End of subsidised Parliament canteen, MPs to pay more for meals now

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Updated: Jan 19, 2021 5:53 PM

The subsidies in these canteens had long been a contentious issue and the government had reduced them a few years ago following a hue and cry after it came to light that Parliament canteens were being subsidised to the extent of 80 per cent of the cost.

Birla said all Members of Parliament will be requested to undergo the COVID-19 test before the start of the Budget session.Birla said all Members of Parliament will be requested to undergo the COVID-19 test before the start of the Budget session.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday informed that the food subsidies at Parliament canteens have been completely removed. In 2019, the Speaker had suggested that it was not appropriate to provide such hefty subsidies on foods in the canteens for MPs. Following his suggestions, leaders from across the parties supported the idea of removing the concessions. The move will result in saving around Rs 17 crore annually.

The subsidies in these canteens had long been a contentious issue and the government had reduced them a few years ago following a hue and cry after it came to light that Parliament canteens were being subsidised to the extent of 80 per cent of the cost.

In December 2019, the Speaker had decided to do away with subsidies following his meetings with the leaders of different parties of the Business Advisory Committee. Informing about the move, BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that it was decided in the business advisory committee after Speaker’s initiative. “MPs are of the view that it is not appropriate,” he had said.

PTI has reported that out of the total subsidy of Rs 17 crore, Rs 14 crore is at present availed by Parliament staff and others who visit the premises whereas Rs 3 crore is by MPs. With subsidies withdrawn, the price of meals in the canteens is likely to at least double. The report suggests that a plate of biryani which earlier cost Rs 56 will now be at least Rs 112.

There are currently five canteens in the Parliament complex run by the IRCTC.

(With inputs from PTI)

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