New Delhi: Days after reports highlighted the issue of highly subsidised food being served at the canteens inside Parliament complex, several politicians have voiced their opinion in favour of discontinuing the subsidy.
BJD leader and Lok Sabha MP from Kendrapara in Odisha, Jay Panda, has said that time is ripe to end the food subsidy regime.
“Time has come to keep subsidies only for the poorest of the poor. We (MPs) don't need this,” Panda said.
He had yesterday said that the removal of food subsidy extended to the Parliamentarians in Parliament canteens will help increase public trust and confidence in lawmakers.
Another senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi also spoke in favour of removal of food subsidy. He said: “We are not demanding end of subsides in Parliament canteen, but we won't oppose if the same is withdrawn.”
Congress leader PC Chacko also spoke in a similar tone.
"Parliament canteen need not be too much subsidised. Too much of subsidy for Parliament canteen is not a necessity," Chacko said.
However, Arjun Meghwal of the BJP voiced a different opinion and said, “Media, officials, guests everybody eats in Parliament canteen. MPs constitute only 10-15% of all.”
An RTI reply last month had revealed that Parliament canteens serving to Members of Parliament got a total subsidy of Rs 60.7 crore during the last five years with items like 'puri sabji' being sold at 88 percent subsidised rates.
The RTI reply also said that the canteens in Parliament serve 76 mouth watering dishes ranging from simple boiled egg to various mutton and chicken dishes which have been subsidised from over 150 percent to about 63 percent.
The only item which was sold for a marginal profit was 'roti' for which raw items cost 77 paisa while sold at Re 1, it said, while 'khomani ka meetha' being served at market price of Rs 15 for piece of three.
(With Agency inputs)