Russia polluters face stiffer penalties

The Russian government is planning to punish industrial polluters with stiffer fines, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

Higher penalties will be imposed on enterprises violating environmental laws and regulations, he said.

By 2020 enterprises will have to pay 1.1% of their profits to compensate for their “negative environmental impact,” Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev said.

The impact charge will be raised in stages, by 130% in 2012 and 240% in 2016, he added.

However, Putin held out a carrot for firms committed to modernization, energy saving and clean technology.

The impact charge for them will be slashed in proportion to their spending on environmental programs – by as much as 70%, Trutnev added.

This is vital to reconcile the interests of industrial development and environmental conservation, Putin said.

“We need to strike the right balance here,” he said.

MOSCOW, March 30 (RIA Novosti) 

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