Union’s response to GoM to take call on corporatization of Ordinance Factories

While the Empowered Group of Minister are considering to implement the Govt.
decision for Corporatising the OFB, the Federations approaches Defence Minister
Shri.Rajnath Singh, rejecting the terms of reference.

Sources in the Ministry of Defence says that the Empowered Group of Ministers
appointed by the Cabinet is considering the moralities for implementation of the
Cabinet decision to convert the 219 years old Defence Industry, Ordnance Factories in
to a Public Sector.

The Employees and their Trade Unions are vehemently opposing
this move and have so far submitted innumerable representations to the higher
authorities including the President of India, PM, RM, NSA, CDS and Chairman of the
Defence Parliamentary Standing Committee. Now they have written to the Defence
Minister Shri.Rajnath Singh that they cannot accept the Terms of Reference given to
the EOM and that they are ready to discuss with the EGoM about the proposal given
by the Federations for strengthening and improving the Ordnance Factories in the
existing Govt. set up itself.

The Indian PSU have got a copy of the Joint Letter written by AIDEF, INDWF &
BPMS, in which they have given the following views:-
The DDP has forwarded the gist of the Cabinet Secretariat Letter No.143/1/3/2019-TS,
dtd. 07/08/2020, containing the terms of reference of the EGoM to the recognised
Federations. The First terms of reference given to the EGoM is as follows:-
(i) Conversion of Ordnance Factory Board in to a single Defence Public
Sector undertaking (DPSU) or as multiple DPSU’s.

Sir, We are unable to comprehend that the prescription, Corporatisation of OFB will
solve all the problems faced by it. We also deeply regret such an ill conceived narrative of
Corporatisation Model is supported by the MoD policy makers. It is a fact that this
standard prescription of Corporatisation has miserably failed everywhere including BSNL
and it won’t lead OFB to the desired Goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat. We are of the firm view
that the Terms of Reference should be broad enough to drive transformation, and not to
implement a priori solution, with unintended consequences not discussed and debated.

In all our innumerable correspondence with DDP and your goodself, we have categorically
rejected the move of the Government to Corporatize the Ordnance Factories. However as
an alternative and viable solution, we have stated that we are open to change and
transformation for betterment of the organisation, but not necessarily in the line of
thinking putforth by MoD. We have proposed that the Ordnance Factories should be given
full workload for the next five years, so that the Ordnance Factories will be able to
achieve the targeted Rs.30,000 Crore production value in the existing set up itself.
We have also proposed for appointment of an Expert Committee to achieve this goal.

In the meeting held with Addl. Secretary/DP on 28/08/2020, the Federations
pointed out that, since EGoM is a post corporatisation exercise, they do not support the
interaction with EGoM and will be against the mandate given by the employees in the
strike ballot conducted in every Units.

Sir, in view of the above, being the Chairman of the EGoM and also the senior most
Cabinet Minister and Defence Minister, we request you to kindly take up the matter with
the Hon’ble Prime Minister with your recommendations that the above Terms of Reference
may be withdrawn and instead the EGoM may be empowered to discuss with the
stakeholders/Federations to implement the suggestions given by the Federations for
strengthening and further improving the functioning of the Ordnance Factories and
transforming it into a solution provider for the Armed Forces in the existing Govt. set up
itself. Accordingly the Federations are ready to discuss with the EGoM about the proposal
given by us with regard to strengthening and improving the Ordnance Factories in the
existing Govt. setup itself.

Indian PSUs believe that the Defence Minister will consider the proposals given
by the Federations and review its decision with a open mind, so that the concerns and
anxiety of the employees are taken care of..

The writer of this column is C. Srikumar, General Secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF)

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