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Saturday, 23 January 2021

An annual subsidy of Rs 20 crore behind the Parliament canteen

Bhaskar Explaner:An annual subsidy of Rs 20 crore behind the Parliament canteen, where does this money go? 




The food available in the Parliament canteen has now become more expensive, i.e. the subsidy on food has been abolished. This was announced by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla this week, which means that in the budget session starting January 29, MPs will have to pay more for meals or coffee in the canteen. The question is how much is spent behind the subsidy in Parliament Cantt? How much subsidy is available on which dish? Is all the subsidy money spent on MPs' meals? Why the need to stop subsidies? Let us know the answers to all these questions ....


How much does it cost to subsidize the Parliament canteen?
The Parliament canteen is billed about Rs 20 crore every year. The canteen has three kitchens. In a parliament building, in a library and in an annexe. The closure of the subsidy will save the Lok Sabha Secretariat more than Rs 8 crore annually.

While the Northern Railway, which runs the Parliament canteen, earns Rs 15-18 crore annually. The cost incurred by the Northern Railway in running the canteen is paid through the Ministry of Finance. However, the responsibility of running the canteen has now been handed over to the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) instead of the Northern Railway.

Why was the subsidy stopped?
In 2015, the RTI revealed that 80 per cent subsidy is given on food in the Parliament canteen. Later, Baiju Jayant Panda, a second Janata Dal MP, wrote a letter to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan demanding an end to the subsidy. He said the canteen subsidy facility should also be withdrawn from MPs when the government is stopping the LPG subsidy of economically well-off people.

Then in January 2016, the subsidy on food available in the canteen was reduced. It was decided that the canteen would run on a no-profit no-loss basis. In December 2019, Parliament decided to completely stop canteen subsidies. It will now come into force with the Parliament session starting January 29.

Were all the subsidy money spent on MPs' meals?
No, the subsidy was used for meals as well as other expenses incurred in the canteen, including the salary of the canteen staff. In response to the RTI done in the year 2015, a total subsidy of Rs 14 crore per annum was mentioned.

Of this, Rs 11 to 12 crore was spent on canteen staff salaries, even when Parliament was not in session, there were more than 2 lakh 9 thousand sales in the canteen every day. When the Parliament was in session, this figure was more than 2 lakh 8 thousand.

How much subsidy is available on which dish?
In fact, an RTI in 2015 stated that the Parliament canteen offers a subsidy of 63 per cent to 150 per cent for 76 different dishes.

At that time fish fry and chips were available at Rs 25 after 63 per cent subsidy, mutton cutlets at Rs 18 with 65 per cent subsidy, mutton curry with bone at Rs 20 with 67 per cent subsidy and masala dhosa at Rs 6 with 75 per cent subsidy.

Bread alone was not sold at a subsidized rate. The cost of RTI is shown as 76 paise. When it was sold at a price of Rs.

The subsidy was reduced in 2016. Subsequently, the price of a wage plate of Rs 18 was increased to Rs 35, while the price of a non-wage plate of Rs 33 was increased to Rs 60. Mutton curry at Rs 20 was priced at Rs 40, while chicken biryani was priced at Rs 65.

If Northern Railway has been running the canteen for 52 years then why this time
it was given to ITDC saying that ITDC is a better and professional institute. ITDC Hotel operates Ashok. This decision will also reduce food waste. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Again, it is being said that the price of tea may be Rs 5 as before, while the price of coffee and lemon tea may have doubled to Rs 10 and Rs 14, respectively. Similarly, the price of a non-wage plate can go up from Rs 60 to Rs 100.

Who eats in the Parliament Canteen?
In the Parliament canteen, MPs, their families, those working in the Parliament House, journalists covering the proceedings and those who come to watch the proceedings of Parliament have lunch. There is a growing demand as to why these people are being subsidized on food. They should come on a meal no-profit no-loss basis.

Read In Gujarati News 

Divyabhaskar News 

So will the subsidy stop for everyone?
When it was decided to stop the subsidy in December 2019, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary said that employees working in the Parliament premises, media personnel and those who come to watch the proceedings of Parliament should get the benefit of the subsidy.

Subsidies should be stopped only on MPs' meals. Authorities opposed the protest with all available police forces, special services and the army. " Of course, it is not clear how the decision to stop subsidies will be implemented.

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