(Yicai Global) Oct. 19 -- The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment has rejected claims from authorities in Ningxia Autonomous Region that suggested the central government’s green policies stunted the area’s economic growth.
The Ningxia Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology only carried out surface-level investigations and did not dig deep enough to understand why company’s in the autonomous region were producing less, the ministry’s inspection office said in a statement yesterday.
The Ningxia agency had reported in June that some 106 companies in the region had cut production to the tune of CNY5 billion (USD721 million) total, blaming the issue on central government’s environmental policies. It had been complaining publicly to the regional government since September 2017 that inspections, measures against heavy pollution and production suspensions in peak season were affecting output, and blamed these on the decline of the local pharmaceutical industry.
The office has since been shut down, according to a report yesterday by news site Guangming.
Some 52 of those companies stopped production due to changing market conditions, according to the central authority. The other 54 suspended or limited production to control air pollution, but their losses were mainly a result of the market, it claimed.
Local medicine companies, such as Tairui Pharmaceutical and Qiyuan Pharmaceutical, were investigated by the inspection office in 2016 after foul odors disturbed local communities and told to resolve the issues -- but a satisfactory result has not yet been achieved, the agency said.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Minister of Ecology and Environment have all refuted the notion that environmental protection will greatly hinder economic growth.
Editor: James Boynton