao added.

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