Branded fabric for ₹49 per metre, or a pair of socks for ₹18—Lok Sabha authorities are offering a whole range of cloth and accessories for its officers at prices that can beat any end-of-season sale.
The secretariat has put out a circular listing as many as 50 items available for sale—fabric for shirts, trousers, summer suits, winter suits, uniforms for marshals of the House, belts, shoes, socks, neckties and even leather gloves and jackets.
A leather jacket is available for ₹1,600, while a pair of leather shoes for drivers and attendants can be bought for ₹520. Shoes for protocol department officials, who handle VVIP guests and international seminars, are priced at ₹1,200.
Similarly, fabrics from Mayur for protocol officers are available from ₹473 per metre, while white shirts can be bought at ₹300 each. But these items are only available for House officials and one can only buy up to six metres of fabric.
Most of them are branded items. One can get fabrics from Raymonds, Reid and Taylor or even Mayur and Vimal.
As many as 17 items are available at steeper discounts, including Reid and Tailor cloth for reporters’ uniforms at ₹32 per metre or Raymond cloth for summer uniforms at just ₹32 per metre.
Indian Parliament secretariat has about 2,500 officials. They only buy cloth for their uniform from the secretariat as it matches the prescribed colour and style.
The strict dress code of Lok Sabha officials has seen several changes over the years. Its biggest transformation took place in 2019, leading to better quality of uniforms this year.
Earlier, Lok Sabha officials would buy cloth once in two years, which they would get stitched by any of the 4-5 Delhi tailors empanelled with the secretariat. Now, women officers get a uniform allowance of up to ₹17,000 and men get up to ₹16,000, depending on the nature of their jobs and ranks.
Reporting branch, table office and security service officials, drivers and chamber attendants are eligible for this uniform allowance.
“These branches deal with MPs and other visitors. They are the face of the Parliament secretariat in public and so, they have a set uniform that adds to the dignity of Indian Parliament,” said a senior official.
The benefit of this allowance system, several officers pointed out, is that officials can buy their new uniforms whenever they want, instead of getting it every two years. Also, they are free to buy clothes, which must adhere to the fixed colour patterns, of better quality.
The women officers wear a fixed patterned saree, while men can wear a range of safari suits—blue, fawn, Prussian blue, charcoal—depending on the section they work in. In winter, men and women have to wear blazers and buttoned up coats.
While the table office handles the entire range of paperwork for the House, receiving notices for debates, introduction of Bills or sorting questions for the Question Hour, Parliament security is a special branch handling all security aspects of the estate.