WITH the world's
environment in a
fragile state, an environment tax, if introduced, could take the
world through a
process of sustained
economic and environmental development, say the authors
of the State of the World 1996, a report
released by the Washington -based
think-tank- World Watch Institute
on January 14.
The environment tax should take
the place of income tax and could reverse the trends that are leading to
hotter summers, falling water tables,
continuing deforestation, accelerating
extinction of species and rising food
prices. The report also calls for a ban on
subsidies promoting destructive activities like mining, over-fishing and fossilfuel banking.
"Today's tax system was designed at
a time when renewable resources, such
as fresh water, forest products and
sea-food, far exceeded human needs
and when pollution was negligible,"
says Lestor R Brown, senior author
of the report. But the changed scenario today calls for a renewed look
into the old system and also to seek a
change in tax policies to benefit the
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