Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu

Vocal for local hits roadblock: MHA puts on hold list of non-Swadeshi items for CAPF canteens

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The first day for Swadeshi (indigenous) products drive has landed top officer of Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar in hot soup. A DIG Rank officer who has said to have delisted 1,000 purportedly ‘non-swadeshi’ products, has made the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) unhappy. The list included top brands like Bajaj, Godrej, Dabur, VIP industries, Eureka Forbes, Jaquar, HUL (foods) and Nestle India.

The MHA on May 13 had declared that the nationwide network of over 1,700 Central Police Canteens (CPCs) or CAPF canteens will only sell indigenous or ‘swadeshi’ products from June 1 in a bid to give a fillip to domestic industries.

The ministry has now put the new order on hold stating a revised list will be issued soon. As per the order of May 29, the communication to CAPF canteens said that products of 1,026 products will not be sold at Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandars or the CAPF canteens anymore from Monday as they are not ‘swadeshi’ or are prepared from imported products, a government order said.

The government withdrew the order de-listing 1,026 companies from sales at CAPF canteens. Sources say several of these products are made in India and a revised order will be shared soon.

Issuing a statement, the CRPF said, “This is clarified that the list issued by Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar on May 29, 2020, regarding the delisting of certain products has been erroneously issued at the level of CEO. The list has been withdrawn and action is being initiated for the lapse.

The officer RM Meena, DIG, CEO-GM, Headquarters KPKB states in his letter that product categorization has been done on the sole basis of information provided by the firms themselves. In case of any litigation, the information provided by the firms will be used as evidence and onus to prove the information as correct will be on the respective firm.

However, the officer mentioned that the “order has been approved by a Competent Authority”.

The original order would have left out over 1,000 products manufactured by firms like Dabur, VIP industries, Eureka Forbes, Jaquar, HUL (foods), Nestle India from being sold at CAPF canteens anymore from Monday as they are not ‘swadeshi’ or are prepared from purely imported products, a government order said.

In a big announcement for ‘vocal for local’, the home ministry on May 13 declared that 1,700 Central Police Canteens (CPCs) or Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF)canteens will only sell indigenous or “swadeshi” products from June 1 in a bid to give a boost to domestic industries.

The order said all those items which are made from “purely imported products” are being de-listed from Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar or CAPF canteens from Monday.

But an insider said that products worth crores are lying in CAPF canteens due to the lockdown and cannot be returned back. “It seems like the decision to go “Swadeshi” was done in a hurry. The officer who took decision must have also been running out of time to take out such order since it came from Home Minister directly,” the source told India Today TV.

The move to sell only ‘Made in India’ products in CPCs followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to the people to buy local products and be vocal about them. “Vocal for Local,” he had declared in his address.

The CAPFs — CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP, SSB and NSG — canteens do an estimated business worth Rs 2,800 crore annually by selling their products to 50 lakh family members of about 10 lakh personnel of these forces tasked for a variety of internal security duties and border guard.

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