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China to launch quake-relief lottery: report

world Updated: May 23, 2008 09:55 IST

AFP
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China will launch a national lottery to raise money for earthquake relief and rescue work, state media said on Friday.

The lottery will "be launched quickly in all regions" once the plan gets approval from the State Council, or cabinet, the Beijing Times quoted the Minister of Civil Affairs, Li Xueju, as saying.

All money earned will be used in relief and reconstruction projects, he said.

Lotteries are a lucrative business for the Chinese government. It issued 363 billion yuan (52 billion dollars) worth of lottery tickets in 2006, according to previous state media reports said.

Li also said compensation of 5,000 yuan (around 720 dollars) for the family of each person who died in the May 12 earthquake must be handed out as quickly as possible, the Beijing Times reported.

More than 80,000 people were left dead or missing by the magnitude-8.0 earthquake that struck Sichuan province on May 12, with more than 5.47 million others left homeless.