“It is common sense that money should be used in the right way. So, as smog is one of the top public concerns, we should use as much money as needed to fight it!” Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council executive meeting on April 26.
At the meeting, the Premier decided to launch a special project to research the cause of and solution to air pollution. The research group will be led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and joined by multiple organs, including the bureaus of agriculture, technology, meteorology and information, and academic institutions and universities.
According to China Daily, the project is expected to draw a clear timetable and road map to improve the air quality.
“Despite the fact that this year’s government budget has been allocated, we can use the ‘Premier fund’ to support the project,” Premier Li said. According to the Budget Law, the “Premier fund”, also called central government budget reserve, accounts for 1 to 3 percent of the annual budget and is mainly used for emergencies, such as natural disasters.
The Premier said, “Only when we are clear about the reasons behind smog can we take precise measures. So a cross-sector team with top scientists is necessary.”
The smog battle is not only related to people’s health, but also important to China’s economic transformation, he also said.
The idea was first proposed by a scientist during this year’s annual plenary meeting of the National People’s Congress in March. After hearing the suggestion, the Premier gave an immediate response, saying that if any research team fighting smog can make the sky clear, they will be “awarded handsomely”.