June 27, 2021

Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories A Danger to Nation, says CITU

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a statement issued on June 17, has vehemently condemned central government’s decision to corporatise the Ordnance Factories functioning under the defence ministry. It called the move “dangerous”.

CITU congratulated the united platform of Defence Workers Federations for their prompt response with countrywide ‘burning of effigy’ agitation on June 19 as a prelude to further course of united action. The CITU called upon the trade unions and workers to stand in solidarity with defence workers fighting in defence of national interests.

The CITU condemned the government for resorting to such steps in the midst of second wave of pandemic and said that it is in gross violation of the understanding and assurances given by the government to the united platform of Defence Workers’ Federations in the face of their decision to go in for an indefinite strike from October 12, 2020.

Nearly 44 Ordnance Factories operating under the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) under the ministry of defence will be split into seven pieces and seven corporations will be formed under the Companies Act.

The CITU said that the Ordnance Factories network, along with a few other defence PSUs, are contributing most efficiently to country’s defence preparedness besides successfully meeting various basic necessities of quality gears, ammunitions, small arms, dresses, vehicles and various other instruments and equipments for use by our jawans posted and working under extremely adverse and inclement weathers etc.

The CITU stressed that more than 75 per cent requirements of our defence forces are being successfully and timely produced and supplied by our Ordnance Factories with incomparable efficiency and assured quality. It said, “Country’s Ordnance Factories network is an unquestionable example of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, the phrase being so much noisily touted by the Modi government, in the respective areas of production and services.   There is absolutely no valid rationale for such drastic alteration of the existing structure of the Ordnance Factories network.”

The CITU said, “The only motivation behind such destructive corporatisation drive is to facilitate phased privatisation of the Ordnance Factories on which the government minced no words in its various policy announcements. And in this case, it is not merely privatisation; it is going to be privatisation with the domination of foreign corporations through a multi-pronged route.”

The CITU noted that on previous occasions also efforts have been made by the successive governments to outsource a part of Ordnance Factories’ products to the private sector but that finally ended in failure owing to incapacity of the Indian private players to produce and supply quality product. “And now in the renewed drive of privatisation through the corporatisation route, entry of foreign companies in the field can no way be ruled out since government policy, through its policy statements, already envisages foreign participation in defence production,” it said.

CITU extended support to the forthcoming struggles of the defence workers to resist it in national interest. It said that the entire working class movement will resolutely stand by the struggling defence workers against privatisation through the corporatisation route.