After years of debates over the heavily subsidized food for the Indian Parliamentarians at the parliament canteen, the prices have finally been increased.
The Indian Lok Sabha Secretary-General Anoop Mishra recently announced the hike in the prices of the eatables sold in the Parliament House Complex, also informing that the Speaker, Mrs. Sumitra Mahajan, who provided her final consent for the hike, had “taken a number of decisions, the most important being that the canteen will now work on a no-profit, no-loss basis”. Importantly, the Lok Sabha Speaker Mrs. Sumitra Mahajan had prior asked the Parliamentary Food Management Committee to look into the issue, which has become quite debatable in recent times.
The subsidized eatables are sold by the IRCTC (Indian Railway) Catering units. The food at the IRCTC run canteen had ran into controversy after a Right-to-information (RTI) query revealed that over Rs 60 crore were paid to the IRCTC, since 2010 as subsidy to keep the food prices low.
Though the official statement did not specify, but it could be implied that the menu prices would also remain subject to the varying costs.
The officials said the prices of nearly all food items have been increased by 50-70%. A vegetarian ‘thali’, which was earlier costed Rs 18, will now be priced at Rs 30 and non-veg ‘thali’ will cost Rs 60 instead of Rs 33 earlier. The price for a three-course meal has gone up from Rs 61 to Rs 90. A Masala Dosa will now cost Rs 15, up from Rs 5. The new rates are effective from the very first day of the New Year.
In recent times, the supply of highly subsidized food in the Parliament House Complex has attracted adverse publicity, including in both the social and the general media in India. The recent announcement aims to put an end to all such debates and improving the public perception.