Next month starting Oct 1, 2021, the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) through an order of the government will stand dissolved.
What does this mean?
It means that all the assets of the OFB, employees and management will be transferred to seven Public Sector Units (PSUs), as was announced earlier.
Last year in May, as part of the “Atmanirbhar Bharat, the government had announced efficiency in ordnance supplies by corporatization of the OFB, improvement in autonomy, efficiency and accountability.
In the order dissolving the OFB issued on September 28, 2021, the Ministry of Defence has stated “With effect from Oct 1, the government has decided to transfer control, operations, management, and maintenance of 41 production units and non-production units which have been identified to seven government companies.” These seven companies will be wholly owned by the government of India and they are: Troop Comforts Limited, Munition India Limited, Yantra India Limited, India Optel Limited; Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited, Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited, and Gliders India Limited.
All the employees of OFB (Group A, B, &C) from the production units and from the identified non-production units, as per the order are going to be transferred en masse to the new DPSUs. They will be on terms of Foreign Service, initially from the appointed date of Oct 1, for two years. They will be without any deputation allowance (deemed deputation).
Also, based on the new order, each new DPSUs is expected to frame the rules and regulations which will be related to service conditions of the absorbed employees. Within a two year period, the new DPSUs are expected to seek an option for permanent absorption from the employees on deemed deputation to a respective DPSU
The order has also clearly stated that the service conditions of the absorbed employees will not be lesser than the existing ones. And, the order states to make the absorption package attractive, a committee would be constituted by the Department of Defence Production and this will guide the new DPSUs in this regard.
What is the status of OFB today?
Today, the OFB is an entity under the Ministry of Defence and through its various factories and other identified agencies is responsible for supplying arms and ammunition to not only the Indian armed Forces but also to the paramilitary.