Friday, August 12, 2022

At MoD meeting, unions ask how govt allowed OFB to reach state of decline?

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  • The union reiterated their demands on ‘restructuring’ within the government and rejected the proposed corporatisation of OFB

  • In a letter, the unions asked, “How has the MoD allowed the OFB to reach this state of affairs and what is (sic) accountability of MoD, which has directly been responsible for its functioning?”

New Delhi: The employee unions of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have demanded the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to constitute an expert committee for the restructuring of the organisation within the government. Representatives from the four big unions of OFB — All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF), Indian National Defence Workers Federation (INDWF), Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh (BPMS) and Confederation of Defence Recognised Associations (CDRA) — met MoD officials headed by Defence Production Secretary Raj Kumar on July 28 via video conferencing. 

How has MoD allowed OFB to reach this state of decline: OFB employee unions

The unions asked the Ministry that if the situation was so bad within the organisation, why the government has not taken any action against the responsible person. The union reiterated their demands on ‘restructuring’ within the government and rejected the proposed corporatisation of OFB. The unions have also submitted a letter to the Defence Production Secretary, which read, “Assuming that things in the OFB are bad as (it is) claimed by the government, then it must not have happened overnight. How has the MoD allowed the OFB to reach this state of affairs and what is (sic) accountability of MoD, which has directly been responsible for its functioning? Has the MoD taken any action against any person in the apex management of the OFB or done course correction?” 

The government has already initiated the process by floating EOI-cum-RFP for the selection of a consultant for corporatisation of OFB. 

Unions say open to discussing ways to revamp OFB within existing structure

The unions also claimed that they are ready to sit with the government and deliberate on the issues to revamp OFB within its existing structure. Moreover, in the letter, the unions spoke about the fate of Royal Ordinance Factory of Britain after it was corporatised in the 1980s. The letter read, “The entire workforce has rejected the proposed move of the government to corporatise the ordnance factories since they know the fate of the royal ordnance factories of Britain after their conversion to corporation in 1984 and also the fate of BSNL after 2000.”  

The unions further claimed that the performance of major Public Sector Undertakings has been lethargic. Citing the example of HAL, they said that it was struggling to pay even salaries to its workforce in the absence of orders. The involvement of the private sector will go against the interest of national security as a private owner will solely concentrate on extracting profit, the unions said. 

(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Telegram. Join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram and stay updated)

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