Centre withdraws order banning sale of 1,026 “imported merchandise” in CAPF canteens

The Centre clarified on Monday that it had withdrawn the order comprising a list of 1,026 “imported products” that could no longer be sold in the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) canteens from June 1. Many products manufactured by Indian companies were included in the list.

Also read: CAPF canteens to sell only swadeshi products

The order issued on May 29 by the Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar or the Central Police Canteen (CPC), under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), had delisted the 1,026 products following an announcement by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on May 13.

“This is clarified that the list issued by Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar on May 29 regarding delisting of certain products has been erroneously issued at the level of Chief Executive Officer. The list has been withdrawn and action is being initiated for the lapse,” said a statement issued by A.P Maheshwari, Director General, CRPF, who is also the chairman of the Welfare and Rehabilitation Board.

On May 13, Mr. Shah had announced that the canteens will sell only Swadeshi (indigenous) products.

The CPC order said all products were categorised under three categories: “Category 1 — products purely made in India, Category 2 — raw materials imported but products manufactured/imported in India and Category 3 — purely imported products.”

Also read: CAPF awaits clarity on canteen order

Based on this analysis, seven firms fell in Category 3 with the 1,026 items, includeing products by the seven firms and many Indian companies.

The order said the list has been prepared based on the information provided by the firms.

Some of the products that were delisted were Usha sewing machines (wonder stitch, excella), a range of Real Activ juices by Dabur India Limited, chopper, kettle, sandwich makers by Philips India Limited, plastic chairs and tables by Nilkamal Limited, steel flasks by Eagle Home Appliances Limited, shower gel and mouthwash by Colgate Palmolive India Limited, Adidas body spray by Cavinkare Limited, air purifiers by Blue Star and a host of products from Bajaj Electricals Limited.

A range of products of Cello, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Proctor and Gamble, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Singer India Limited, Red Bull energy drink and Swiss Military Lifestyle products will not be sold.

Seventythree of the 446 firms, including multi-national companies, were delisted.

On May 14, the CPC wrote to all the 446 “Indian and multinational companies” seeking product-wise information on the “criterion of Swadeshi”.

“The CPC had written to MHA to give a clarity on the Swadeshi order. The MHA turned to the Commerce Ministry seeking clarification. Since the order had to be implemented from June 1, the concerned official released the list after getting feedback from the companies concerned. The clearance of MHA was not taken,” said a senior official.

The CPC negotiates with the firms to get the best consumer deals on products for the CAPF personnel.

The CPC is headed by an Additional Director General rank officer and was initiated as a welfare venture by the MHA in 2007. There are 119 master canteens that also double as warehouses and more than 1,700 subsidiary canteens as retail outlets. They cater to nearly 10 lakh retired and serving CAPF personnel and their families offering them products at a cheaper rate than the market price. The CAPF comprises forces such as CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, CISF, NSG and Assam Rifles.

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