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Proposal drafted for environmental protection
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-14 11:17

Industry experts, scholars and officials are pushing the central government to enhance economic leverages in boosting environmental protection and energy-efficiency.

They will expect a nod from a top decider by the end of the year, they said.

"We have finished the initial proposal to improve China's pricing, taxation and financial policies on the environmental issues after 18 months research, and will submit the written proposal to the State Council in November," said Ma Zhong, team leader of Task Force on Environmental and Natural Resources Pricing and Taxation under China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development (CCICED).

CCICED is a high-level non-government advisory body to the country's top policy planners to address the important and urgent issues in China's environment which affect economic development.

Its members include the Chinese Government's ministry and vice-ministry level officials, international experts and scholars.

The proposal worked out by the research team aims to effectively improve the environmental protection and secure the sustainable development of the country's soaring economy, through intensified pricing and taxation measures, Ma - also a professor at China Renmin University in environmental studies - told a workshop to disseminate the proposal organized by CCICED on Friday.

The proposal suggests establishing a special account in the central government's financial budget for environmental protection projects and activities to ensure long-term stable spending on environmental issues.

The pricing of products and services that affect the ecological environment should be based on the complete cost assessment including the spending on environmental protection, according to the proposal. That indicates the companies concerned should pay a higher price for their activities which may have some impact on the environment, said experts.

Other aspects including the implementation of environment tax and centralized management of environmental-protection funds by the central government, were also stressed by Ma.

China's transfer from a pro-active fiscal policy to a prudent one this year renders a helping hand to consolidating economic measures in environmental protection, as in the policy changes, the government vows to intensify funding to harmonize the fast-expanding economy with improved ecological environment, Ma said.

A bunch of ideas in the proposal were given praise by experts and government officials attending Friday's workshop, while some were thrown out by critics.

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