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After paperless Parliament, App for MPs: Speaker Om Birla

ANI  |  General News 

Vowing to make the Parliament paperless by the next session, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Saturday announced some new steps to facilitate effective participation of the members in the proceedings.

Addressing the media after the culmination of a "very productive" session of Lok Sabha, he said the way the Lower House functioned without disruption has once again reposed peoples' faith in Parliamentary democracy.

"An App would be developed soon for the members which will help them in accessing the Parliamentary debates since 1952. It will provide other facilities too," he said.

In pursuit of this goal, Birla said the archives of Doordarshan would also be explored.

The Speaker said the Lok Sabha Secretariat is also exploring the possibilities of providing experts to help the members for a better understanding of government business especially about different aspects of the Bills introduced in the House.

He hoped that such an arrangement would facilitate a better understanding of the background and scope of legislative proposals brought by the government on the floor of the House.

Birla, an MP from Kota in Rajasthan, said Lok Sabha Secretariat would soon be made paperless so that crores of public money could be saved by decreasing the use of paper.

"Almost 80 per cent of the members have agreed to the proposal," he said adding that the delays involved in the delivery of hardcopies to members will also be minimised with the use of electronic and digital methods.

"As part of the initiative, members will be given the option of receiving Parliamentary papers either through e-copy or hardcopy," he said.

To a question on the Opposition's concern over passing of the Bills hurriedly by the government without proper scrutiny, Birla said since Parliamentary standing committees were not formed he provided ample opportunities to members to speak and seek clarification from the government.

He said as Speaker of the Lok Sabha, it was both a challenge and an opportunity for him to conduct the proceedings of the first session after the general election which stretched for 37 sittings and witnessed the passage of as many as 35 Bills.

"The cooperation from the Leaders of the parties and members was very heartening. Without their cooperation it was not possible," he said, noting that a majority of first-time members were given the opportunity to speak in the first session.

"A positive message has gone to the entire country about the functioning of Lok Sabha which was non-disruptive. Be it Treasury benches or Opposition, they all cooperated in the smooth functioning of the proceedings," he said.

Sharing his experiences as a legislator, Birla observed that different regions of the country have their own problems and general public wishes to see how their elected representatives place such matters before the Parliament and how the Parliamentary debates ensure the passage of important Bills.

The Speaker also hailed the media's role and contributions as constructive and said that media has an important role in Parliamentary democracy to create a positive impression of the proceedings of the Parliament in the minds of the general public.

"It is the media which ensures that the work of Parliament is seen and heard by the people at large and this increases peoples' faith even more in Parliamentary democracy," he said.

He said different committees would be formed in view of expansion and modernisation of the Parliament House.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 10 2019. 19:26 IST