Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has said that cutting subsidies on food in the Union Parliament will result in an expenditure reduction of around Rs nine crore on an annual basis.
Earlier, subsidies of more than 80 per cent meant that dishes such as a plate of mutton cutlet, mutton curry and masala dosa used to be priced at Rs 18, Rs 20 and a meagre Rs six, respectively.
Similarly, fish fried with chips cost merely Rs 25 as customers paid Rs five for boiled vegetables and Rs 65 for Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani. Several parliamentarians, staff of the secretariat and journalists used to avail themselves of these benefits.
However, the subsidy on food was slashed in January this year. Moreover, Birla even changed the caterer as Northern Railways, in charge of running the Parliament canteen for over five decades, was replaced by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
An RTI reply from 2015 had revealed that Rs 14 crore was paid as subsidies to the canteen annually, but the ITDC has now been tasked to provide food at cost price.
Revised rates mean that masala dosa now costs Rs 50, whereas the prices of mutton curry and fish and chips have been increased to Rs 125 and Rs 100, respectively, The Hindu Business Line.
Speaker Om Birla detailed these developments to explain the financial reforms undertaken to curb unnecessary expenditure. The 17th Lok Sabha commemorated two years of its first sitting a couple of days ago.
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