Center withdraws order to drop more than 1,000 products from paramilitary kitchens

Paramilitary kitchens record around Rs 2.8 billion rupees in annual sales.

New Delhi:

An order to ban more than 1,000 imported products in paramilitary kitchens across the country was withdrawn Monday for a new “Made in India” push, as several items on the list were found to be Indian. Imported products had been removed from the list after the government announced last month that paramilitary soup kitchens will only sell indigenous or Indian products starting June 1 in a bid to boost national industries.

Products and brands that were banned from paramilitary kitchens include Nutella, Kinder Joy, Tic Tac, Horlicks Oats, Eureka Forbes, Tommy Hilfiger shirts, and Adidas sprays. Certain brands of microwave ovens and various other appliances have also been recalled.

Seven companies that import products, including Skechers, Ferrero, RedBull, Victorinox, Safilo (Polaroid, Carrera) were also removed from the list.

However, the list also ended by banning various Indian products, including those from Dabur, Bajaj and Usha.

“Said officer took out the order without consulting the ministry, so older people have been offended and measures can be taken against said officer,” a senior official from the Interior Ministry told NDTV.

According to him, a revised list will be sent shortly.

The Kendriya police, Kalyan Bhandars, the parent body that runs these canteens, had divided all the products into three categories.

Category 1 comprised products made purely in India. Category 2 includes products with imported raw materials but manufactured or assembled in India. The third category consists of “purely imported products”.

The parent agency had also detained several company products, which had not provided the information they were seeking.

The move to sell only “Made in India” products in paramilitary soup kitchens was spurred after the prime minister last month insisted on the mantras of “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” or self-reliance and the “voice of the local” while announcing a mega economic package to address economic impact of coronavirus.

Between 60 and 70 percent of the people who shopped in paramilitary kitchens mainly bought essential and basic items. “Most dining rooms were aimed at the lower and upper levels of the police. But this decision would have an impact on the rest of 30 to 40 percent,” said a senior official.

Paramilitary kitchens record around Rs 2.8 billion rupees in annual sales. CAPF includes the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), the National Security Guard (NSG) and Assam Rifles

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