The Business Times

Haze pollution law is a positive first step

Published Wed, Aug 6, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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THE Transboundary Haze Pollution Act passed in Parliament on Tuesday will help Singapore fight the annual haze arising out of primitive deforestation methods in Indonesia, but it cannot be the whole answer.

Through the legislation, errant companies can be fined up to S$100,000 a day, capped at a total of S$2 million, if they are responsible for slash-and-burn land clearing. While some observers state that this is not a large enough penalty, given the profits these companies stand to earn, it is nonetheless a deterrent.

Moreover, as Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan explained in Parliament, these penalties can be increased over time, if they are found to be insufficient. The affected businesses will also be mindful of the damage to their reputation if they are prosecuted under the Act, which could translate into serious financial losses down the road. To that extent, the legislation can be said to serve its purpose .

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