New Delhi: The Defence Ministry on Friday clarified that there was no proposal to privatise the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). It said the government is considering plans to turn the OFBs into public sector units fully owned by the Defence Ministry.

That would come as a relief for workers of ordnance factories across the country who have been agitating against the proposal. Only last month, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of corporatisation and privatisation of ordnance factories in Kolkata.

She had written, “I have been receiving reports about a decision that the government has apparently been taking to corporatise all ordnance factories, including Ordnance Factory Board. I request you to stall and reverse the process in the greater interest of national security.”

Mamata had signed off by adding, “While the industrial policy of our country has gradually been made more and more friendly to the private players in the market, there are some core and strategic areas where the State is yet to abdicate its paramount role.”

Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) employees have been staging protests against corporatization and privatization of ordnance factories.

There are 41 ordnance factories under the Ministry of Defence all over the country. About 675 products related to the Army, including emission, defence cable, are prepared in these units. Almost 90% of these are supplied to the Army, while the remaining 10% is supplied to other forces.