• Kyodo

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The general affairs and planning committee of the Mie Prefectural Assembly on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill to oblige companies to pay a tax on industrial waste, assembly officials said.

The bill is expected to be passed Friday at a plenary session of the assembly and enforced starting in fiscal 2002, if approved by the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry, the officials said.

If approved, Mie would likely become the first prefecture in the nation to tax industrial waste.

The prefectural government estimates the tax would cover about 90 firms in the prefecture that bring in revenues of 400 million yen a year.

The bill proposes a tax of 1,000 yen per ton of industrial waste, revenue that would be used to secure funds for research and development on recycling, prefectural officials said.

Mie is also considering using the revenue to fund studies on curbing corporate industrial waste and to strengthen surveillance of illegal dumping, they said.

The tax will not be levied on companies that discharge less than 1,000 tons of industrial waste a year.

The prefectural government initially planned to submit the bill to an assembly session convening in March, but it was delayed due to opposition from industrial circles and prefectural assembly members.

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