Closure of Ordnance Factory Board: Mamata writes to PM
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him not to corporatize the Ordnance Factories including the Ordnance Factory Board with its headquarters in Kolkata.
"I have been receiving reports regarding a decision that the Government of India has apparently been taking to corporatize all the Ordinance Factories including the Ordnance Factory Board with its headquarters in Kolkata. It has also been suggested that this will finally lead to privatization of these great national assets."
The Ordnance Factory Board with its headquarters in the Ayudh Bhavan, Kolkata, is the world's largest government set up for manufacturing arms and ammunition for a country's armed forces. Indeed it is called the fourth pillar of the Indian Defence apparatus. Founded in 1775, the set up includes 41 factories all over the country, nine training institutes, about 1.6 lakh officers and employees. It produces a vast range of arms and equipment that enable our soldiers to guard our frontiers, she wrote.
Expressing her deep concern for the Centre's proposal, Banerjee maintains: "I am shocked and surprised to know that the vital pillar of the country's defence and this key industrial initiative of our land is now being contemplated to be subjected to a sudden exercise of degovernmentalisation for which there has been not even an iota of stakeholders' consultations uptill now."
It may be mentioned that the Trinamool Congress has raised the issue of disinvestment of profit-making Central PSUs and the party's MPs have raised the issue in Parliament.
Banerjee requested the Prime Minister to kindly reverse the process as the national security and defence of India is involved.
"I would therefore request you to kindly stall and reverse the process of corporatization and privatisation in the greatest interest of the national security and defence of our country.
While the industrial policy in our country has gradually been made more and more friendly to the private players in the market, there are
some core strategic areas where the state is yet to abdicate its paramount role."