VILNIUS, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania's Minister of Energy Zygimantas Vaiciunas called on Thursday to introduce car pollution tax as the Baltic country lags behind other EU countries in this respect, local media reported.
Vehicle pollution tax was discussed in Lithuanian parliament during which Vaiciunas and Minister of Environment Kestutis Mazeika answered MPs questions.
Mazeika said that the most socially fragile and sensitive groups of the Lithuanian population were also taken into account while drafting the car pollution tax.
"It is socially responsible (taxation on polluting vehicles) as the one who increases pollution pays a tax aimed at reducing pollution and scrapping old cars. Then the compensation scheme will open the opportunity to acquire a less polluting car," Mazeika said.
In his words, the government is considering compensation of 1,000 euros (1,100 U.S. dollars) for those who plan to replace older, more polluting cars with newer ones.
In the beginning of October, an electronic petition to the parliament calling for disapproval of a draft car pollution tax drawn by the government was initiated in Lithuania.
Up to date, the petition published on website Peticijos.lt was signed by nearly 60,000 internet users. The authors of the petition claim that many Lithuanians drive old cars because they lack opportunities to buy newer cars.
The Ministry of Environment proposes to tax diesel vehicles emitting more than 115g/km of CO2, and gasoline or LPG-fueled cars emitting over 130g/km.
If the tax bill is passed, existing owners of polluting cars will not have to pay the levy. Starting in 2020, the tax will be paid every time a polluting car is registered or reregistered.