Friday, March 11, 2016 1:55 pm
Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining on Friday said environmental authorities across China fined polluters 4.25 billion yuan (654 million dollars) in 2015, an increase of 34 per cent over 2014.
Chen told newsmen on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), that the authorities delivered more than 97,000 punishment notices to polluters.
“They also worked with police and judicial agencies so that serious offenders not only faced administrative punishment but also criminal penalties,” he said.
He said that polluters involved in 2,079 cases were placed under police detention and those in 1,685 cases were prosecuted.
“About 1.77 million enterprises were inspected, with 191,000 of them punished, 20,000 closed and 34,000 suspended production.
“I would like to stress that severe punishment is not an end but a means to have enterprises understand the importance of abiding by the law,” Chen said.
The ministry also stepped up supervision of local governments, inspecting 33 cities and interviewing 15 chief city officials.
Meanwhile, China’s revised environmental protection law took effect in January 2015.