Ordnance Factory workers approach Doval, Rawat against corporatisation

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 20, 2020

OFB unions have already made 16 representations including to the President and Prime Minister

Workers of Defence factories have approached National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat against the Centre’s decision to corporatise the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

The three major federations of the OFB workers said in separate letters to the top officials that said such a step will have a serious impact on the national security and defence preparedness.

The federations have so far submitted 16 representations to the President, the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and Secretary (Defence Production) requesting that the OFB should remain a government department. “OFB is one of the highly efficient government departments standing shoulder to shoulder with the Armed Forces for its requirements for safe guarding the nation. Unfortunately this service of OFB has never been brought to the notice of the PM and Defence Minister.

“The Ordnance Factories are world class quality production systems, highly competitive pricing mechanism for major weapons and ammunitions, when compared with international Market,” they said in the letter.

“Conversion of Ordnance Factories into a PSU without considering the concomitant risks associated with it would bring untold miseries and unmitigated problems to the Armed Forces, resulting in serious impact on the security of our country,” the letter said.

They added that the move is against the democratic vote of majority of employees, stated through their strike ballot. Ordnance Factories are war reserve/insurance and this reserve capacity cannot be maintained by a public sector company, they argued.

“Is corporatisation a precondition for autonomy? Is corporatisation the only option for improving efficiency? Is corporatisation the last word for accountability?,” they said.

Published on August 20, 2020

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