تجزیه و تحلیل اقتصادی سیاست های اصلاحات برای معادن زغال سنگ کوچک در چین
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|28238||2001||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5194 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Resources Policy, Volume 27, Issue 4, December 2001, Pages 247–254
Over the last three decades, China’s coal industry has achieved dramatic increases in coal production, both in absolute terms and relative to the world as a whole. This achievement is due largely to its coal policies. Yet facing increasing pressures of environmental sustainability and market transition, the Chinese government was forced to make deep reforms and adjustments to regulate the coal industry effectively. This paper presents an historical overview of China’s coal economic policies, paying particular attention to the current reform policy of closing mines and restricting the yield for the small coal mines (SCMs) in the context of economic theories and methods. We argue that the SCM closure policy would not likely be efficiently enforced if a feasible market mechanism were not built up. The failure of closure policy is due largely to problems of property rights, coal pricing, ownership, and objectives.
Coal has played an important role in China’s economy over about five decades. The Chinese government treats it as a strategic resource and places high priority on the security of energy supply. However, the latest several years saw a sudden drop in demand for energy in China, and the coal industry was most heavily affected. Coal inventories grew drastically, and prices in the domestic market plummeted. In spring 1998, production from the state-owned coal mines (SOCMs) was suspended for two months to solve the oversupply problem. Nevertheless, it became apparent in late 1998 that this was not a temporary phenomenon and that urgent action was required to protect the interests of the SOCMs because large amounts of state investment had poured into these enterprises. As a result, the Chinese government announced a radical reform policy on closing the small coal mines (SCMs) and restricting the yield, as well as closing up and making bankrupt a number of SOCMs. This programme planned to close some 25,800 illegal and “irrational” mines (mainly SCMs) by the middle of 2000 to cut annual output by 250 million tonnes (Mt) (Table 1). By July 2000, it was announced that this number of mines had already been closed, resulting in an effective reduction of less than 200 Mt. In addition to the SCMs, a number of larger mines near the end of their lives were also closed and some enterprises made bankrupt. Over three decades, a number of international and regional seminars and meetings1 have placed small-scale mining on their agendas. In 1995, the World Bank2 hosted a seminal meeting on small scale and artisanal mining, including representatives from 25 countries. One of the key conclusions of this conference was the need for integrated solutions to the problems of the sector and improved co-operation between the various institutions. Further meetings respectively convened by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) involving bilateral and multilateral institutions reiterated the need for a coordinated approach towards artisanal and small scale mining if significant progress was to be made3. However, almost no analysis has been conducted regarding economic dimensions of government policies designed for small-scale mining. Small-scale coal mines have played an important role in China’s economy because of the need for coal as an energy source and the promotion of rural development. However, the pressures from coal oversupply over many years and the concerns about environmental pollution and resource damage from the SCMs have forced the central government to adjust its coal policy. Accordingly, the government decided to restrict the SCMs in a time of oversupply, the result of protecting the large SOCMs. As a result, whether the current policy on the SCMs has been effectively implemented caused wide debates in China. Some argued that the policy has achieved great progress since the reduction in coal oversupply has become obvious. Others suggested that the ultimate positive effects of the policy remain to be seen (Shi, 1999). From historical perspectives, there has been a lack of any clear long-term and relatively stable policies for the SCMs in China over the past decades. The literature on government policies towards SCMs has focused respectively on the social (Jennings, 1999), financial (Kumar and Amaratunga, 1994), environmental (Simpson, 2000), and safety, legislative and political aspects (Bugnosen, 1998), paying relatively little attention to the economic policy evolution. One of the major objectives of this paper is to review the policy changes on China’s coal industry over the past 50 years, particularly policy reforms affecting the SCMs and their economic situation. Another is to explore a feasible economic approach to compare the SCMs with the SOCMs and hence to identify some reasons why the current policy failed to regulate effectively the SCMs.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The preceding analysis presented an historical review of the policy evolution associated with the SCMs in China and an economic analysis of current policy failure. Several conclusions can be summarised as follows: (a) The late-1950s, mid-1980s and early-1990s saw sustained increases in output from China’s coal mines, mainly driven by growth in SCM output. (b) SCM development from 1950 through to the end of the 1990s, while pursued with vigour, ultimately proved disappointing in that it failed to compete with the SOCMs effectively and fairly, triggering the glut in the coal market and an imbalance between supply and demand. (c) This glut arose from misguided policies in the past that encouraged the SCM development but ignored its effective regulation. Local interests and protectionism, which support some illegal SCMs, even caused such an impact that some local SCMs were unaffected by the repeated attempts of government to rectify the situation. (d) China’s coal markets have gradually developed as the state has relaxed its control of the coal price. In the dual-track model of mandatory planning and market mechanism, however, market elements played only an auxiliary role even if there existed some cautious steps towards the introduction of market mechanisms into the coal industry. (e) About 20–25% of the SCMs (Zhong, 1999) are still illegal, either in terms of illegal exploiting or in terms of lower price trading, or both, but failure to regulate these illegal SCMs could be due to varying factors—differences in knowledge and interests of the state and localities on the SCMs, the contradiction of closing up the SCMs by administrative action rather than through laws and regulations, and the contradiction of restricting coal output by administrative order rather than through the market mechanism. (f) The distorted price differences in the dual pricing system have had quite different implications for the SOCMs and SCMs and how they affect the natural environment. (g) Only if property rights, pricing mechanisms, and mining objectives were clearly determined could the closure policy for the illegal SCMs be effectively carried out. Still, closing up the SCMs by the administrative measures alone will not wipe out illegal mining. An integrated measure, by the legal and administrative systems as well as by economic principles, could effectively curb the illegal small coal mining activities. Legalising the SCMs and leaving their output adjusted by market mechanisms may assist in handling the complexities.