China court plans to set up national environmental fund: media

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s supreme court is planning to set up a national fund this year to help pay for environmental restoration, the official China Daily reported on Wednesday, citing a senior judge.

The Supreme People’s Court has made it a priority to establish a fund using money collected in fines from polluting firms, the paper said, citing Wang Xuguang, the head of the environmental division of China’s Supreme People’s Court.

Wang said the court was currently in discussions with other government departments to draw up rules to clarify how the fund should be used.

The fund is being established in response to proposals made by delegates at the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, Wang said.

At the latest national parliamentary session that ended last week, delegates from many Chinese regions lobbied the central government to loosen their purse strings in order to help cover the soaring costs of environmental compliance.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Rashmi Aich