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Better tax policies needed to promote green growth: experts

Specialists have recommended revisions to tax policies in order to steer the economy towards green growth and sustainable development in Vietnam.

They made the suggestions at a workshop held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) in Hanoi on March 11.

Nguyen Manh Hai, head of CIEM’s department for social issues, said that measures to promote green growth and sustainable development may vary from country to country.

However, all national solutions aim to boost green production and consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change, and develop green technologies and industries that use little natural resources so as to encourage producers to invest in environmental protection, he said.

In Vietnam, tax policies related to green growth include tax incentives encouraging green production and consumption, as well as tax measures discouraging the manufacturing and use of environmentally hazardous products, Hai added.

However, these policies are not strong enough to motivate and promote green production and consumption, he said, adding that the tax policies do not match real life circumstances, with tax collection from these measures not yet able to make up for the damage caused by non-environmentally friendly production and consumption.

Hai recommended that incentives on corporate income tax should be perfected in terms of both tax rates and incentive duration so as to attract investment to industries that apply environmentally-friendly technologies and manufacture products with high added value, while facilitating clean energy production and public transport.

The specialist also suggested the special consumption tax on bio-fuel be reduced to half of that on mineral fuel, thus creating a considerable price gap between biological and mineral petrol.

Dang Thi Thu Hoai, Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Group, called on the scope of the environmental protection tax to be expanded to cover all areas that cause negative impacts on the environment, like chemical fertilisers and exhaust fumes.