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Budget session: Parliament canteen expands menu, hikes prices

Jan 26, 2021 10:19 AM IST

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

A buffet lunch for 700 and an aloo bonda for 10—the Parliament canteen will dish out an elaborate menu this Budget session.

While vegetarian biryani is priced at <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>50, a plate of chicken biryani will cost <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>100. A vegetarian meal (thali) will now be available for <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>100, mutton biryani at <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>150 and for a plate of fish and chips, a customer will have to shell out <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>110. (HT Archive)
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. (HT Archive)

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.

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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.

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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.

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