New Delhi: Notwithstanding the controversy over subsidised food in Parliament canteen, no proposal to raise price is on the cards as the concerned committee insists that such a measure would only hit hard employees and representatives of the media.
"Much hue and cry has been made by a certain TV channel which is especially targeting lawmakers despite the fact that MPs are the ones who are using the facility the least," AP Jitender Reddy, Chairman of the Food Management Committee of Parliament, said.
Talking to PTI, Reddy lamented the controversy over the issue and said critics were ignoring the fact that subsidised food is made available by several corporates as also public sector undertakings to their employees as one of the facilities.
"If this is the case, then talking only about Parliament does not necessarily send the right message about lawmakers," he suggested.
He said that he has called a meeting of the Committee tomorrow but insisted that no proposal to revise the rates is on the table.
His refrain was that the "hue and cry" may have been raised on the issue, but the "internal survey" of the Committee has found that during session period, only 150 to 250 MPs out of 800 eat in the canteen at the most.
Generally, there are far less than 100 days in a year when Parliament is in session.
Reddy said that the Committee has found that those availing the canteen facility the most are class four employees of Parliament as also representatives of the media who cover the proceedings.
He also said that if Parliament employees and media representatives are asked to bring food from home, it would create another security problem due to thousands of lunch boxes.
The MPs, he said, have to eat in the canteen many times because they cannot go home as their presence is necessary in Parliament.
Besides, he said in the inter-session period, a minuscule minority of MPs eat in Parliament.
He said the effort in the canteen was to provide hygienic food at affordable prices.