Under the impact of the global financial and economic crisis, looking for ways to cut down expenditure and save energy have now become part of the routine for those deputies and members who are now in Beijing attending the annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
A member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) checks in at the secretariat of the annual session in Beijing on March 2. The organizing committee provides each CPPCC member with a laptop to inquire about information of the conference.
According to a Shanghai-based Labor Daily
report on March 3, the Shanghai delegation took "ultra-capacitor electric buses" on their way to the city's airport. In recent years these battery-driven, zero-emission vehicles have come into widespread use in municipal government organizations and institutions.
NPC deputies and CPPCC members from different provinces and regions are staying in a number of designated hotels in Beijing to reduce transportation expenses. Some hotels only offer toiletries on request, as is noted in the manual of one of the Beijing hotels designated for accommodating the CPPCC members.
Apart from one or two welcoming banners, few decorations are to be seen in the Beijing Railway Hotel. Conference information is printed on recycled paper, as are the brown paper envelopes containing conference materials. "This measure will allow each hotel to save more than 1,000 envelopes during the conferences," the Labor Daily reported.
The Beijing Railway Hotel is also providing every CPPCC member with a laptop and a 2G USB memory-stick as they check in at the secretariat of the conference. "All the conference information can be accessed in this equipment, which must be returned when the conference finishes," a staff worker from the hotel told the Labor Daily.
In previous years, the CPPCC and the National Statistic Bureau asked the hotel to allocate some rooms as dedicated information and enquiry offices for the conference participants, wasting a great deal of manpower and material resources as a result. This year for the first time a non-paper office system has been implemented, making it easier to find information.
Wu Ming, a CPPCC member said: "During previous conferences we had papers piled in stacks several meters high. This year's improvement is both efficient and environmentally friendly."
Li Jun, also a CPPCC member, agreed with Wu Ming, adding, "There is a general trend for e-materials to gradually replace paper in an information society."
According to Xinhua News Agency, China has decided to streamline the annual sessions of its top legislature and top advisory body and cut dining and boarding expenses in a bid to reduce cost, as the unfolding global financial crisis takes its toll on the country, one of the world's largest economies.
"The 2009 CPPCC session will last nine days," Zhao Qizheng, spokesman for the session, told a press conference held in Beijing on March 2.
With a more efficient agenda this year, the nine-day CPPCC session, down from 11 days last year, is "the shortest in CPPCC history," Xinhua quoted Zhao as saying.
(China.org.cn by Li Jingrong, March 4, 2009)