Parliament Canteen Scraps Subsidy, Food Prices Set at Market Price

The revised prices of food items sold in the canteen will come into effect from January 29 when the budget session begins.
Parliament Canteen Scraps Subsidy, Food Prices Set at Market Price

NEW DELHI: The Parliament canteen has ended the subsidy on food sold there. The revised rates will come into effect starting January 29 when the Budget Session begins.

The updated prices will be at par with the market rates. As per the new rates, a roti will cost Rs 3, a vegetarian meal Rs 100, and a non-vegetarian lunch buffet Rs 700. The Mutton Biryani will now cost Rs 150 and boiled vegetables have been priced at Rs 50.

Since 2016, the government has issued several circulars stating that the canteen subsidy will end.

On January 19, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla informed that the food served in parliament canteens for MPs and others will become more expensive as the subsidy being given out for it has been scrapped.

The Speaker did not specify the financial effects of the move, however, as per reports sources said that the Lok Sabha Secretariat will now save more than Rs 8 crore annually with the subsidy ending.

Birla also said the parliament canteens will now be run by the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC). It was earlier run by Northern Railways for over 50 years.

The latest move to end the taxpayer-support to meals for politicians follows a splashy announcement in 2019 when BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy announced that lawmakers have unanimously agreed to give up the decades-old subsidy. One problem: the Lok Sabha Secretariat had already announced the move to kill the handout in 2016.

Back in 2019, apparently Rs 13 crore was being spent on subsidised food sold in the parliament canteen. Controversy surrounded the subsidy back in 2015 as well after a reply to an RTI query by activist Subhash Agrawal revealed that the canteen got a subsidy of Rs 14 crore every year.

Mr Birla also informed that all Members of Parliament will be requested to undergo the COVID-19 test before the start of the Budget session. The Union Budget will be announced on Monday, February 1.

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