The interests of Ordnance Factory Board employees will be protected: Center
The government said today that measures had been taken to protect the interests of employees of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) after it was split into seven public entities.
As part of a major reform initiative, the government last month approved a long-standing proposal to restructure the OFB which operates 41 munitions and military equipment production facilities across the country to improve its responsibility, efficiency and competitiveness.
“The government has ensured that the interests of the employees of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are safeguarded after the corporatization of the OFB,” said Minister of State for Defense Ajay Bhatt in answering a question to the Rajya Sabha.
The decision to transform the OFB into public sector defense companies was taken almost two decades after the reform measure was brought up to professionalize it and significantly improve its productivity.
Mr Bhatt said that all OFB employees (Group A, B and C) who worked in production units as well as non-production units will be handed over to the new DPSUs.
âIt was decided that all OFB employees belonging to production units as well as non-production units ceded to new DPSUs (to be set up) would be transferred to these DPSUs under foreign service conditions without any delegation compensation. (deemed MP) initially for a period of two years from the date set, âhe said in a written response.
He said that all employees of OFB headquarters, OFB office in New Delhi and OFB schools and hospitals will be transferred to the Directorate of Military Equipment Factories which will be formed under the Ministry of Defense Production. , initially for a period of two years from the date fixed. .
“Until employees remain in deemed delegation to the new entities, they will continue to be subject to all rules and regulations applicable to central government officials,” he said.
“Their salary scales, allowances, leave, medical facilities, career progression and other conditions of service will also continue to be governed by the rules, regulations and orders in force, as they are applicable to central government employees,” he said. he added.
Mr Bhatt said the pension obligations of retirees and existing employees will continue to be met by the government.
Currently, the OFB reports to the Defense Production Directorate of the Ministry of Defense.
The seven entities will include an Ammunition and Explosives Group, a Vehicle Group, a Weapons and Equipment Group, a “Troop Comfort Items Group”, an Auxiliary Group, an Optoelectronics Group and a group of paratroopers, officials said.
The ammunition and explosives group would be mainly engaged in the production of ammunition of various calibers and explosives, and its aim would be to tap the huge potential for exponential growth, including for the export market.
The vehicle group would mainly engage in the production of defense, mobility and combat vehicles such as tanks, BMPs (infantry fighting vehicles) and mine protected vehicles.
Ammunition factories were created as “captive centers” to meet the needs of the armed forces, but they have long faced performance problems.
Over the past two years, the government has unveiled a series of measures and reform initiatives to make India a hub for defense manufacturing.
Last August, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced that India would stop importing 101 weapons and military platforms such as transport planes, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines, missiles of cruise and sonar systems by 2024.
A second negative list, imposing import restrictions on 108 weapons and military systems such as next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines and radar, was released recently.
In May of last year, the government announced the increase of the FDI limit from 49 percent to 74 percent under the automatic channel in the defense sector.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)