In a recent interview of Dr. G Sanjeeva Reddy, President of INTUC, which published by a leading daily, he stated that the Ordnance Factories Corporations will be profitable like the BHEL. He has also stated that a corporation with complete government control will be beneficial to workers. The Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL) was also formed from a government department, but it is now beneficial to the workers.
However, this statement of Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy was contested by C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF and Mukesh Singh, General Secretary of BPMS in the same news item.
www.indianpsu.com analysed the settlement which unions had with the Departmental of Economic Affairs and the management of SPMCIL which has taken place on 15.09.2008 through a conciliation settlement in the presence of the CLC (C). Some of the salient feature of the settlement is given below :-
1) SPMCIL shall continue to be the wholly owned corporation of the GOI. Government shall not use the process of corporatization as means to privatize through disinvestment or closure etc., any of the units.
2) Government shall provide support to the Corporation to the tune of Rs.1200 – 1500 crores as per need for the modernization and capacity upgradatation of the existing plants and machines.
3) Efforts shall be made to get more work orders through marketing. But products being made by SPMCIL will not be sourced from any outside organization without utilizing full capacity of SPMCIL.
4) Job security extended, under no circumstance any of the existing employees on deemed deputation would be retrenched.
5) Medical benefits as under CS (MA) Rules 1944 and CGHS extended.
6) The service condition of all the existing employees on deemed deputation to SPMCIL on 10 th February 2006 would be fully protected and there shall be no change in the same which will be less favourable to such employees even after absorption.
7) Government shall ensure that the existing productive machinery / assets including land transferred to the corporation of all the units of SPMCIL shall not be sold by the corporation.
www.indianpsu.com understands that there is no such commitment given by the Cabinet while deciding corporatization of the Ordnance Factories in to 7 Companies.
www.indianpsu.com contacted C Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF and asked about his views on the statement of the President of INTUC and also about the settlement reached in the SPMCIL. Responding to our queries C Srikumar stated that it is unfortunate that on 16.07.2021 when Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister called the federations, for a meeting the INDWF, President supported the government decision to corporatize the Ordnance Factories which was against the mandate given by the 76000 employees of the Ordnance Factories through a strike ballot and also against the decision of the joint action committee consisting of AIDEF, BPMS, INDWF, NPDEF , AIBDEF and other organizations. The statement of Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy that the 7 OFB corporations will be earning profit like BHEL reveals his wrong understanding about the role and functioning of the Ordnance Factories. First of all Ordnance Factories have to depend on only one major customer i.e., the Indian Army. Already the present government has given open chit to the Army to purchase all equipments from any private industry.
Moreover, 275 products required for Indian Army and being manufactured in the Ordnance Factories have been declared non-core and no more orders will be placed by the Indian Army for those products. As a commercial organization Ordnance Factories cannot survive by competing with private sector. In the case of SPMCIL, the government have assured full work load for all the SPMCIL factories and have also assured financial support by the government. Is there any such commitment by the government in the case of OFB corporations. It is also to be noted that BHEL, BSNL and SPMCIL are Single Corporations under one umbrella whereas OFB has been sliced in to 7 corporations. Moreover in the Defence Procurement Procedure Manual it is already mentioned that all the Defence PSUs would be disinvested.
The government has also declared that in strategic sector like Defence there will be only 4 PSUs with government which means all other Defence PSUs would be privatized. The employees of Ordnance Factories are Central government employees and Defence civilian employees. Why should they surrender their status. The government is totally biased and discriminatory towards the employees of Ordnance Factories. When the government in 2011 merged the All India Radio and Doordarshan in to a single corporation i.e., Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act 1990, it was through an Act of the Parliament. In this Act, it is categorically stated that all the officers and employees recruited for the purpose of Akashvani or Doordarshan before the appointed day and in service in the corporation as on the 1 st day of April 2000 shall be on deemed deputation to the corporation w.e.f the 1 st day of April 2000 and shall so continue till their retirement.
Is there any such provision / Act of the parliament for OFB corporations and its employees. Moreover the government gives grants / subsidies for Prasar Bharati. From the Annual Account of the Prasar Bharati for the year 2019 it is revealed that government has given grants / subsidies to the tune of Rs.30, 19, 21, 25, 477. Is there any such grant / subsidies provided to OFB corporations. In fact, in the meeting of the EGoM when the agenda of fund requirements of the newly created OFB corporations were discussed it is understood that the Secretary DP has told that funds have to be sourced by the corporation in the form of equity from the government while working capital needs would have to be met directly from the market. The demand of the federations to grant a salary budget of Rs.6500 crores per annum to continue the Ordnance Factories in government setup which was accepted by the present Defence Secretary when he was Secretary DP has been now denied by the present DDP set up.
The 76000 employees of Ordnance Factories have correctly understood the game plan and conspiracy of the government to eliminate the Ordnance Factories and that is why they are relentlessly fighting against the government decision. If the leadership of INTUC has not understood the entire issue or if they are deliberately supporting the government move then the employees are not going to subscribe the views of the INTUC to support corporatization. Even now it is not late. Hope INTUC will reconsider their position in their own interest.
INTUC President is telling all is well in SPMCIL, but the fact remains the employees and their Unions are unhappy and dissatisfied after 15 years of Corporatization. His Union (Tanksal Karmika Sangh) in SPMCIL has given notice of agitation demanding for Workload. The INTUC affiliated Union of SPMCIL, of which Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy is the President, had issued an agitation notice on 19.08.2021 to the Management in which it is stated that after 15 years of Corporatisation of Mint, the situation is becoming worse and that all the 9 SPMCIL Factories are struggling without workload and that employees benefits are being snatched away.
If all is well within SPMCIL, why is the INTUC Union of SPMCIL going for agitation. INTUC Leadership has a lot to clarify on this…..