NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has been mulling over permitting only Indian-made products in canteens run for the armed forces, with sources saying that deliberations on the matter have been on for a while and could spur fresh thought after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to go local.
The Canteen Stores Department (CSD) of the ministry, which runs over 5,000 stores across the country with an annual turnover in excess of Rs 16,000 crore, already has a majority of products that are Indian made.
However, if a decision is taken to exclude imported items, it would impact only high-end alcohol sold at the stores and some household items that are available. No major dent in terms of supplies is expected as the items can be procured from Indian manufacturers as well, sources said.
A decision to fully stop imported goods could help weed out Chinese-made items that have found their way into CSD stores as well over the past few years. A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2017 had found that even regular household items that are easily available in the market have occasionally been replaced by Chinese products.