Chinese goods have made their way into army canteens and the country’s top auditor is fuming over it.
In its latest report tabled in Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found that locally-available daily use products were being imported from China and sold in Canteen Stores Department outlets. The CSD sells goods at subsidised rates to soldiers, ex-servicemen.
The report cited the examples of blankets, doormats, raincoats, slippers and handbags of Chinese origin on CSD shelves.
The report said the introduction of such imported items lacked justification and worked against the government’s initiative of encouraging the domestic small scale industries.
“Further, independent quality inspection of the imported items introduced by CSD was not carried out to ensure quality standard of the goods vis-à-vis comparable products in India,” said the report on the working of CSD whose sales amounted to Rs 15,781 crore in 2015-16.
In its defence, the CSD said there was no ban on importing items from China. “Importing items by medium enterprises contributes to economy and providing employment to Indian people.”
The report said there was nothing to show if the needs of consumers or the popularity of the product was ascertained.
“Imported items were introduced without conducting market survey and quality checks,” the report said. The number of consumer goods listed with CSD stood at 5,548 as of March 2016.
The CAG also raised questions about irregularities in liquor sales in 20 unit run canteens. The report pegged the cost of “excess drawn liquor” at Rs 5.14 crore, flagging concerns about illegal sales in the market.