12 heavy polluters punished under new 'green-credit' policy

Updated: 2007-11-16 13:50

BEIJING - Twelve heavy polluting enterprises have had crucial bank loans recalled, suspended or rejected as China's new "green-credit policy" kicks into action, Friday's China Youth Daily reports.

The report fell short of naming the companies but outlined several cases of which one involved a brewery in east China's Anhui Province whose application for a 10-million-yuan bank loan was rejected due to continued violations in waste-water discharge.

In another case, a power company in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, had its bank loans recalled after it failed to pass an environmental assessment.

The 12 companies were among the 30 the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) reported to the People's Bank of China and the China Banking Regulatory Commission in July this year.

"The purpose of this move is to force enterprises to pay the price for environmental violations," the newspaper quoted an SEPA official as saying.

China's enterprises are only subject to a maximum 100,000 yuan (about US$13,500) fine for environmental violations, according to Chinese law.

"Compared with the economic benefits of illegally discharging pollutants, this kind of financial punishment is just a drop in the bucket for these enterprises," the official said.

In July, SEPA, the central bank and the banking regulators jointly issued a "green-credit policy", which required SEPA to hand over lists of heavy polluters to the central bank and the regulatory commission.

The companies on the list that fail to pass environmental assessments or to implement China's environmental protection regulations are disqualified from receiving loans from any bank or financial institution.

Companies that already have loans, but are later discovered to have violated environmental protection regulations, will have their loans recalled, according to the policy.

The SEPA has said it would join with the Ministry of Finance, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission to devise other economic policies to promote environmental protection.

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