An internal order from the Defence Ministry, that has been reviewed by news agency Reuters, has directed military shops (ie canteens) to stop procuring imported goods. The move could be a major blow to foreign liquor firms, companies dealing with consumer durables and the likes.
The order dated 19 October stated “procurement of direct imported items shall not be undertaken” in future, Reuters reported.
The report further mentioned that the order said that discussions were held with the army, air force and navy in the months of May and July, on the said issue.
The move was aimed to be on the same lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocating to support and promote domestic goods.
“The order did not specify which products would be targeted. However, industry sources said they believed imported liquor could be on the list,” the Reuters report added.
The Times of India, too, accessed the order and a senior official told the publication:
“We have received the order and are working out the formalities. It will take some time to implement.”
The defence canteens sell electronics, footwear, liquor among other products that are sold at discounted rates to soldiers, former employees and their families.
According to a column published in August in the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Canteen Stores Department (CSD) import 420 items out of the 5,500 items sold by them.
It further mentioned that majority of the items imported by CSD comes from China. “Some of the Chinese items sold in the CSD include toilet brushes, diaper pants, rice cookers, electric kettles, sandwich toasters, vacuum cleaners, sunglasses, ladies handbags, laptops and desktop computers,” it read.
In an earlier report in June, Reuters mentioned that foreign liquor firms Pernod Ricard and Diageo briefly did not receive orders “for their imported brands from such government stores.”
(With inputs from Reuters, The Times of India)
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