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China mulls tax on disposable products: official
By Guan Xiaomeng (Chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2005-11-24 09:35

Sources from the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) say that people using disposable products that are resource-draining and polluting may have to pay a consumption tax.

A garbage cart collects disposable chopsticks. Disposable chopsticks have become one of the top sources of resource drain and pollution.

An SAT official released the news when projecting the 11th Five Year Plan for taxation reform at the 2005 China Finance and Taxation Forum, which opened November 19.

The official said the tax would be levied on disposable products including disposable chopsticks, canteens (paper and plastic food containers), and baby diapers.

Xie Xuren, administrator of the SAT, said resource conservation has been listed as one of the state policies in the 11th Five Year Plan and the taxation on disposable products is an effort to carry out the policy to build a conservation-minded and environmentally friendly society.

According to the administrator, the taxation reform includes the enhanced taxation on disposed materials and comprehensive resource use and the creation of policies that encourage energy conservation.

Considered as ¡°green taxation,¡± these environmental protecting taxations are being adopted by more and more courtiers. Now in some European Union countries, tax is levied on nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide discharge.

Experts hailed the ¡°green taxation.¡± ¡°The tax can be levied once the products leave the factory so the consumption tax can be paid in the form of price,¡± said Professor Zhu Qing and An Tifu from Renmin University. People will likely noy use disposable chopsticks if the chopsticks¡¯ price rises.

However, Professor Zhu Qing warned that problems might arise in disposable chopsticks taxation, such as the lack of a clear definition of disposable chopsticks.

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