For cops to shop cheap, state seeks Centre nod

To cushion the policemen from inflation, Trinamool Congress government has made plans to make a host of food items and other necessary commodities available to them at concessional rates.

West Bengal Police Directorate has sent a letter to Union Home Ministry seeking approval to procure certain listed commodities from Central Police canteen which will be sold to the state police personnel at subsidised rates. From rice and pulses to pressure cookers, policemen will get several food items and consumer durables at 15 per cent concessional rates once the plan is approved.

A senior police officer told The Indian Express that there was resentment among the force after ration was withdrawn in Left regime. To compensate them, ration allowance to the tune of Rs 750 is paid to policemen from the rank of constables to inspectors.

Deputy Inspector General (Planning and Welfare), Mahendra Singh Poonia, confirmed that West Bengal Police has sought Centre's approval to procure commodities at concessional rates. "In the beginning, the project will be implemented on pilot basis at two places — Barrackpore police lines in North 24-Parganas (South Bengal) and Dabgram in Siliguri (North Bengal). In the next phases, similar canteens will come up in other places. We have sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for procuring the items in the first phase," said Poonia.

As of now, the police personnel of Central force and paramilitary force get these commodities at 18 percent subsidised rate from Central Police canteen. A total of 149 listed firms supply 1,000 commodities to these canteens spread out across the country.

Recently, central intelligence sleuths, railway policemen, staff of Central Bureau of Investigation have been brought under the scheme. Security personnel belonging to Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Assam Rifles, Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force and other paramilitary forces too have been getting listed commodities at subsidised rates since the scheme was launched by the Centre.

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