Kolkata: Chief Minister of West Bengal – Mamata Banerjee, has written a two-page letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asking him to stall and reverse the central government’s move to corporatise the ordnance factories across the country in the interest of national security and national defence.
The two-page letter comes in the backdrop of the centre’s move to corporatise the ordnance factories across India including the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), headquarters in Kolkata.
The OFB has around 41 factories and nine training centres across India and has about 1.6 lakh officers and employees. OFB is often referred as the fourth pillar of the Indian Defence apparatus.
The letter mentions that OFB is the world’s largest Government set-up for manufacturing arms and ammunition for a country’s armed forces.
“I am shocked and surprised to know that this 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 de-governmentalisation, for which there has been not even an iota of stakeholders’ consultation uptil now. At least the Government of West Bengal has not received any inkling of discourses that have led to such inexplicable initiatives in the government of India,” she wrote.
She further, in her letter requested, “I would therefore, request you to kindly stall and reverse this process of corporatisation and privatisation in the greatest interest of the national security and defence of our country. While the industrial policy of our country has gradually been made more and more friendly to the private players in the marker, there are some core and strategic areas where the State is yet to abdicate its paramount role.”