New, cleaner diesel fuel could be available in August - four months earlier than expected. Suppliers of ultra-low sulphur diesel had revised their import schedules and could bring in the fuel sooner, said Deputy Secretary for Environment and Food Thomas Chow Tat-ming. The Government proposed tabling a resolution to impose an initial concessionary duty of $1.11 per litre, 89 cents less than regular motor diesel, on the cleaner fuel starting July 7, Mr Chow said. It would increase to $2 a litre on January 1, 2001, and to $2.89 a litre on January 1, 2002, bringing it alongside regular diesel. The duty on regular diesel is $2 a litre at present, he said. The resolution would be submitted to Legco for approval on June 26 and would be gazetted on June 30 if passed. Mr Chow said officials would continue to review the duty. 'If ultra-low sulphur diesel can be supplied from within Asia, the cost will be lower and we will adjust the duty to keep the tax concession of 89 cents a litre,' he said. 'If there is no oil refinery in Asia supplying the diesel, the duty of $2 will be kept for another year. Our purpose is to keep the concessions in the long run.' If the price of the cleaner diesel increased, more concessions would be given, but cost was not the only factor and stability of supply would also be considered when setting the duty. Democrat Sin Chung-kai, chairman of a Legco subcommittee studying the resolution, said the duty should not increase after 18 months in order to keep the policy of tax concessions. Importing the low-sulphur diesel is part of the Government's programme to achieve a 'visible improvement' in air quality within 18 months.