Defence Ministry issues notification to dissolve Ordnance Factory Board, form seven new DPSUs

Pune-headquartered Munitions India Limited will take over operations of 12 factories including, Ammunition Factory Khadki, Cordite Factory Aruvankadu, High Energy Projectile Factory Tiruchirapalli, and High Explosive Factory Khadki.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) Friday issued a resolution detailing specifics of the formation of the seven Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), which will take over operations of the 41 factories of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), which ceased to exist as a body as the resolution came into force.

The resolution also states that the management and control of a section of the non-production units will be transferred to the Directorate of Ordnance (Coordination and Services) under the Department of Defence Production of the MoD. Some other non-production units will go under the umbrella of the seven newly formed DPSUs. The Munitions India Ltd., which will lead a group of 12 factories producing ammunition and explosives, will be headquartered in Pune on the premises of Ammunition Factory Khadki. Kanpur will have headquarters of three of the DPSUs.

The central government had announced the decision to dissolve OFB, and constitute seven new DPSUs from October 1. This process of corporatisation has been in the face of strong opposition from the workers’ federations, including the one affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). These federations and some other employee bodies observed Friday as Black Day for Ordnance Factories and their members boycotted lunch as a sign of protest.

Towards the end of July, the government introduced Essential Defence Services Ordinance (EDSO), primarily aimed to stop the workers of the ordnance factories from going on a strike against the corporatisation of the OFB.

The resolution by the government notifies the transfer of 41 production units to the seven DPSUs. It also enlists the non-production units, including the training institutes, controllerates of safety, some regional offices and regional market centers which will come under operational control of the DPSUs.

The resolution also specifies that some more non-production units that include Ordnance Factory Hospital, independent dispensaries, Ordnance Factory Schools, OFB’s Kolkata headquarters and its Delhi office to the Directorate of Ordnance (Coordination and Services).

Pune-headquartered Munitions India Limited will take over operations of Ammunition Factory Khadki, Cordite Factory Aruvankadu, High Energy Projectile Factory Tiruchirapalli, High Explosive Factory Khadki, Ordnance Factory Bhandara, Ordnance Factory Bolangir, Ordnance Factory Chanda Chandrapur, Ordnance Factory Dehu Road, Ordnance Factory Itarsi, Ordnance Factory Khamaria, Ordnance Factory Nalanda, and Ordnance Factory Varangaon.

The Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited will be headquartered at Avadi, Chennai and control five factories. The Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited will be headquartered at Kanpur anc control eight factories. Troop Comforts Limited will also be based at Kanpur. Yantra India Limited involved in production of military grade products and ancillary items will be based out of Nagpur. Optel India Ltd at Dehradun and Gliders India Ltd at Kanpur.

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