The Canteen Stores Department, (CSD), is a solely owned Government of India Enterprise under Ministry of Defence and has its depot in all major military bases operated by the Indian Armed Forces.
CSD are the most profitable retail chain in India, ahead of Future & Reliance Retail and sell a wide variety of products like household provisions, kitchen appliances, alcoholic drinks, cars, and sports equipment. Though originally meant exclusively for active and retired members of the Armed Forces personnel (defined as troops), it is slowly and steadily being expanded to include GREF, NCC Units at Group HQ level, TA units, CDA's staff, Indian Ordnance Factories, Embarkation HQs, civilians paid from defence estimates, civilians paid out of civil estimates, and Paramilitary forces under operational/administrative control of the Army civilian government employees. Generally, these goods are procured by CSD in bulk, and sold at concessional rates (without taxes), compared with retail prices. CSD prices are low as the goods sold are exempt from taxes.
The development of these practices have always kept the objective of the organization in view. The department procures consumer goods and consumer-durable products in bulk directly from suppliers and positions them at 33 Area Depots (acting as wholesale depots), spread all over the country, for meeting the requirements of over 3500 URCs which function as retail outlets. Many of the URCs are located in remote/inaccessible parts of the country.