The coal mining units will be charged the highest environmental fee of up to VND14,000/ton, an increase of VND4,000 compared with the current rate. This is the draft decree for environmental protection charges for mineral extraction which has been released by Ministry of Finance for consultation on September 4th, 2015.
For years the environmental protection charges for coal mining have been regulated under Decree 74/2011/ND-CP with fees from VND6-10,000/ton of coal. According to the Ministry of Finance's proposal, the framework of environmental protection fees for all types of coal will be moved up to the range VND6-14,000/ton.
For crude oil, the Ministry proposed to keep the current fee rate for crude oil at VND100,000/ton, and for natural gas, coal gas at VND50/m3, for particularly natural gas acquired from the process of crude oil extraction (associated gas) it is VND35/m3.
Also under the draft decree released by the Ministry of Finance for consultation, the structure of environmental protection fees for some other metallic minerals such as iron ore also increases from the range VND40,000-60,000/ton to VND60,000- 80,000/ton, for gold ore from VND180,000-270,000/ton up to VND270,000-360,000/ton, and rare earth from VND40,000-60,000/ton up to VND60,000 - 80,000/ton.
Coal mining in opencast coal mine at Ha Lam and Quang Ninh
These fees are used to finance the countermeasures to limit negative impacts on the local environment where the mining activities are on-going; to mitigate the recession and environmental pollution.
It is to recall the Environmental Protection Act 148 of 2014, the organizations and individuals that discharge waste into the environment or incur the adverse impacts on the environment must pay fees for environmental protection. The fee for environmental protection is calculated on the basis of the volume of waste into the environment, the scale of influence of adverse impacts on the environment; toxic levels of waste, degree of harm to the environment.
The Ministry of Finance reveals that during the last 3 years, environmental protection fees have contributed to ensuring funding for local investors to make investment back to environmental remedial actions in response to mining activities. Specifically, the environmental protection fee is VND 2.137 billion in 2012, VND 2,495 billion in 2013 and VND 2,571 billion in 2014.
Earlier, at the end of August, shortly after being established on August 29, 2015, Vietnam Clean Energy Association (VCEA) revealed that the Association started the drafting of the legal document to be submitted to the Prime Minister for a proposed policy to raise the selling prices from renewable energy sources, and to increase the level of environmental charges applied to the extraction of coal and oil to prevent the depletion of fossil fuel resources.
The Association believes that if there is no solution to limit the exploitation of fossil fuels and to increase the percentage of clean energy, the environment will be increasingly destroyed. Taxes, fees levied on coal and oil are insufficient, while the resources are increasingly depleted.
It is planned that in November, 2015, the Ministry of Finance will submit to the Government a draft decree to replace Decree No. 74/2011/ND-CP dated 28/5/2011 of the Government on environmental protection charges to be levied on mineral extraction.