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New Delhi
Wednesday 29 January 2020

Parliament canteen to stop offering subsidised food

The Narendra Modi government had been reducing the subsidy for food at the Parliament canteen gradually since 2016; the support price will now be withdrawn fully

The freeloading leftists of the country will now have one excuse less to keep walking on state crutches as the subsidy given to MPs in the canteen of Parliament will now end. MPs will have to pay as per the listed price in the Parliament canteen, a minor reform that most parties have surprisingly agreed to.

The issue was discussed by the Business Advisory Committee following a suggestion from Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. All the parties reached a consensus on the issue. The withdrawal of this subsidy will save Rs 17 crore annually.

Parliament canteen subsidy to end
The Parliament canteen food rate list that had gone viral on social media

During the last Lok Sabha, the price of food in the canteen was increased and the subsidy bill was reduced. But now Parliament is preparing to eliminate the subsidy completely.

The subsidy for food for MPs in the Parliament canteen has been controversial. Recently, its rate list went viral on social media (image attached), with people expressing awe and surprise at the state support price being offered to Members of Parliament who have already got their salaries raised several times.

Until 2017-18, chicken curry was available in Parliament for Rs 50, plain dosa for Rs 12, vegetarian thali for Rs 35 and three-course lunch for Rs 106. This rate list was only for MPs. The rate list of 2017-18 had to be revealed because of an RTI query.

During the first term of the Modi government in 2016, the prices of food available in the Parliament canteen were increased after a long time. Since 2016, the price of vegetarian thali has been Rs 35 compared to Rs 18 before 2016. The non-vegetarian plate is now available for Rs 60 whereas earlier it was available for Rs 33. The three-course mile is now available for Rs 106 whereas earlier it was available for Rs 61.

Recently, when students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University were protesting against the increase in their hostel fees, they had put forward this argument. Students had asked, if no subsidy was available for their (higher) education, why MPs should be subsidised for food.

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