China will spend more than US$1.25 billion to rebuild wrecked houses, restore farms and help the poor pay for food and heat in areas affected by snowstorms, the AP reported. Damage to food production should heighten inflation currently at decade-high levels but the impact should be modest, officials said. Total damage from the weather has been estimated at US$15.5 billion, and the central government has allocated US$1.3 billion for relief work. The Ministry of Agriculture will provide farmers with US$19.5 million in assistance. Beijing has suspended import duties on diesel to cut trucking costs into disaster areas and materials imported for disaster relief will be duty-free.
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