Baijayant welcomes food subsidy removal extended to MPs

Bhubaneswar: Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda on Saturday welcomed the decision of Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to remove food subsidies extended to parliamentarians.

A recent statement from Lok Sabha secretariat said Mahajan has decided that the canteen in Parliament will work on ‘no-profit, no-loss’ basis from January 1.

Panda, who had urged the Speaker about the same in July 2015, had said that food subsidy extended to the parliamentarians in parliament canteen should be removed to raise public trust and confidence in lawmakers.

“I am of this opinion as well and believe that the removal of food subsidy for MPs will be a right step in effecting greater public trust and confidence in our role as law makers,” he said in a letter to Mahajan.

In June 2015, an RTI reply had revealed that parliament canteens serving to members of parliament got a total subsidy of Rs 60.7 crore during the last five years with items like ‘puri sabji’ being sold at 88 per cent subsidised rates.

The RTI reply showed that the canteens received a subsidy of Rs 10.4 crore, Rs 11.7 crore, Rs 11.9 crore, Rs 12.5 crore and Rs 14 crore during the years 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14 respectively which totals to around Rs 60.7 crore. It also said that the canteens in parliament serve 76 mouth watering dishes ranging from simple boiled egg to various mutton and chicken dishes which have been subsidised from over 150 per cent to about 63 per cent.