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环境保护税(huánjìng băohù shuì): Environmental protection tax

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-01 07:20

At a recent meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the nation's top legislature, Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei introduced the draft of the Environmental Protection Tax Law.

Currently the State collects cleanup fees from enterprises that discharge pollutants for others to treat, and there have long been calls for reforming the fees into a tax framework with stricter standards.

According to the draft, the tax will mainly target air pollutants, water pollutants, solid waste and noise pollution. It was planned that carbon dioxide would be included, too, but the draft does not include CO2.

It was in Europe that environmental protection taxes first emerged. Such taxes increase the operating costs of polluting enterprises so as to discourage capital from investing in high-polluting industries.

However, there are those who oppose such taxes. Some claim the collection of an environmental protection tax "legalizes" pollution, because the polluting enterprises think they have purchased the right to pollute.

Therefore even if the environmental protection tax becomes law, there need to be strict environmental standards, and the enterprises with excessive pollution should be punished, even held responsible if their pollution is as serious as a criminal offense. Only with joint measures can pollution be curbed.

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