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Millennium Post

Five ordnance factories in dock for compromising with quality

Ironically, far away in the bordering areas our soldiers, who are guarding the nation, are unaware that the items meant for them are not as per the standard as it should be. Experts feel that the concern ministry need to ensure that such irregularities should not happen in future.

Inquiry revealed a shocking figure of 98 cases, where the inspection was made on the same day of receipt and Rs 1,033.05 lakh (over Rs 10 crore) was paid to the supplier by the ordnance factories. Not the least, 3,110 cases were found where inspection was done less than the fixed time and total Rs 1,468.87 lakh (more than Rs 14 crore) was paid to the vendors.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has already raised this issue in their latest report and asked the concern ministry to look in to the matter.

Since, most of the firms are far away in Mumbai, Bhilwara, Phagwara, Faridabad etc, quality was compromised by five ordnance factories including the Ordnance Parachute Factory (OPF), Kanpur, Ordnance Equipment Factory, Hazaratpur (OEFH), Ordnance Clothing Factory, Shahjahanpur, only Ordnance Clothing Factory, Avadi (OCFA), Ordnance Equipment Factory, Hazaratpur (OEFH) and Ordnance Equipment Factory Kanpur (OEFC).

It was found that all these two factories have received, inspected and received a major amount of consignment without proper inspection of its quality.

While pointing some of the cases, the CAG report says, ‘Against an order of January 2009, M/s S.S. Enterprises, Kanpur supplied 76,400 metre polyester tape 25 mm (Challan No. 01 dated 8 April 2009) to OPF, Kanpur. However, the factory received, inspected and brought the stores on charge on 31 March 2009; and M/s Sunil Industries, Mumbai dispatched 27,828.60 metres cloth Gabardin to OEF Hazratpur (Challan No. 883 dated 31 March 2011). However, the factory received, inspected and took on charge the consignment on 30 March 2011.’

‘This indicates that the factories prepared advance receipt vouchers without physical receipt and inspection of the materials only to facilitate payment to the suppliers. The ministry justified the preparation of a few receipt vouchers on 31 March i.e. on the date of receipt on the grounds of exigency of commitments at the closure of the financial year. The justification given by the Ministry citing exigency goes against the general principles relating to expenditure and payment of money out of public fund,’ the report says.

The ordnance factories go through a multi-layer inspection, quality control and quality assurance before issuing the final products to the services. The responsibility of inspection and its quality is the responsibilities of Ordnance Equipment Group (OEFG) and Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA). They have to certify jointly before issuing the items to the Services.

Individual factories under OEFG have their own required time for inspection of received items. Materials required for manufacturing parachutes and uniforms need 10 to 15 days of inspection. Only Ordnance Clothing Factory, Avadi (OCFA) has fixed the benchmark of 18 to 26 days for inspection. If anyone receives the consignment and making the payment without following the minimum time of inspection is liable for punishment.

Defending the report, MoD claimed that the materials were cleared as per procedure giving adequate time for testing and quality check. However, CAG in their inquiry found that the actual time taken for inspection was one to six days, which is less than the minimum time fixed (10 to 15 days) as per SOP.
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