Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stall and reverse the move to corporatise all the ordinance factories, including the Ordinance Factory Board, headquartered in Kolkata.
Noting that industrial policies under the Modi government have gradually been made more and more friendly towards the private companies, Banerjee said some core and strategic areas, like the ordinance factories, should be kept under the state’s purview for the interest of the country’s national security.
I have been receiving reports regarding a decision that the central government has apparently been taking to corporatise all the ordinance factories, including the Ordinance Factory Board. It is also suggested that this will finally lead to privatisation of these great national assets, Banerjee wrote in her letter to the Prime Minister.
I would request you to kindly stall and reverse the process of corporatisation and privatisation in the interest of the national security and defence of our country. There are some core and strategic areas where the state is yet to abdicate its paramount role. I urge to keep the role of national custodianship unaffected, she noted.
The Bengal Chief Minister also said she was shocked and surprised to know that this vital pillar of the country’s defence was being contemplated to be privatised without holding any consultations with the stakeholders.
She said the Bengal government had not received any written information in this regard from the centre.
Set up in 1975, the Ordinance Factory Board has 41 factories all over the country, nine training institutes and about 1.6 lakh officers and employees and is considered to be the world’s largest government setup for manufacturing arms and ammunitions.