UPI reported that a Chinese government official has signaled that tougher taxes on the use of resources and on emissions would be imposed so the country can achieve greener industrial development.
Writing in China's Qiushi magazine, Vice Premier Mr Ma Kai called for an increase in funds needed to tackle pollution via taxation measures. He said that "We will continue to push forward a pricing mechanism by soliciting opinions from multiple parties, including government, enterprises and consumers.”
Mr Ma also called for more use of renewable energy such as hydro and nuclear power and suggested an escalating scale for electricity charges, with higher charges imposed for excessive users.
China introduced a round of reforms in November in which the resources tax for oil and gas moved from volume-based to a valuebased tax, set at 5% of the value of the oil and gas produced. China National Offshore Oil Corp. in its 2012 annual report said the revised tax policy increased oil production costs by nearly 17% per barrel.
But those reforms didn't include coal, which is still taxed by volume and accounts for about 70% of the country's energy generation. In March the government set a target to cap coal consumption to 4 billion tonne by 2015.
Mr Jia Kang, director of the Research Institute of Fiscal Science at the Ministry of Finance, said China Daily that the introduction of an allencompassing resource tax that includes coal would be a tough fight, although it would force factories to restrict excessive production and adopt more energysaving technologies.
While there are no exact details about a possible coal tax, analysts said that the government likely would follow the oil and gas model and introduce a value-based tax of about 5% on coking and thermal coal.
Mr Yang Zongxing, an analyst with Donghai securities in Shanghai, was quoted as said that "Implementing a value-based resources tax on coal would have a huge impact on coal and energy prices, so it's a question of whether the economy can withstand that change.”