MHA repatriates CEO of CAPF canteens after ‘Swadeshi’ products list goof-up


NEW DELHI: R M Meena, the CEO of CAPF canteens, has been repatriated to his parent cadre in the Central Reserve Police Force after a recent goof-up in the issuance of a list that de-notified over 1,000 products calling them ‘non-Swadeshi’, officials said on Thursday.

An order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday said Deputy Inspector General Meena has been “recalled” by the Central Reserve Police Force.

Another CRPF DIG, Rajeev Ranjan Kumar, will be the new CEO of the canteens board with immediate effect for a period of three months, it added.

Meena was the chief executive officer (CEO) of the ‘Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar’ or the central police welfare stores, and had issued a document on May 29 that de-listed over 1,000 products that were till recently sold from the CAPF canteens network.

This list was issued after Union home minister Amit Shah had on May 13 declared that the nationwide network of over 1,700 CAPF canteens will only sell indigenous or ‘Swadeshi’ products from June 1 in a bid to give a fillip to domestic industries.

The CRPF, which is currently managing the board of the Central Armed Police Forces canteens, had later 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“The list has been withdrawn and action is being initiated for the lapse,” a statement issued under the name of CRPF Director General had said.

The CRPF chief is the chairman of the welfare and rehabilitation board that looks after the canteens setup. Meena was on a deputation post on the canteen Board.

Meena’s order had, however, said that the list that de-notified over 1,000 “purely imported products” from CAPF canteens was issued “with the approval of competent authority.”

Officials said Meena will soon be given a new posting in the CRPF.

The move to sell only ‘Made in India’ products in CAPF canteens followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s appeal to the people to buy local products and be vocal about them.

“Vocal for Local,” he had declared in his address.

The canteens of CAPFs (CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB) do an estimated business of Rs 2,800 crore annually by selling their products to 50 lakh family members of about 10 lakh personnel of these forces tasked for a variety of internal security duties and border guarding.

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