Will Parliament soon scrap canteen food subsidy? BJP, Congress agree

In wake of growing chorus against the eye-popping low prices for the food items being served in the Parliament's canteen, both the BJP and Congress are in favour of abolishing the subsidy.

Will Parliament soon scrap canteen food subsidy? BJP, Congress agree

New Delhi: In wake of growing chorus against the eye-popping low prices for the food items being served in the Parliament's canteen, both the BJP and Congress are in favour of abolishing the subsidy.

The matter was taken up in the all party meet called on July 20 wher PM Narendra Modi urged the MPs to discuss the matter to reach a conclusion.

Both the major parties contend that the subsidy should be revoked as the MPs consume less than 10 percent of the food supplied by the canteen, as per the data compiled by the Parliament's food committee.

According to the Committee on Food Management in Parliament House Complex, a mere nine percent of the MPs consume the canteen food while the rest is used by the staff, security, media and committee meetings.

The parties hence contended that the MPs were targeted for buying food at cheap rates even as they consumed hardly 10 percent of the food.

The canteen's food committee is set to decide next week whether the subsidy should be scrapped or not.

Parliament's canteen food sprung to headlines this year in March when PM Modi went to the canteen and paid a mere Rs 29 for a thail.

Recently, BJD leader and Lok Sabha MP from Kendrapara in Odisha, Jay Panda, stressed on the urgency to end the food subsidy regime.

Another BJP member Sudhan Rajagopal had on July 16 tweeted on the topic, saying that subsidies must be reserved for the “poorest of the poor”.

A reply to a Right to Information query has revealed that the central government faced a loss of around Rs.14 crore (over $2 million) in 2013-14 on account of subsidy given to over half a dozen canteens in the parliament complex. 

Another RTI reply last month exposed 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.

 

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