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No proposal to privatise OFB, apprehension misplaced: Defence Ministry

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: August 17, 2019  | 17:42 IST

New Delhi, Aug 17 (PTI) The Defence Ministry on Saturday categorically said that there is no plan to privatise the Ordnance Factory Board and efforts are being made to enhance the functioning of the ammunition manufacturer. "Discussions are continuously being held by a committee of very senior officials of the Defence Ministry with employees federations of OFB and engage with them in a positive and constructive manner on all aspects relating to corporatisation of OFB. "It was also clarified that the government is not proposing to privatise OFB and any apprehension in this regard is misplaced," said Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production. State-run OFB is a leading producer of ammunition for the defence forces, and has over one lakh employees. The Defence Ministry in a statement on Friday had said, "Rumours being spread that OFB is being privatised are misguiding and with the intent to mislead workers." Corporatisation of OFB will bring it at par with other Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), it said. "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 statement said. The committee also pointed out that the government has been trying to strengthen the functioning of OFB, including having taken several steps to modernise the factories, re-skill OFB employees at government cost, enable development of products and components with indigenous technology, the ministry said on Friday. "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," it said. Indian Ordnance Factories is the oldest and largest industrial setup which functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence. PTI KND MPB SMN SMN

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