Taiwan has been handing out shopping vouchers to all its citizens in a bid to stimulate the island’s economy and shrug off the global downturn.
Some 22.7 million people, regardless of age, are eligible for vouchers worth $107 to spend on a wide range of goods.
People queued at distribution points around the country to get their vouchers on Sunday.
The initiative, set to cost the government $2.53bn, is based on a similar scheme in Japan in 1999.
Taiwan is suffering in the global downturn, hit by plunging exports and rising unemployment.
Supporters say the scheme will give the island’s ailing economy a shot in the arm. Vouchers must be spent by the end of September.
But critics have labelled the move a waste of money and point out that the government is having to borrow money to finance it.