Amid China's rapid economic and industrial expansion, a prominent Beijing economist is advocating for higher taxes on production resources in order to increase energy savings and protection of the environment.

The Chief of the China Center for Economic Research at Beijing University, Justin Yifu Lin said Sunday at a forum that while China is consuming 15 percent of the world's energy, it is only turning out 5.5 percent of the global gross domestic product, according to state owned media Xinhua.

The current low taxes on resources not only widen the income gap, but they also add heavy pressure to the nation’s resources and environment, he said. He urged that the government impose strong punishments for environmental pollution and base local officials’ promotions or demotions on their work on energy efficiency and environmental protection.

An official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said last Wednesday that while electricity and oil prices are relatively lower, it would not be easy to raise their prices out of consideration of the price increase impact on other sectors of society, according to the report.