Veterans are eagerly waiting for the introduction of online CSD facilities to get the Grocery items and Liquor. Purchase of items from nearest CSD is not so feasible for this busy life schedule of 70% ex servicemen. Old aged veterans are unable to move beyond affordability to collect CSD items bearing huge transportation costs as they mostly live in far flung areas from military stations. To bring up a definite solution, the Ministry of Defence has undertaken a project to migrate the present URC system to a total online mode.
It is true that the shipping charges will be extra and it may not be convenient to some veterans. However, considering the demand/suggestions, MoD has moved to introduce CSD online portal and AFD items are already available at online mode of purchase. To know the progress on CSD Non AFD Online platform, we should just go through the budgetary allocation for the past years and govt initiatives as described by the Standing Committee on Defence in the Lok Sabha, last year.
The Canteen Stores Department (CSD), a Government of India Undertaking under the Union Ministry of Defence, is committed to welfare of troops of the Army, Navy and Air Force and their families, through easy access to quality products of daily use at less than market prices.
The Standing Committee on Defence has published their report in the Lok Sabha that against the projected Budget Estimates, has been allocated too less amount during the last two financial years. To a specific query of the Standing Committee in this regard, it has been submitted by the Ministry of Defence that expenditure on operations will be optimized to ensure that the projected budget of ₹ 25,877.72 crore at BE stage in FY 2021-22 is sufficient for CSD to run its operations smoothly. The Standing Committee are satisfied to note that facilities of CSD were also operational during the CORONA pandemic.
They further note that a big challenge before CSD is to complete its ongoing automation project in the financial year 2021-22, which is aimed to facilitate online purchase of Against Firm Demand (AFD) and non-AFD items and meet ever-increasing expectations of its beneficiaries. The Committee are of the considered view that allocation of projected funds is indispensable for liquidation of past committed liabilities and contractual obligations, modernization of existing warehouses, smooth operation of AFD portal and commencement of e-commerce platform for non-AFD items.
Govt initiative to introduce Online CSD Grocery Items and Liquor
In light of these facts, the Standing Committee recommended that enhanced budgetary allocation as projected by Canteen Stores Department may be extended to them and the Committee be apprised consequently.
From the above statement published in the Standing committee report in the Loksabha, it is indicative that the Online Sales of all kinds of CSD items, i.e – Grocery, Liquor, Car, Bike, TV etc will be fully operational within a few months. Modification of warehouses, establishment of e-commerce already has been undertaken by the Ministry of Defence to facilitate the Online CSD operations.
It is well known to all that the AFD items are presently available to book and pay online through csdafd portal. This is a hybrid mode of sales that is operational in collaboration with vendors.
However, the proposed Online sales of Non AFD items – i.e Grocery items, Liquor etc will be fully e-commerce sales mode of operations as we experienced with Amazon, Flipkart etc.