July 17, 2019 23:48

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Adjust environmental protection fees for wastewater to ensure equality

15:24 | 04/05/2019

VCN - Implementing the Law on Fees and Charges in 2016, the Government issued Decree No. 154/2016 / ND-CP dated November 16, 2016 on environmental protection for wastewater, which came into effective from January 1, 2017. After 2 years of implementation, all localities have seriously implemented and obtained results, ensuring the objectives and requirements when developing the Decree, however, some problems have arisen.

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Collection of environmental protection fees from waste water contributes to strengthening the budget for local environmental pollution mitigation. Photo: ST.


Over 2,000 billion VND collected

According to the Ministry of Finance, the provision of environmental protection fees for wastewater is aimed at raising the awareness of organizations and individuals on environmental protection; binding waste dischargers to pollute the contribution of funds to improve environmental pollution of wastewater. In addition, enterprises, organizations and individuals are encouraged to invest in technology to treat waste water quality, ensure waste discharge standards before being discharged into the environment, thereby contributing to the effective use of economical water sources, minimizing environmental pollution.

Based on the provisions of Decree 154, the People's Committees of the provinces have developed and submitted to the provincial People's Council to issue a Resolution regulating the amount of money left for organizations to collect environmental protection for domestic wastewater. Some localities stipulate the environmental protection fee for domestic wastewater 10%higher than the price of clean water stipulated in the Decree. At the same time, these committees direct professional agencies to implement charge collection and propaganda to guide organizations, households and individuals to make declarations and payment of fees as prescribed.

The localities have evaluated and classified production and processing establishments and other entities with waste water subject to charges according to regulations. Enterprises, production and processing establishments basically abide by the monitoring and declaration of pollutants in wastewater according to Decree 154. Some enterprises have large volumes of waste water, from over 1,000 m3 of water per day and night observations have been made automatically with connection to environmental management agencies, therefore, monitoring of pollutant content and wastewater volume is the basis for determining the amount of supervised payable fees. Some other localities said that the calculation of environmental protection fees according to the pollutants in wastewater and the volume of wastewater discharged is in line with the current trend of information technology, networking and online control.

In general, the implementation of the environmental protection fees for wastewater is recognized by localities as a tool to effectively support the management and monitoring of waste water dischargers in the area, especially the sources with large flow of waste have a great impact on the environment and fee source. The collected amount in 2016 was VND 1,287 billion, 2017 was VND 2,102 billion, contributing to strengthening the budget for the reduction of environmental pollution in the locality.

In addition to the above results, Decree 154 still has a number of shortcomings and problems that need to be amended and supplemented to be in line with reality and relevant laws and regulations, especially related to the fee levels. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance has drafted a Decree to amend and supplement Decree 154.

No increase in budget revenue

Proposing to amend Decree 154, the Ministry of Finance intends to stipulate the environmental protection fee for domestic wastewater of 10% on the selling price of 1m3 of clean water excluding VAT. Particularly, the charge rates applicable to charge-liable subjects are those discharged from automobile washing establishments, motorbike washing, automobile repair and motorbike repair; hospitals; clinics; restaurants and hotels; training and research institutions; other business establishments and services are 15% on the selling price of 1m3 of clean water excluding value added tax. In case of necessity to apply a higher fee level, the provincial-level People's Council shall decide a specific level to be suitable with the actual situation in the locality.

The fixed fee is applicable to industrial wastewater, Decree 154 stipulates: Manufacturing and processing establishments with a volume of waste water of less than 20m3 / day must pay a fixed fee of VND 1.5 million / year.

Some localities, including Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang and Ninh Binh, said that the fixed fee of 1.5 million VND / year applied to all facilities discharging less than 20m3 / day and night is not suitable. In fact, many production and processing establishments with a volume of waste water of less than 20m3 / day and night (for example, 5, 10 or 15 m3 / day and night) also have to pay 1.5 million dong / year. It is proposed to amend in the direction that many different fees apply to establishments discharging less than 20 m3 / day. The provinces of Thanh Hoa and Lao Cai proposed raising the fee to 2.5 million dong / year.

Through actual surveys, many production and processing establishments have different sizes and characteristics of operation, the volume of wastewater is also very different, especially mechanical and garment facilities where there is little waste water. There are many facilities that discharge less than 5m3 / day and night, while having to pay the same fee of 1.5 million VND / year as other facilities.

In order to ensure fairness in the payment of fees, the Ministry of Finance shall submit to the Government the following regulations: Production and processing establishments with a total volume of waste water of fewer than 20 m3 / day and a fixed fee (not applicable variable charges) according to the volume of waste water. Specifically: From 10 m3 / day to less than 20m3 / day and night is VND 2 million / year (up VND 500,000); from 5 m3 / day to less than 10 m3 / day and VND 1.5 million / year (equal to the current level); less than 5 m3 / day: 1,000,000 VND / year (500,000 VND reduction). Basis for determining the amount of waste water / day and night is the actual discharge from production and processing activities; environmental records of establishments; results of inspection and examination of relevant agencies.

For aquaculture activities (of industrial waste water), aquaculture establishments are very different in scale; It is difficult to determine the volume of waste water of this activity, pollutant content (hydroponic, hydrological, fish farming, shrimp cage, raft). There are suggestions to collect according to the set level. Receiving the above opinion, the Ministry of Finance proposed that waste water from aquaculture establishments apply a fixed fee, with no change, for organizations of VND 2 million / year, for fish people and households are 1 million VND / year.

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According to the representative of the Tax Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance, the above adjustment is only grouping the subjects to fixed fees to ensure equality in the application of fees for each group of waste dischargers that it is basic not to increase the fee level, so the state budget revenue basically does not increase.

This draft is being consulted by the Ministry of Finance before submitting to the Government.

According to the Ministry of Finance, in Clause 1, Article 6 of Decree 154, the environmental protection fee for domestic wastewater is 10% on the selling price of 1m3 of clean water excluding value added tax. In case of necessity to apply a higher fee level, the People's Councils of the provinces and centrally-run cities shall decide on specific levels suitable to the local practical situation.

In the process of implementing this regulation, some localities (Da Nang, Dong Nai and An Giang) believe that the establishments for washing cars, washing motorbikes, automobile repair and motorbike repair; restaurants and hotels subject to environmental protection charges for domestic wastewater such as individuals and households are not fair because the waste water of this object has a higher level of environmental pollution. Based on the provisions of Decree 154 above, the Government has empowered the provincial People's Councils to decide on specific rates for special cases. Thus, the case of wastewater of automobile washing facilities, motor washing, automobile repair, motorbike repair; more polluted restaurants and hotels, the locality may decide a higher fee.

By Hong Van/ Bui Diep