The country's Cabinet has ordered all central government bodies
to use environmentally friendly cars and banned the private use of
official cars, in continued efforts to cut down on pollution.
A circular issued last week by the Government Office
Administration of the State Council ordered the use of "economical,
energy-saving, environmentally friendly and domestically
"All units should tighten the regulation of cars and cut down
the size of the fleet to a controlled scale. The number of
automobiles should not be increased unless a new department is
formed," it stated.
It stated that cars violating pollution standards should be
removed from service by the end of the year.
High-emission cars should also be replaced before June next
year, the circular ordered.
The circular told all officials to "strictly abide by"
regulations on car use and be first movers in the use of domestic,
low-emission, economical and manual-transmission cars.
"Except for special needs, all units, in principle, should not
use off-road vehicles," it said.
Official vehicles were not to be used in private business or
leased for commercial purposes, the circular warned.
It said that using seniority to gain the use of government cars
owned by lower-level departments, or accepting vehicle donations
from private firms, were both banned.
Government departments were told not to purchase cars on their
own without central government approval.
The notice urged departments to use cars more efficiently and
use more public transport outside of Beijing.
It asked all departments to standardize driving rules to
conserve gasoline, with a goal of cutting usage by about 20 percent
by the end of 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency November 26, 2007)