Confused with Made in India and ‘non-Swadeshi’ brands, CAPF canteens list put on hold


The government on Monday withdrew a list of over 1,000 non ‘swadeshi’ products to be banned from sale at Central Armed Police Force canteens barely a couple of hours after it was circulated as several items in it were made in India.

Stating that action is being initiated for the “lapse”, Union Home Ministry officials said there were discrepancies in the list issued by the Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar (central police welfare stores) and a new one would be issued after due diligence.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which manages the board of the CAPF canteens, said the list was issued “erroneously”.

“This is clarified that the list issued by Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar on May 29, 2020 regarding de-listing 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“The list has been withdrawn and action is being initiated for the lapse,” a statement issued in the name of the CRPF director general said.

The CRPF chief is the chairman of the welfare and rehabilitation board that looks after the network of canteens.

Earlier in the day, the Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar circulated an order stating that 1,026 products manufactured by firms such as Bajaj, Dabur, VIP industries, Eureka Forbes, Jaquar, HUL (foods) and Nestle India will not be sold at CAPF canteens anymore as they are not ‘swadeshi’ or are prepared from “purely imported products”.

However, the list of banned items included many made in India products and was hence put on hold, officials said.

The now junked list included multiple flavours of Dabur fruit juices, over 30 products each from Bajaj Electricals and LG, multiple bags and strolley variants of luggage maker VIP and items from the Timex group.

The list also featured Maybelline Kajal from L’Oreal, plastic furniture from Neelkamal chairs, Singer sewing machines and products from Havells India, Wipro, Bluestar, Borosil, Tommy Hilfiger.

On May 13, Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared that the nationwide network of over 1,700 Central Police Canteens (CPCs) or CAPF canteens will only sell indigenous or ‘swadeshi’ products from June 1 in a bid to give a fillip to domestic industries.

The move followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation when he called for people to go “local ke liye vocal” (to promote local goods) with an aim to make India self-sufficient in every way.

A Home Ministry statement had said 50 lakh family members of about 10 lakh CAPF personnel will only use indigenous products.

Companies were asked to provide details of their products to the CRPF Canteen Board after which the list was put out.

The CAPFs comprise the CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB. The canteens do business worth an estimated Rs 2,800 crore annually.