Post Corporatization of the 41 Ordnance Factories, the Ordnance Factories are suffering without sufficient work. This has created lot of apprehensions in the minds of the employees about the future of Ordnance Factories and their own future. This apprehension has increased manifold after the Army floated tender for procurement of almost 12 lac of Uniform from the open market.
Despite the complaint lodged by AIDEF against the tender even though it was withdrawn, the Army has again retendered it. This forced the AIDEF to write a protest Letter to Rajnath Singh / Defence Minister charging that there is a clear conspiracy to make the 4 Ordnance Factories under Troop Comfort Limited (TCL) which manufacture Troop Comfort Items as a sick industry and then to sell it out.
C. Srikumar, who was reelected as the General Secretary of All India Defence Employees’ Federation (AIDEF) in the recently held conference at Kanpur told www.indianpsu.com that before Corporatization of Ordnance Factories more than 270 items including the Uniforms manufactured in the Ordnance Factories were declared as “Non Core” and Government permitted the Army to procure these items from the Private Sectors. Post Corporatization
instead of handing over the responsibility of designing the new model Army Uniform to the Ordnance Factories, which they are capable of, the Army asked NIFT and a Private Textile Mill to design the same. Now the Army has floated tender in such a manner that the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL cannot even participate in the tender, since the Ordnance Factories do not have the facility of wet processing, dying and printing. Government has never allowed the Ordnance Factories to have these facilities.
It is like clipping the wings of a bird and asking it to fly. Therefore, it is clear that it is nothing but a conspiracy to make the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL sick and then to sell it out. Today it is for the TCL tomorrow it may happen for the other 6 Ordnance Factory Corporations also. This conspiracy of killing the Ordnance Factories should be halted in the interest of the nation and the Armed Forces. Our stand is that the
Government and Army should realize Ordnance Factories are war reserve. The Ordnance Factories only will come to their rescue in case of any emergent situation. Even in peace time only the Ordnance Factories came to the rescue of the country.
During the COVID-19 pandemic it was only Ordnance Factories which produced all types PPEs to the front line warriors to fight against the pandemic. Unfortunately the Government and its advisors are not realizing the fact. www.indianpsu.com accessed a copy of the Letter written by the AIDEF to the Defence Minister which is published here for the benefit of our viewers.
Ref. No. 04/1004/Min./AIDEF/22 Date : 23 rd November, 2022
Shri. Rajnath Singh ji,.
Honourable Defence Minister
Government of India
South Block, New Delhi – 110 001.
Subject : Protest against the conspiracy to make the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL sick by not providing any workload to these Factories.
1) AIDEF Letter of even No. dated 14-02-2022 addressed to the Chief of Army Staff.
2) This Federation Letter of even No. dated 10-06-2022 addressed to the Honorable RM.
3) AIDEF Letter of even No. dated 20-09-2022 addressed to the Honorable RM.
4) AIDEF Letter of even No. dated 29.09.2022 addressed to the Honorable RM.
5) Army Hqrs/MGO Tender Enquiry GeM Bid No. GEM/2022/B/2579671 dated 06.10.2022
6) AIDEF Letter of even No. dated 07.10.2022 addressed to the Honorable RM.
7) Army Headquarters MGO Tender enquiry GeM Bid No. GEM/2022/B/2755088 dated 21.11.2022.
We apprehend that a conspiracy is being systematically planned for making the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL Corporation sick by not providing any workload for them for the year 2023-2024 onwards. Despite our above mentioned correspondence with regard to our appeal for providing full workload to the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL so as to keep the plant and machineries and available manpower fully utilized, no positive steps are being taken in this direction by the DDP / MoD / Army HQ. / MGO.
Adding salt to the injury the Army Headquarters floated an illegal and restrictive tender on 06.10.2022 for procurement of 11,70,159 Combat Uniform Digital Print as a Set of Jacket, Trousers and Cap for Male (Q3). Since, the Tender was full of restrictive conditions and since the above workload is not provided to the TCL Group of Factories this Federation vide Letter dated 07.10.2022 have submitted an appeal to the Hon’ble RM to scrap the above mentioned restrictive tender and also to place the indent for the newly designed Army Uniform to the TCL Group of Factories.
The almost 6000 employees of the TCL Group of Factories were happy when the tender was withdrawn and they were expecting that the indent for the 11,70,159 Combat Uniform Digital Print as a Set of Jacket, Trousers and Cap for Male (Q3) will be placed on the TCL. In this regard it is understood that a proposal for placing the indent on TCL was also mooted in the Office of MGO. However, to our utter shock once again the Army Headquarters have floated the same tender with the same restrictive conditions on 21.11.2022.
From the above it is amply clear that all the assurances given by the Hon’ble RM and also the Secretary (DP) and the Senior Officials of MoD / DDP that the Government will handhold the new DPSUs with regard to providing workload and other support to the 7 Ordnance Factory Corporations which were carved out from the erstwhile OFB despite the opposition by the employees and their Trade Unions are completely violated and the workers are feeling that they are deprived and neglected.
Sir, here we would like to mention that the OCF Avadi one of the Ordnance Factory under the TCL is pioneer in developing the Combat Uniforms as per actual user requirements and approximately more than a crore set of uniforms are delivered to the Army. This was appreciated by all the higher Authorities in the Army several times.
You are aware that at OCF Avadi more than 700 women employees are working. All these employees and the entire workforce of the TCL is a demoralized lot. They cannot be punished for no mistake of theirs.
Therefore, we are justified in doubting that there is a conspiracy being framed against the TCL Group of Factories so as to make these Factories sick industry from the next financial year only to benefit the private corporates and few selected private industries.
You will appreciate the criticality and the sanctity of the Army Uniforms and that is why the Army Logo Uniform was designed and developed by OCF Avadi and was registered under the Patent Act. This was done so that these uniforms should not be made available in the open market which will ultimately used by mercenaries for their anti national activities. You will also appreciate that as a testimony for the UN Mission contingent, the Army Uniforms supplied by OCF Avadi were widely appreciated by the MGS Branch and Senior Army Officers.
We fail to understand that how the owner of the Ordnance Factories i.e. the Government itself will pave the way for deliberately making these 4 Ordnance Factories under the TCL sick immediately after corporatizing these Factories.
In view of the above we once again appeal to your honour with the fervent hope that despite your busy schedules you will immediately intervene in this serious matter and issue directions to cancel the restrictive tender dated 21.11.2022 for procurement of 11,70,159 from the open market and also to directly place the indent to the Ordnance Factories under TCL in accordance with Para 2.4.8 of DPM 2009 “Goods and Services may be procured from DPSUs by following tendering procedure. Any item developed / manufactured by a DPSU specifically for the Defence Services, with ToT or through design and development, should be procured from the concerned Defence PSU only.
In conclusion we would like to mention here that the products manufactured in the Ordnance Factories under TCL are also strategical and critical and the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL are having dedicated facility for the manufacturing of all types of Troop Comfort Items. Therefore, your honour may kindly issue instructions for granting exemptions to the Armed Forces for the procurement of all Troop Comfort Items from the Ordnance Factories under TCL and not through GeM in the interest of national security and also in the interest of the survival of the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL.
Awaiting for your earlier and favourable response please.
Leader / Staff Side
Departmental Council (JCM)
Ministry of Defence