New Delhi, October 24: The Modi government has issued an order asking army canteens not to purchase imported goods, according to a report by news agency Reuters. Serving soldiers and ex-servicemen purchase food items, electronics, liquor and other goods at discounted prices from 4,000 army canteens across the country. The list of banned imported items is likely to include foreign liquor. MHA Order on Sale of Only 'Swadeshi' Products at CPAF Canteens Not Withdrawn.
The order was issued by the Ministry of Defence on October 19. It said that in future, "procurement of direct imported items shall not be undertaken", Reuters reported. The order did not specify which foreign products shouldn't be bought. The order stated the issue had been discussed with the army, air force and navy in May and July and directions were in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to promote local products. Go 'Vocal for Local': PM Narendra Modi Appeals People to Endorse Local Products.
According to an August research column of the government-funded Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), imported products make up around 6-7 percent of total sales value in the defence shops. India's Ministry of Home Affairs has already mandated sale of only "swadeshi" or local products through Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) canteens. The decision was announced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Subsequently, the central police welfare stores body, under which the country-wide network of CAPF canteens function, had issued an order "putting on hold" all indent and supply orders for all category of items with immediate effect and till clear instructions on "swadeshi" firms and products is received from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Following an unprecedented face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers along Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, which resulted in the killing of 20 Indian jawans and unspecified Chinese casualties, the Indian government took a slew of measures to curb Chinese businesses and investments. It included a ban on Chinese applications such as TikTok and PUBG.