V. INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
I. Problems in the implementation of environmental measures
2. Constraints in enforcing incentive-based measures
First, economic measures are only being applied to a narrow area and in insufficient depth. For example, under the present State system of charging fees for pollutant discharges, the list of discharges covered is incomplete and the standards are low. The standard fee for discharging pollutants only accounts for about 50 per cent of the overall operational costs of pollution treatment facilities; in some case, it amounts to less than 10 per cent.
Second, the reformation and implementation of environmental economic policies continues to be difficult. Because some local governments pay more attention to the economy than environmental protection, they turn a blind eye to violations of the "three synchronizations", and even tolerate and accept them. As a result, a number of enterprises, especially township enterprises, have taken the opportunity to reduce their investments in environmental protection. Diversified main investment units and the weakness of environmental protection teams intensifies the difficulties faced in implementing economic policies. The reformation and improvement of economic policies must take into consideration the ability of enterprises to handle such changes. However, some departments take the process as an excuse to obstruct efforts to strengthen the management of environmental economic measures.
Third, the fund-collection mechanism lays particular emphasis on the inducing mechanism. The application of economic measures in environmental protection mainly stimulates environmental protection in production enterprises. However, when such measures are designed and applied, their collection function is frequently emphasized so that the funds are viewed as a revenue source rather than a way of stimulating environmental protection. Thus while the collection of such fees is a major function, it is not the priority objective.