Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 1 (ANI): Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote a letter to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and urged him to rethink the corporatisation of the 219-year-old Defence Ordnance Factory which has 82000 employees.
She also added that there has also been an "unfortunate attempt to tarnish its image and make it a fit case for privatisation."
The letter stated that Priyanka Chaturvedi received a representation from All India Defence Employees' Federation (AIDEF), Indian National Defence Workers' Federation (INDWF) and Bhartiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh (BPMS) regarding Ordnance Factory Board being converted into corporate entities.
"The Government of India has stated that the Corporabsation of OFB will improve its autonomy, accountability and efficiency in Ordnance Supplies as the reason for taking the above step. The Government of India has also decided to convert the departmentally-run 41 Ordnance Factories under the Department of Defence Production into corporate entities," Shiv Sena MP stated in a letter.
"The government floated an Expression of Interest cum Request for Proposal (E0I cum RFP) for selection of a consultant to recommend modalities for implementation of the whole process. However, as per their appeal to me, 99 per cent of the employees have rejected the move of the government," Chaturvedi said in the letter.
"In this regard, I would request your attention towards the future existence of 219-year-old defence ordinance factory and its 82000 committed, dedicated and highly competent work force," she said.
She further said that the decision of the Government to corporatise the Ordnance Factories goes against the assurances given by previous four Defence Ministers to the Federations. It also goes against the statement of the Government before the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which stated that, converting OFB into corporate entities is not a viable proposal, due to fluctuation of the requirement of the Armed Forces and also the Ordnance Factories have to maintain spare capacity as a War Reserve.
Chaturvedi also slammed the government, saying, on the one hand, there is a call of Atrnanirbar Bharat and on the other, the country is witnessing the spate of purchases of military equipment from overseas. "On the one hand, there is a call of Atrnanirbar Bharat and on the other, the country is witnessing the spate of purchases of military equipment from overseas. Ultimately 'Make in India' is at stake with huge defence related imports. All these are happening at the cost of our own Ordnance Factories and Defence PSUs," she added.
"I am confident that you will give due consideration to the above issues and take a thoughtful decision in the interest of our defence preparedness and armed forces. I am also of the firm view that self-reliance in the production of defence equipment in the public sector is imperative for the security and the self-reliance of the country," Rajya Sabha MP concluded. (ANI)