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CAPF canteens to sell only swadeshi products

Union Home Minister Amit Shah   | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to people to use locally made products, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday announced that all canteens of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) would only sell swadeshi (local) or products made in India.

Mr. Shah said on Twitter that a decision had been taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that all CAPF canteens, which catered to around 10 lakh personnel and 50 lakh families, would sell only products made in India.

The order will come into effect from June 1.

“I also want to appeal to other people to use as many indigenous products as possible and also encourage others to do so. This is not the time to be on the backfoot but to turn the disaster [COVID-19 pandemic] into an opportunity. If every Indian uses Swadeshi products, then in five years, we will be self-sufficient,” Mr. Shah said.

The CAPF comprises forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Sashastra Seema Bal, Central Industrial Security Force, National Security Guard and the Assam Rifles.

Central forces run canteens for their personnel and their families where products are available at subsidised rates.

The central purchase committee of the Central Police Canteen (CPC) system is headed by an Additional Director General rank officer. The facility was initiated as a welfare venture by the MHA in 2007. The beneficiaries of the canteens are the serving and retired personnel of CAPF and their families across the country. Presently, there are 119 master canteens that also double as warehouses and more than 1700 subsidiary canteens as retail outlets. The canteen provides consumer goods of a wide range and variety at cheaper rates than the market.

The committee negotiates with the firms to get maximum discounts along with consumer promotional offers on products for the benefit of CAPF personnel. More than 400 firms, which include multi-national companies, are authorized to sell at the CAPF canteens.

On being asked if products belonging to foreign brands but manufactured in India could be sold at the outlets, a Ministry spokesperson said, “made in India is the focus.”

A CAPF official said unlike the Army, liquor is not sold at the CAPF canteens. CAPF officials have been petitioning the MHA to exempt the canteen from GST.

An earlier version of the article incorrectly mentioned SSB as Services Selection Board. It is Sashastra Seema Bal.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 6:24:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/capf-canteens-will-sell-only-swadeshi-products-says-amit-shah/article31572715.ece

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