SHENZHEN -- China may bring in
a environmental tax as widespread pollution could hold back the country's
continued economic growth, reported Wednesday's Southern Daily.
"The country will gradually levy environment tax when conditions are ripe,"
Mao Rubai, chairman of the Environment and Resources Committee of the National
People's Congress or parliament, was quoted as saying at a workshop in this
south China city.
The government only takes into account production cost and sometimes the
scarcity of resources when setting prices, but often neglects environmental
costs, he said adding those who pollute will pay the tax.
Experts warn that an environmental crisis may threaten to wipe out China's
gains made during three decades of rapid economic growth. China's sulphur
dioxide emission in 2005 amounted to more than 25.5 million tons, 27 percent
more than in 2000.
Air quality in nearly half of China's cities was moderately or seriously
polluted and 10 million hectares, or a tenth of the country's arable land, is
A preliminary draft law on establishing an economy based on recycling was
discussed by about 300 delegates from governments, legislatures, enterprises,
non-governmental organizations and academic circles last month.
Designed to offer a legal framework for sustainable development, the law
includes provisions on resource exploitation and conservation, waste recovering
and recycling and sustainable consumption.
More than 10 provinces and municipalities in China have already promulgated
local regulations promoting recycling.
Mao said that formulating an effective economic policy such as collecting an
environment tax is critical.