Creating a flutter, the Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar, the canteen of the Central Armed Police Forces under the Ministry of Home Affairs, issued an order to delist — in effect, ban — the sale of over 1,000 “imported” products from June 1.
The list of products annexed to the order — among the products delisted were those of companies such as Dabur India Ltd, Bajaj Electricals, VIP, HUL, Wipro, Bluestar, Havells and Eureka — was withdrawn Monday, but the order remains in force.
In line with the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and an order of the MHA to use “swadeshi” products in canteens, the May 29 order, issued under the signature of DIG RM Meena, CEO of KPKB, canteens, said, “In pursuance to the decision taken by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Swadeshi Goods only will be sold through KPKB Bhandars w.e.f. 1st June 2020”.
“On the sole basis of information submitted by the firms, this office has categorized all listed products in three categories viz. (a) Category 1 – Products Purely Made in India, (b) Category 2 – Raw Materials Imported but Products Manufactured/Assembled in India, and (c) Category 3 – Purely Imported Products,” the order stated.
Given its potential of sparking panic in the industry, the government withdrew the list of products annexed to the order.
In a statement, A P Maheshwari, DG, CRPF, who is also chairman of the Welfare and Rehabilitation Board which runs the CAPF canteens, said: “This is clarified that the list issued by Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar on 29th May 2020 regarding delisting of certain products has been erroneously issued at the level of CEO. The list has been withdrawn and action is being initiated for the lapse.”
Struck off the canteen list were many popular products manufactured in India. These included some 20 products of Dabur India Ltd, largely its Real brand juices; over 30 products each of Bajaj Electricals and LG; over 50 products each of VIP (including its trolley bags and suitcases) and Timex group, and over 100 products from Cello India.
Also delisted were several products of Phillips, Samsung and Panasonic, Colgate mouthwashes, Godrej 5-star AC, Hindustan Unilever products such as Oats Horlicks, Nestle’s Maggie, Red Bull energy drink, Ariel liquid detergent, Jaquar water heaters and Hamilton flask and jar.
Also out were products such as Maybelline Kajal from L’Oreal, Neelkamal chairs, Sleepwell blankets and Singer sewing machines. Products of Havells India, Wipro, Bluestar, Borosil, Tommy Hilfiger, Eagle home appliances and Eureka Forbes too stood delisted.
Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said while the order was okay in its wording, the top brass was not in agreement with the list of products attached to it and that is why an order was issued to withdraw it.
While the order stands, the list, sources said, was withdrawn because it had products falling in Category 2 which are allowed for sale in canteens. A new list, sources said, is likely to be prepared soon.
Following Prime Minister Modi’s “vocal for local” call last month, the MHA had asked all paramilitary forces to use only Made in India products. In an order issued on May 13, the Ministry had asked CAPF canteens to “sell only indigenous products” from June 1.
The total purchase value of CAPF canteens, the MHA said, would be around Rs 2800 crore. “With this decision, 50 lakh family members of about 10 lakh CAPF personnel will use indigenous products,” the MHA had said in a statement.
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