No Proposal To Privatise Ordnance Factory Board: Ministry Of Defence
The Defence Ministry on Friday said there is no proposal to privatise the Ordnance Factory Board.
“Rumours being spread that OFB is being privatised are misguiding and with the intent to mislead workers,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Indian Ordnance Factories organisation a family of 41 ordnance factories under the aegis of its corporate headquarters Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata has over 200 years of experience in defence production.
In continuation of the meeting held on Aug. 14, a committee of senior officials of the Defence Ministry led by additional secretary, Department of Defence Production, along with OFB chairman, once again met the office-bearers of All India Defence Employees Federation, Indian National Defence Workers Federation, Bhartiya Pratiksha Mazdoor Sangh and Confederation of Defence Recognised Association on Friday to discuss a notice given by them that they will strike work from Aug. 20, officials said.
The meeting was also attended by officials from the Ministry of Labour and Employment, they said.
“The committee explained to the employee organisations that there is no proposal to privatise OFB. The proposal under consideration of government is to make it into Defence Public Sector Undertakings, which is 100 percent government-owned,” the statement said.
The committee also pointed out that the employees’ call for “30-day strike was unprecedented, especially when the government has already agreed to their demand to hold discussions at the ministry level and is in process of continuously engaging with them”, the statement said.
“Rumours being spread that OFB is being privatised are misguiding and with the intent to mislead the workers. Corporatisation of OFB will bring OFB at par with other DPSUs of Ministry of Defence,” it said.
“This is in the interest of OFB as it will provide operational freedom and flexibility to OFB which it presently lacks. Besides, the interests of the workers will be adequately safeguarded in any decision taken on the subject.”
The committee also pointed out that the government has been trying to strengthen the functioning of OFB, including having taken several steps to modernise the factories, re-skill OFB employees at government cost, enable development of products and components with indigenous technology, the ministry said.
“The committee urged the employee organisations to recognise government's efforts to make OFB into a competitive, productive and efficient organisation with higher turnover and enhanced profitability, which would also be in the interest of the employees. Therefore, the committee once again urged the employee organisations to withdraw their proposed strike,” it said.
Indian Ordnance Factories is the oldest and largest industrial setup which functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.