NEW DELHI: China has been the biggest loser in the defence ministry ‘Atmanirbhar’ push at military canteens.

More than half of the items in the long list of products that have been banned in the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) recently were being directly procured from China. The officials have been told not to purchase these items.

The order, issued on October 29, said, “In order to implement the Government of India’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and as per the directions of the MoD, no purchase order will be placed for the directly imported items with immediate effect.”

Of the 422 items banned, 220 were being directly imported from China while 16 other items had partial production in the country.

The Chinese products which have been banned mostly include the electronic items like laptop, oven, coffee maker, sandwich toasters. Home décor items and crockery are also on the list.

The next country that will be hit hard is Vietnam with 42 items imported from there banned. Several products from the US, France, England, Germany and Italy along with Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the neighbourhood have also been banned.

The CSD was created to give easy access to quality products of daily use to the soldiers and veterans. Not everyone has favoured the move to impose the ban.

“If importing a product is cost-effective, it should be continued. After all, the same products are available in the market. So how does it fulfil the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat vision?” asked a military personnel.

Another soldier expressed fear that this was a step towards shutting the CSD services.

“Another 3-5 years and this CSD facility will be stopped and some other method will be adopted,” he said.

Network of Over 3,700 Canteens Across India

Products are moved through 34 depots and about 3,700 canteens catering to the needs of around one crore beneficiaries. CSD gives access to quality products to the soldiers.