New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India has decided to ban the sale of imported goods, including foreign liqour, at Army canteens, according to a report by news agency Reuters. The country has over 4,000 Army canteens, which sale liqour, electronics and other household items to Army soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families at a discounted rate. As per the report, the Defence Ministry has issued an internal order which states "procurement of direct imported items shall not be undertaken".

The defence ministry order said it has already discussed the issue with the Indian Army, Air Force and the Navy in Many and July this year and that it was aimed at supporting Prime Minister Modi's "Vocal for Local" campaign to promote domestic goods.

However, Reuters said, the order did not specify which products would be ousted from the Army cantens but cited industry sources that liqour would be among them.

According to a research by the government-funded Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), imports make up around 6-7 per cent of total sales value in the Army shops. most of them are Chinese products such as diapers, vacuum cleaners, handbags and laptops.

The total annual sale of Army canteens is estimated at over USD 2 billion, making it one of the largest retail chains in India.

Earlier in May this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had said that only indigenous products will be sold at all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) canteens like the CRPF and the BSF from June 1, 2020.  The CAPFs -- CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP, SSB, NSG and Assam Rifles -- canteens together sell products worth about Rs 2,800 crore annually.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma