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Polluting businesses should not be the 'paymaster' of environment protection officials | Updated: 2013-04-18 22:02

Local environment protection authorities' law enforcement capacity is weak because they depend on fining polluting businesses to help pay employees' salaries, which harms the local environment and people, says an article in Beijing Youth Daily:

Local officials told the media that some environment protection bureaus have to make ends meet by fining polluting businesses, which makes it difficult for them to protect the local environment.

It's really embarrassing that polluters pay the salaries of some environment protection officials, which may obviously influence environment protection authorities' effectiveness.

It's a dilemma for local authorities. On the one hand, they are responsible for punishing polluting businesses.

On the other hand, they depend on these businesses' fines to pay some staff salaries, which means they also "want" these businesses to discharge pollution so they can fine them for it.

This results in a vicious circle of pollution and fining, which only does harm to local environment and people.

The reason for this unhealthy phenomenon is that local environment protection authorities have so many employees that they have to make extra money to support them.

It is also related to an excessive focus on gross domestic product figures in some areas.

Some local officials give top priority to GDP growth despite the fact that it can result in serious pollution. They prefer to protect polluting businesses at the cost of the local environment and people's health, since these businesses play an important role in local economy.

Without solving these two major problems, it's hard for local environment protection authorities to be truly effective.

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