BEIJING (AFP) — China said it would subsidise the sale of 100 million energy-efficient light bulbs this year to cut energy use and pollution, double the number subsidised in 2008.
The move, also aimed at supporting bulb producers amid the global financial crisis, was announced by the finance ministry in a statement posted on its website late Tuesday.
The government had offered subsidies for 50 million bulbs last year.
The increase will "cushion the impact of the global financial crisis on producers of energy-efficient light bulbs" and "strive for bigger energy-saving and pollution-reduction results," the statement said.
The central government introduced the promotion programme last year, giving out 280 million yuan (40.9 million dollars) for subsidies of 50 percent for retail sales and 30 percent for bulk purchases, it said.
The programme actually helped sell 62 million energy-efficient light bulbs by the end of January, the ministry said. It did not provide comparative figures.
However, it said the 62 million bulbs equalled annual savings of 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and a reduction in carbon dioxide discharges of 3.2 million tonnes and sulfur dioxide discharges of 32,000 tonnes.
The ministry did not specify how much the subsidy will be this year.
China is the largest producer of energy-saving light bulbs, with output in 2007 reaching three billion, accounting for 80 percent of world production, according to official data.
The European Union imposed anti-dumping duties running as high as 66 percent on Chinese-made energy-saving light bulbs from 2001 and extended the duties for one year in 2007 before removing the measures in October 2008.
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