Local authorities on the mainland will have to put environmental services like rubbish collection and waste water treatment out for open tender under guidelines to be unveiled next month, Economic Information Daily reported Thursday, citing an official with the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Third-party companies will also be allowed to build and operate pollution monitoring systems, taking over a role filled by local governments. Companies will be paid on performance using fiscal funds, the report said.
Beijing, Shandong and Hebei have piloted a program to get non-government players to invest in and operate environmental facilities, and some local governments have started selling or spinning off such assets, the official said.
The central government has earmarked 210.9 billion yuan (US$34.2 billion) in fiscal funds for environmental protection and energy conservancy projects this year to tackle worsening air, water and soil pollution. The allocation is a 7.1 percent increase from the previous year.
But audits have uncovered mismanagement of the money, with some local governments channeling the cash to other projects and some overspending resulting in excess capacity, according to the report.
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