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Business / Green China

N China govt denies air pollution fees

By ZHENG JINRAN in Shijiazhuang (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2013-11-26 22:06

The Anguo government in Hebei province denied on Tuesday that every resident has been charged an extra 100 yuan ($16) to help control air pollution.

The money, it said, represents a charge for dealing with household garbage and other services.

The new fee is for garbage, sewage and sanitation services, and the price was based on existing laws and regulations in the province, it said.

According to a report released on Tuesday on hebnews.cn, a news website in the province, an Anguo resident complained that many families were charged an additional 100 yuan even after paying their property management fees. According to the report, they were told that the money was for controlling air pollution.

An official from the city confirmed the fee with the website on Monday, saying it was levied in November. Regardless of room sizes, every household in the city will pay 100 yuan. Anguo’s population reached 390,000 in 2010.

How the money will be allocated has not been decided, the city said.

Meanwhile, the news has become a hot topic as people have reacted to what they thought was a charge for air pollution. Many questioned why individuals should pay the costs of reducing air pollution since the central government will allocate 5 billion yuan ($821 million) for it.

The departments that levied the new charges, including the housing department, say they will disclose details after they finish their investigation on Tuesday.

Zhao Zhiyue contributed to this story.

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