Govt., Opp. MPs agree to reduce use of paper, e-waste in Parliament

Saturday, 12 September 2020 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • SJB MP Buddhika Pathirana says excessive printed material and CDs made available to MPs; requests Speaker to consider reductions
  • Environment Minister endorses proposal to reduce such material
  • Chief Govt. Whip agrees to proposal, says Standing Orders need to be amended accordingly

By Chandani Kirinde

Government and Opposition members yesterday agreed in Parliament to reduce the large quantity of printed material and Compact Discs (CDs) given to MPs and instead use electronic forms of documents so in order to be more environmentally friendly.

A proposal to this effect was made by SJB Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana, who said that various documents including annual reports and performance reports of ministries and statutory bodies were provided to the MPs on CDs while large files of books and printing materials were also placed on the tables of each MP. 

“These CDs are a waste of money. Years back, these reports came in book format and were kept on our tables. Thereafter a positive move was taken to replace books with CDs. As we know many MPs do not use them. They do not take those CDs with them. Some of those CDs are now lying along the corridors here. That is not only a financial loss but an environmental hazard. Each MP has been given a laptop. These reports could be saved in those laptops. As per the past few days, CDs for more than 100 reports have been given to each MP. I propose that we should move to a more modern system that would not cause environmental damage and save money,” MP Pathirana said. Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera endorsed the views expressed by the SJB MP and said it was a worthy suggestion. “What the Opposition MP said is true. Very few members make use of them. I too do not see that the purpose of distributing them is served. These are a problem for the environment. The MPs could access them through their laptops,” he said. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said all the reports had already been uploaded to the laptops on the table of each MP. 

Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando too said that it was a good suggestion and the Government along with the Opposition would work towards amending the Standing Orders of Parliament so as to make the Legislature more environmentally friendly.