Privatisation Of Army Uniform Is Neither In Interest Of Army Nor The Country : C. Srikumar, General Secretary AIDEF

Easy availability of Army Uniforms in the market is creating apprehensions in mind of the common man, opines the veteran union leader


For the past few days Army Intelligence and Local Military Authorities have raided many private textile shops where a large number of the newly designed army uniform cloth and stitched uniforms were found. Army has recently switched from the Ordnance Factory designed Army Logo Combat Uniform to the NIFT designed digitally Printed Army Uniform.

However, post Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories, the Army refused to place the indent on the Ordnance Clothing Factories under TCL and have placed the order on 4 private firms at a very cheaper rate than the TCL. The AIDEF which represents the employees of these Ordnance Factories protested against this and have submitted innumerable number of representations. Despite the approval of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, for placing 50% of the new uniforms to the TCL, the entire lot of almost 12 lakh sets of Army Uniform order is being given to 4 private firms. In this backdrop, reports are coming about the easy availability of the Army Uniforms in the market, which is creating apprehensions in the mind of the common man about the defence and security of our country.

Army Uniforms are also strategic according to C. Srikumar General Secretary of AIDEF, the organization which is relentlessly fighting against Corporatisation and Privatisation. He further stated in more than 125 years of existence of Ordnance Clothing Factories, not a single incident can be quoted where Army Uniforms have gone to the market from these Factories. The workforce are so much committed and devoted and the Quality Control system and security are fully protected.

C. Srikumar, General Secretary AIDEF who is fighting for getting the Workload of newly designed digitally printed Army Uniform to the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL furiously stated that the Army Uniform is as important and strategic as Ammunition, Missiles etc. Terrorists and anti-nationals use Army Uniforms for their attacks, since substandard quality identically designed is easily available in the market.

Recently 12 lakh new Army Uniform order was placed by Army to 4 private firms at a very cheap rates, ignoring the Ordnance Factories. While the Army Uniform Cloth is sold at Rs. 2400 in the CSD Canteen, the 4 Private firms have taken the order for Rs.1571/ per set. When the Cloth itself is sold at Rs. 2400 in the Army Canteen, how can the private firms supply stitched Uniform for Rs 1571. They will definitely compromise the quality and the poor jawan only will suffer.

OCF Shahjahanpur is more than 120 years old and OCF Avadi more than 60 years old. On the plea of getting cheap rate uniforms from the private firm the country’s security cannot be compromised. For the continued existence of these 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL, it requires only about Rs 1200 Crore work which Army can afford and they will get world class Troop Comfort items in return.

Army in their own interest and interest of the country, should withdraw the order placed for uniforms with the private firms and hand over the same to the 4 Ordnance Factories under TCL. We will bring this news item to the notice of the Raksha Mantri, concluded C. Srikumar.

Views expressed here are those of C. Srikumar, a veteran trade union leader who is also the General Secretary of AIDEF and National Secretary of AITUC

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