China rolls out measures to lift sagging coal industry
Taiyuan - XINHUA
China will roll out a series of support measures to help salvage the struggling coal industry from its current slump, an official said.
Song Yuanming, deputy head of State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, said the government will help lift the sector by stemming the total output of homegrown coal and controlling faulty coal imports.
"We will eliminate unreasonable fees for coal companies and impose taxes on them, which will be lower," Song said, adding that reforms will be conducted to get rid of outdated and unsafe capacities.
Many Chinese coal producers have been struggling with falling prices since 2012. Prices for coal used in power generation, the country's benchmark, had fallen from 610 yuan (99.7 U.S. dollars) per tonne at the beginning of the year to 479 as of Aug. 20.
Statistics released by the China National Coal Association show 70 percent of the domestic coal industry suffered losses in the first half of 2014. The bleak situation has led to shutdown or production suspension at many mines.
China has tried to reform the coal industry by shutting down small-scale coal mines, with 902 already closed so far. The number is expected to exceed 1,000 by the end of 2014.
Pan Yun, deputy dean of Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences, said such government measures will slash costs and ease burdens for coal companies.
"It will help boost the industry effectively," Pan said.