Soon, military shops in India might go desi as the Centre has ordered them to stop buying imported goods to promote 'vocal for local', a report by Reuters claimed. “Procurement of direct imported items shall not be undertaken" in the future, an internal order, dated October 19 and reviewed by the news agency, quoted the defence ministry as saying.
The order said the issue had been discussed with the Army, Air Force and Navy in May and July, and was aimed at supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat campaign to promote domestic goods. However, it did not specify which products would be targeted.
According to industry sources that Reuters spoke, imported liquor could also be on the list. The move could send an unwelcome signal to foreign liquor firms such as Diageo and Pernod Ricard.
In June, it was reported that Pernod Ricard India, whose brands include Chivas and Glenlivet scotch whisky, received no order in May for imported spirits, compared with monthly orders of 4,500-5,000 cases by defence stores. One case typically holds six, nine or 12 bottles of liquor.
Diageo India, too, had briefly stopped receiving orders since May for its imported brands such as the popular Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky and Talisker single malt.
Imports form around 6-7 per cent of total sales value in defence shops, according to an August research column of the government-funded Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). Chinese products such as diapers, vacuum cleaners, handbags and laptops, account for the bulk if it, it said.
There are around 4,000 military shops in the country.
India has in recent months taken steps to curb Chinese businesses and investments in retaliation to a border clash in the Galwan Valley in June that killed 20 Indian soldiers.