Food served in Parliament canteens for MPs and others will become costlier as a subsidy given for it has been stopped, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Tuesday. While Birla did not specify the financial implications of the move, sources said the Lok Sabha Secretariat can annually save more than Rs 8 crore with the subsidy coming to an end.
Talking to reporters about preparations for the next Parliament session, beginning January 29, Birla also said the Parliament canteens will now be run by ITDC in place of Northern Railways. Birla said all Members of Parliament will be requested to undergo the COVID-19 test before the start of the Budget session.
While Rajya Sabha will sit from 9 am to 2 pm, Lok Sabha will function in the second half from 4-8 pm. The Question Hour will be allowed during the session for an already fixed time of one hour. He said all arrangements have also been made for RTPCR COVID-19 tests of MPs near their residence.
In Parliament premises, the RTPCR tests will be conducted on January 27-28, while arrangements have also been made for these tests of families and staff members of MPs. Birla said the vaccination drive policy finalised by the Centre and states will apply to parliamentarians as well.