Beijing: Smog-hit China plans to remove 6 million vehicles that do not meet emission standards off the roads this year, in a bid to reduce air pollution in the world`s largest auto market.
More than 2.4 million vehicles will be taken off roads in the municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, along with another four municipalities and provinces along the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
An action plan issued by China`s Cabinet has been distributed to local authorities, China Daily reported today.
A ministry spokesman has asked local authorities to formulate stimulus policies and enforce stronger laws to remove such vehicles.
Pollutants discharged by cars are blamed as a leading cause for choking air pollution and lingering smog in parts of the country.
In Beijing cars discharged more than 30 per cent of the capital`s PM 2.5 -- a particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 micrograms that caused hazardous smog. In Shanghai, it is about 25 per cent.
China has been the world`s largest auto market and producer for five consecutive years, with production and sales both exceeding 20 million units for the first time in 2013.
Official statistics showed car ownership increased to 137 million last year.
"Huangbiaoche", or "yellow-label cars", referring to vehicles that fail to meet national emission standards, account for about 10 per cent of the country`s total number and emitted about half of all car pollutants, official data showed.