Chinese authorities have a timetable for implementing a system of taxing polluters, a senior law researcher has revealed.
The long-awaited tax, which will replace the current administrative penalties that are widely seen as ineffective, will be ushered in after the law behind it is finalized.
The draft law is due to be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress at the end of this year, after it is first made available to the public to solicit their views, Sun Youhai, director of the China Institute of Applied Jurisprudence of the Supreme People's Court, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
Sun said he learned the timetable from the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, which has been considering the draft law since receiving it in March 2013 from the Ministry of Finance (MOF), the State Administration of Taxation and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Premier Li Keqiang touched on the tax legislation in his government work report last Thursday.
Backed by comprehensive regulation and collected by taxation authorities, the tax will be more powerful in discouraging companies from polluting and will fuel investment in the green industry, experts believe.
Under the current system, environmental watchdogs are tasked with charging companies for pollution, but they have been ineffective in doing so.
In 2013, China should have levied pollutant discharge fees totaling 57.5 billion yuan (about 9.2 billion U.S. dollars), but less than 40 percent of the sum was collected, according to Jia Kang, former head of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science under the MOF.