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Taiwan citizens get vouchers to go shopping

  • Story Highlights
  • Malls flooded with shoppers
  • President Ma Ying-jeou picks up vouchers for all four members of his family
  • Voucher a combination of lunar New Year's gift and economic stimulus package
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TAIPEI, Taiwan (CNN) -- More than 90 percent of eligible Taiwan residents took up the government's offer of 3600 New Taiwan Dollars (USD $108) to go shopping, government officials said Monday.

People line up to receive $108 U.S. dollars worth of shopping vouchers in Taipei, Taiwan, on Sunday.

People line up to receive $108 U.S. dollars worth of shopping vouchers in Taipei, Taiwan, on Sunday.

Any of the island's 23 million men, women or children qualify for the money, a combination of a lunar New Year gift and economic stimulus package designed to pump about 86 billion ($2.6 billion U.S.) into the economy.

By Sunday night, 91.3 percent of eligible citizens had picked up their vouchers, and malls were flooded with shoppers, Interior Minister Liao Liou-yi said.

The vouchers are good through September. But one major retailer, the Carrefour chain, said its Sunday receipts were up about 30 percent from normal -- and with Chinese New Year just around the corner, many appeared ready to use the money for holiday groceries.

Even President Ma Ying-jeou picked up vouchers for all four members of his family, encouraging people to spread the use of the vouchers over days, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

Journalist Jonathan Lai contributed to this report.

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