Editorial: Food for thought

All subsidy given on food to Parliamentarians in both the Houses have come to an end. The decision was taken during a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) attended by Members of Parliament (MPs) from different parties who unanimously agreed to end the subsidy on all food items at Parliament canteen. The cost of the subsidy to the MPs in Parliament canteen was Rs 17 crore. In the last Lok Sabha session, the prices of food items being sold at the Parliament canteen was increased to lower the burden on the Parliament House.

The Lower House of Parliament has a total of 545 MPs while the Upper House or the Rajya Sabha has a total of 245 MPs presently. A sum of Rs 17 crore could be saved annually and that the food in the Parliament canteen will be sold at actual cost. As per the subsidised rates, a plate of vegetarian meal costs Rs 30, while non-veg spread costs Rs 60 in Parliament canteen.

The new rate will apply to MPs, officials of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, media persons, security personnel as well as visitors. At a time when the cost of food items is sky-rocketing for common an, one wonders why MPs should enjoy the same at an subsidised rate. Eventually tax-payers money is wasted in the form of subsidy for them, said many. Finally a collective decision has been taken in this regard to put an end to the same by the Parlimentarians themselves.

NT Bureau