Dry Run: New Procurement System Creates Supply Shortage At Army Canteens

Army canteens have been facing a severe stock crunch in the past two months due to a change in the stock procurement system which has drastically reduced the estimated number of customers. This in turn has led to inconvenience for serving and retired personnel, who said there was no need for the new system.

According to Army officials, canteens of the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) earlier would submit estimated stock requirements based on the ‘authorised strength’ of personnel in their area, that is, the exact number of personnel posted in with a unit or Army formation. Under the new system, which became operational from August 1, canteens have to place estimates based on ‘average strength’ of a unit in an area. This does not take into account other personnel who might be in the area during that period. The effect, said officials, is that stock requested, and supplied, has declined considerably, leading to canteens going out of stock very early every month.

“In the past, if 450 personnel were posted in a regiment, then we would register a demand for that number. Now we have to send a request based on the average strength in a month, which is between 200 and 250. The new system doesn’t take into account the floating population, that is, personnel in transit from or to elsewhere, due to which we often face shortage of goods,” said a serving officer in charge of running a unit-run canteen (URC). Read More…

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