No Proposal to Privatise OFB: MoD

Defence Industry

New Delhi. In continuation of the meeting held on August 14, a Committee of senior officials of Ministry of Defence (MoD) led by Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Production alongwith Chairman, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) once again met the office bearers of the All India Defence Employees Federation, Indian National Defence Workers Federation, Bhartiya Pratiksha Mazdoor Sangh and Confederation of Defence Recognized Association in New Delhi.on the issue of Strike notice given by them starting with effect from August 20.

The meeting was also attended by officials from the Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India.

The Committee also pointed out that the employees’ call for 30 days’ strike was unprecedented, especially when Government has already agreed to their demand to hold discussions at the MoD level, and is in process of continuously engaging with them.

The Committee explained to the employee organisations that there is no proposal to privatise OFB. The proposal under consideration of Government is to make it into Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), which is 100 per cent Government owned.

Rumours being spread that OFB is being privatised are misguiding and with the intent to mislead the workers. Corporatisation of OFB will bring OFB at par with other DPSUs of MoD. This is in the interest of OFB as it will provide operational freedom and flexibility to OFB which it presently lacks. Besides, the interests of the workers will be adequately safeguarded in any decision taken on the subject.

The Committee also pointed out that Government has been continuously trying to strengthen the functioning of OFB, including having taken several steps to modernise the factories, carry out capital upgradation, re-train and re-skill OFB employees at Government costs, enable development of products and components with indigenous technology.

The Committee urged the employee organisations to recognise Government’s efforts to make OFB into a competitive, productive and efficient organisation with higher turnover and enhanced profitability, which would also be in the interest of the employees. Therefore, the Committee once again urged the employee organisations to withdraw their proposed strike.