The government on Monday said it has ensured that the interests of employees of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are safeguarded after it is split into seven State-owned entities as part of the organisation’s restructuring.
In a significant reform initiative, the government in June approved a long-pending proposal to restructure the OFB that operates 41 ammunition and military equipment production facilities across the country to improve its efficiency and competitiveness.
“The government has ensured safeguarding the interests of the employees of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) post corporatisation of the OFB,” Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said in Rajya Sabha.
He was replying to a question on the issue. Mr. Bhatt said all the employees of the OFB (Group A, B and C) who have been working in the production units and also the non-production units will be shifted to the defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) which are to be formed.
“It has been decided that all the employees of OFB (Group A, B & C), belonging to the production units and also the non-production units being handed over to the new DPSUs (to be formed) would be transferred to these DPSU(s) on terms of foreign service without any deputation allowance (deemed deputation) initially for a period of two years from the appointed date,” he said.
Mr. Bhatt said all those employed at the OFB headquarters, OFB’s New Delhi office and OFB schools and hospitals would be transferred to the Directorate of Ordnance Factories which will be formed under the Department of Defence Production, initially for a period of two years from the appointed date.
“Till such time the employees remain on deemed deputation to the new entities, they shall continue to be subject to all rules and regulations as are applicable to the Central government servants,” he said.
The Minister said the pay scales, allowances, leave, medical facilities, career progression and other service conditions of the employees will also continue to be governed by the extant rules, regulations and orders as are applicable to the Central government employees.
At present, the OFB functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.
To a separate question, Mr. Bhatt said modernisation of the Indian Air Force is being undertaken following a multi-pronged approach involving “indigenisation, upgradation and integration”.
“There has been induction of new weapon systems/platforms, advanced aircraft, air defence systems and modern,” he said.
“Many weapon systems and platforms have already been inducted and operationalised. This carefully planned approach has transformed IAF into a modern network-centric force capable of sustained multi-role operations along the entire spectrum of conflict,” Mr. Bhatt added.
Replying to another question, Mr. Bhatt said the draft Cantonments Bill, 2021 is under the government’s consideration.