Budget session: Parliament canteen expands menu, hikes prices
A buffet lunch for ₹700 and an aloo bonda for ₹10—the Parliament canteen will dish out an elaborate menu this Budget session.
The Parliament canteen, now run by ITDC, will offer as many as 58 food items—both vegetarian and non-vegetarian—from January 27, an internal circular said. The price tags, however, don’t smell of subsidy. For many years, the Parliament canteen had tried to strike a balance between the quality of food and its price but for the first time, food will be served with a no-profit-no-loss approach.
While vegetarian biryani is priced at ₹50, a plate of chicken biryani will cost ₹100. A vegetarian meal (thali) will now be available for ₹100, mutton biryani at ₹150 and for a plate of fish and chips, a customer will have to shell out ₹110.
The new price list indicates a new menu and a higher rate. While the chicken biryani will cost ₹30 more than the current rate and its mutton counterpart will be ₹50 costlier, the new items include fish and chips, medu vada, mutton cutlet, omelette, masala poori and uttapam. A small plate of green salad, earlier available for ₹10, will now cost ₹25.
Last year, the contract with the Northern Railways, which has been running the canteen since 1968, was scrapped. Top officials indicated that cost control and a better, tastier menu were the prime reasons for such a move. “The Northern Railways’ people in the Parliament canteen were paid nearly ₹1 lakh each by the Parliament to run the canteen. We felt that the cost should be reduced,” said an official.
During a normal session, an average 4,500 people eat at the Parliament every day. According to the data available with officials, during the 2019-20 fiscal, of the ₹17 crore annual subsidy, only ₹24 lakh was spent on account of MPs. The rest was accounted for by visitors, security personnel and officials.