China offers rewards to six regions to fight air pollution
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China is giving rewards amounting to 5 billion yuan (S$1.02 billion) for curbing air pollution in six regions where the problem is serious, underscoring government concern about a source of public anger.
The Finance Ministry said on Monday the regions eligible for the rewards were Beijing and its neighbouring city of Tianjin, the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong, as well as the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The provinces of Shanxi and Inner Mongolia are among China's top coal-producing provinces and have been a major source of air pollution. Smog over northern cities in January generated widespread anger, as did the discovery of thousands of dead pigs in March in a river that supplies water to the city of Shanghai.
Protests over pollution in China are becoming common, to the government's alarm. The authorities have invested in various projects to fight pollution and even empowered courts to mete out the death penalty in serious pollution cases.