The Ministry of Home Affairs clarified on Thursday saying that the Centre’s order asking the Central Armed Police Forces canteens to sell only “made in India” products has not been withdrawn.
The CAPF canteens cater to around 10 lakh personnel and 50 lakh families and sell items worth around Rs 2,800 crore annually. The central paramilitary forces canteens run a nationwide network of over 1,700 Central Police Canteens, according to News18. The products range from groceries, clothes, gift items and vehicles among others. On May 13, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that only “made in India” products will be sold in paramilitary canteens from June 1 in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”, which roughly translates to “self-reliant India scheme”.
Earlier on Thursday, News18 had reported that the Ministry of Home Affairs had withdrawn the order that said only Indian products will be sold in the CAPF canteens. There was confusion after RM Meena, who is in charge of the Central Police Canteen, withdrew the earlier order asking canteens to put fresh procurement of products from companies on hold, CNBC reported. Several media reports claimed that it was the government withdrawing the order that said only “made in India” items will be sold in CAPF canteens.
On May 15, the Central Police Canteen chief had asked canteens to hold fresh procurement of products until the Ministry of Home Affair had clarified as to what will be defined as “swadeshi”. While the ministry’s order is awaited, the officer withdrew the May 15 order as it was affecting supplies to canteens.
The Ministry of Home Affairs issued a clarification and said in a tweet, “Some media reports have been confusing the KPKB [Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar] order to put purchases on hold, with MHA’s decision to sell only made in India products at the CAPF canteens and stores across the country. MHA decision still stands.”
The CAPF includes the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Sashastra Seema Bal, the National Security Guard and the Assam Rifles.
Last week, Amit Shah had said that people should use “made in India” products and urge others to also do so. “This is not the time to lag behind but to turn a crisis into an opportunity,” the home ministry had said in a press statement. “If every Indian resolves to use only made in India products then the country will become self-reliant,” added the home ministry.
In a recent televised address to the nation, Modi had announced a Rs 20-lakh-crore package, equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP, to help various sectors hit by the coronavirus lockdown.