Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Monday said that the Parliament canteen is not just used by the MPs, her remarks comes when a controversy is raging over the heavy subsidy being enjoyed by the facility.
She said the issue of subsidy and quality of food and service are being addressed through a dialogue with all the
stakeholders. Stressing that besides MPs canteen is being utilised by journalists, Parliament staff of all levels, security personnel and guests, she said an individual alone cannot take a call on the issues involved.
"MPs alone don't eat in the (Parliament) canteen," she said. The Speaker said besides the Canteen committee, she will also speak to the journalists' committee on the issue of subsidy.
The Speaker made these remarks after chairing an all-party meeting convened ahead of the Monsoon session which begins on Tuesday. She said she was speaking on the subject as it had been an issue of public discourse for some time after an RTI query revealed that Parliament canteen facility got a total subsidy of Rs 60.7 crore during the last five years.
Mahajan said on the demands of MPs, it has been decided to invite experts in various fields to deliver lecture on issues of importance. Besides, the members who attend the lecture on specific subjects will be provided with short notes as part of the newly-launched Speaker's Research Initiative.
The long-pending GST Bill and Millennium Development Goals are two of the issues which will be part of the new initiative, she said.
"After hearing the experts, it is up to the individual members to firm up their views," she said.
The Parliament Library and Reference, Research, Documentation and Information Service (LARRDIS) also helps MPs prepare for debates on important subjects.