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China mulls 'green tax' to help cut emissions
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The Chinese government is looking into the possibility of imposing "green tax", an environmental tax for polluters, to cut their emissions, Pan Yue, deputy minister of environmental protection, said on Friday.

Several government agencies have organized an inter-ministerial team and brought together experts to come up with a research paper on environmental taxes, according to the official.

Pan, however, did not give details of the scope of the tax or when the policy would come into effect, Saturday's China Daily reported.

The team is also studying the feasibility of levying environment-related fees, policies of ecological compensation and setting up a trade model for emissions, he said at a forum on new environment policies for ensuring sustainable development in China.

To tackle environmental woes in the past decades, the ministry has been working with banks, insurers and commerce authorities on policies to accelerate the growth of clean industries and firms, while banning or discouraging those that consume more energy or discharge more pollutants.

The taxation authorities had taken up advice from the ministry to cut tax rebates for exports of more than 50 categories of high energy-consumption products in June last year. The move lowered the exports of the products by 40 percent last year.

The major challenge in environmental protection lies in combining efforts of the administrative, economic and legislative departments toward the cause.

(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2008)

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