July 26, 2019
Dola Sen speaks on the Government’s plan to disinvest Indian Ordnance Factories
Thank you, Sir. I demand to review the decision to corporatise the ordnance factories across the country. The organisation, Indian Ordnance Factories is a family of 41 ordnance factories, 25 hospitals, 24 schools and nine training Institutions, with the Ordnance Factory Board being located in Kolkata. It poses the unique distinction of over 200 years of experience in defence production. It is the world’s oldest and largest government-run production organisation, functioning under the Department of Defence Production and Supplies, which in turn is part of the Union Defence Ministry.
It has been recently reported that the Government has decided to corporatise Indian Ordnance Factories, which will eventually lead to its privatisation. To the best of my knowledge, the Government has not held any consultation with any stakeholders. The ordnance factories form an integrated base for the indigenous production of defence hardware and equipment, with their primary objective being making India self-reliant in equipping its armed forces with state- of-the-art battlefield equipment. They are regarded as the fourth pillar of the Indian defence apparatus. Indian Ordnance Factories employs nearly 1 lakh people through direct employment and another 1 lakh through indirect employment. The nation should not abdicate its role in such a core and strategic area.
Therefore I urge the Government to reconsider its decision to corporatise and privatise Indian Ordnance Factories, which is a national asset, in the greater interest of security and defence of our country.