China started taking new administrative policies on New Year's Day, including two regulations on car fuel levy and road policing which are expected to mostly affect drivers.
In a circular to all localities last month, the State Council, or Cabinet, said the government decided to levy a fixed sales tax, or 0.8 yuan (US$0.12), on per liter of motor vehicle fuel, which offsets car owners' previous annual payment for road maintenance, beginning Jan. 1, 2009.
The money collected would go for road and water routes maintenance, the government said.
Also effective as of the New Year's Day is the revised norms for traffic police patrolling, which asks police to be lenient to drivers who slightly violate traffic rules and cause little damage.
The government requires the China Insurance Regulatory Commission to publicize certain information on administrative procedures, punishment verdicts, state-approved insurance terms and premium rates, according to a new rule on the release of government information.
A lawyer registration regulation allows Taiwan lawyers to practice legal business in the Chinese mainland if they pass certificate tests for lawyers in China and meet other requirements.
The new law on promoting recycling economy prohibits local governments to dismantle buildings that meet the standards for urban planning and construction and are in the "life span" except for immediate needs of public interest.
It also requires government departments to take a lead in using energy- and water-saving products and those that are conducive to environmental protection.
(Xinhua News Agency January 1, 2009)