Adding to the Army's woes, Army canteens face stock crunch
In the past two months, due to a procurement system change, Army's Canteen Stores Department (CSD) has been facing a severe stock crunch, affecting customers. Personnel believe that this new system of procurement was not required. From Leh to Port Blair, CSD has about 4500 outlets, including in areas with difficult terrain. How has this procurement system another woe for military personnel? Read on!
What are CSD canteens?
CSD is the country's largest organized retailer and supplies goods to the armed forces at concessional rates. It was formed in 1921 for British troops. CSD has grown over the years. Over the years, its annual turnover has increased from Rs. 48L to Rs. 17000cr presently. CSD's most sold products are toiletries, packaged foods and supplements, liquor among other things.
What are the changes in the new system of procurement?
In the earlier system CSD canteens would present the estimated stock requirements depending on the area's exact number of army personnel at that point in time. However, under the new system since August 1, they have to submit an estimate based on the "average strength" of area's personnel. Thus, personnel moving from one place to another are not considered, which leads to shortage.
Will this add to army personnel's woes?
Armed forces have expressed their dissatisfaction regarding inadequate housing and pensions and faulty grievance redressal mechanisms. This issue of shortage of stock associated with CSDs, which is a government retailer under the defense ministry, may need to be addressed to avoid further distress among personnel.