National legislators on Monday adopted the country's first resource tax law to formally legalize taxation on resource exploitation and encourage environmental protection.
The law, which covers taxation policies for 164 categories of natural resources, will come into effect on Sept 1, 2020.
Chinese-foreign cooperative oil exploitation with contracts signed before Nov 1, 2011 will not be affected by the law until the contracts expire.
"The law is an important step in implementing President Xi Jinping's thought on ecological progress, upholding the principle of statute-based taxation and optimizing the local tax system," Bu Xianglai, a senior official with the State Taxation Administration, said at a news conference on Monday.
The law, passed at the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, lists rates for almost all minerals and salts found in China, he said.
Some of the items have fixed tax rates, such as crude oil, natural gas and rare earth minerals, while others have floating rates. For example, the rate for gold and silver ranges from 2 to 6 percent, according to the law.
Provincial-level governments can decide the specific tax rate within the legal range according to the mineral quality, conditions and environmental impact of specific projects. But the rate should get approval from the provincial legislature, according to the law.
Those who exploit resources in an environmentally-friendly manner will enjoy favorable tax rates, it stipulates.
The law also authorizes the State Council to reduce or remit taxes on resource exploitation that favors resource conservation and environmental protection "based on the needs of national economic and social development".
Xu Guoqiao, an official from the Ministry of Finance, said these clauses on tax reduction and remission can "help the country better adapt to actual needs and carry out timely readjustments".
Bu, the State Taxation Administration official, said that the administration will draft detailed implementation rules to ensure the law can be carried out on time.
Training on the new law will be offered to employees in tax-related industries to give them a quick and accurate understanding of the law, he said.
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