Members of Parliament and its staff may have to shell out more for meals in the Parliament canteen as the House food panel is likely to recommend higher prices to cut down its much-criticised subsidy.
The new rates might be at least 25% higher than the prevailing prices but it would still be far lower than the marker rates for similar items.
In the Parliament, a mutton curry costs Rs 20 while a rice plate is sold for Rs 4. A query under the Right to Information Act recently revealed that during the past five years, the Parliament canteen — run by the Northern Railways catering service — got a subsidy of Rs 60.7 crore. Apart from MPs and Parliament staff, many visitors and journalists also enjoy the subsidised food in the canteen.
Every year, the subsidy goes up by almost Rs 3 crore due to spiralling prices. “These rates were decided way back in 2005. A decade later, we need to revise the price list to factor in the inflation,” Parliament’s food committee chairman AP Jithender Reddy told HT. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP, however, said it would not be a wholesale correction of prices but the rates of a few items would change.
The food committee’s proposal would be sent to the Lok Sabha Speaker’s Office for approval.
“After the proposal is cleared, the new rates would be implemented most probably from January 1,” said a source in the Parliament canteen.
Lok Sabha secretary general Anoop Mishra said it was yet to receive any formal proposal from the House panel.