China's fuel tax scheme currently being discussed by State Council - UPDATE

BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) - China's plans to introduce a fuel tax are currently being studied by the cabinet, the State Council, and will be made public as soon as possible, said Zhang Ping, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

"The standing committee of the State Council is currently discussing the fuel tax plans submitted by the NDRC and other departments and are making amendments," Zhang said at a news briefing.

"Once the amendments have been made, they will disclosed as soon as possible, and opinions from the public will also be heard," he added.

He said that the new tax would be based on the principle of "the more fuel consumed, the bigger the burden."

That, he said, would also help to promote energy conservation in China.

The existing system, which involves miscellaneous tolls and charges for road or waterway maintenance and management, will be completely replaced by the new fuel tax, Zhang said.

"Previously, we would sometimes encounter someone on the road waving a little flag, stopping us to check whether we had paid the fees, but afterwards this situation will not happen," he said.

Zhang did not say when the plans would finally be implemented.

david.stanway@xinhuafinance.com

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