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Parliament canteen to hike food prices

Last updated: 08 August, 2010
Ajith Athrady, New Delhi, August 8, DHNS:

The highly subsidised, lip-smacking food served to the country’s policymakers in Parliament canteens will now be dearer, in accordance with the market rates.

 
There are 10 canteens in the Parliament complex, whose annual food bill comes to over
Rs 5 crore. The Parliament Food Management Committee is now set to revise the prices of food items served in the canteens considering the spiralling costs of inputs and the demand from the MPs. And the hike will be significant though not on a par with the market prices.
“The bill revision is imminent as the last revision took place about six years ago. But it will not be steep hike,” D Raja, CPI Rajya Sabha member, also a member of the committee, told Deccan Herald.

However, Raja rejected the suggestion of fixing market rate for the canteen food, as every office or factory whether government or private has a subsided canteen for its staff. Going by this, Parliament canteens would continue to be subsidised.

Media target

The MPs have begun demanding an increase in menu rates after media reports targeted them for “enjoying highly subsidised food when aam aadmi is reeling under price rise.”
But they also counter the reports saying it is not just Parliament members who are treated to the subsidised fare. Nearly 7,000 staff working in Parliament and its annexe have food from the canteen, including journalists who cover Parliament. The 788 MPs are just a small fraction of this workforce, they claimed.

“And mind you, not all the MPs eat in the Parliament House, though it is a fact that food is subsidised only because of the MPs,” a Parliament member said.

Considering all these, the MPs themselves have asked for the price rise as “why take the blame when not many MPs eat in Parliament.”

To be dearer


Tea: Re 1 a cup
Soup: Rs 5.50
Rice keer: Rs 5
Mutton biryani: Rs 27
Fish curry: Rs 13
Vegetarian meal: Rs 12.30
Non-vegetarian meal: Rs 22


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