No choice on banning imported merchandise from army canteens, says MoD

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 20

Military canteens could proceed to promote imported merchandise as the federal government has not issued any orders to limit objects bought by the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) to solely Indian-made merchandise.

“No decision has been taken in this regard,” Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik, acknowledged in a written response on Saturday to a query from Rajya Sabha member KC Ramamurthy on whether or not the Ministry will think about using and promoting by its shops solely merchandise made in India within the gentle of Prime Minister’s enchantment of ‘vocal for local.’

Earlier experiences had acknowledged that the federal government is contemplating to ban the sale of imported objects by the CSD in addition to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) canteens to be able to increase native merchandise, which had kicked up a debate and raised concern amongst a bit of economic institutions. An order issued by CAPF canteens in May proscribing procurement of things from some multi-nationals was later withdrawn.

With its retailers in each army station and most items throughout the nation, together with distant areas, CSD is the biggest and most worthwhile retail chain in India, having annual gross sales in extra of Rs 17,000 crore over the previous a few years.

These promote hundreds of merchandise from groceries and home items to vehicles, electronics and liquor. Most of the merchandise bought by the CSD are of Indian origin barring some home maintain objects and sure manufacturers of liquor. The costs are decrease than market charges as a result of some taxes are exempted.

According to official knowledge, CSD gross sales amounted to Rs 17,190.98 crore in 2017-18, Rs 18,917.23 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 17,588.27 crore in 2019-20. Till August 2020, the gross sales have been Rs 3,693.10 crore, which to date is about 21 per cent of final yr’s gross sales.

CSD gross sales took successful in the course of the lockdown interval as a result of COVID-19 pandemic because the retailers remained closed and the availability chain remained disrupted. Even after the canteens reopened, the footfall was about half of what it was earlier. A sequence of security and precautionary measures, together with Aarogya Setu linked on-line appointments and staggering time for various classes of purchasers have been launched.

In addition to serving members of the armed forces in addition to ex-servicemen and their surviving subsequent of kin, CSD amenities are additionally prolonged to civilian workers in Defence Ministry institutions who’re paid out of the defence estimates. Recently, this profit was additionally prolonged to retired defence civilians.


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