Ushering Brave & Revolutionary Reforms in Defence Industry
Seven new defence companies, carved out of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), were dedicated to the Nation at a function organised by MoD on the occasion of ‘Vijayadashami’ in New Delhi on October 15, 2021. Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a video address during the event. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presided over the ceremony.
To enhance functional autonomy, efficiency and unleash new growth potential & innovation, Government had decided to convert OFB from a Government Department into seven, 100 per cent Government-owned corporate entities as a measure to improve self-reliance in the defence preparedness of the country. The seven new Defence companies are: Munitions India Limited (MIL); Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVANI); Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India); Troop Comforts Limited (TCL); Yantra India Limited (YIL); India Optel Limited (IOL) and Gliders India Limited (GIL). These companies have commenced business from October 01, 2021.
In his video address, Prime Minister noted the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami and the tradition of worshiping arms and ammunition on the day. He paid tributes to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and said that Dr Kalam dedicated his life to the cause of a strong nation.
The Prime Minister said that the decision of creating these companies was stuck for a long time and expressed the belief these seven new companies would form a strong base for the military strength of the country in the times to come. The Prime Minister also mentioned that these new companies would play an important role in import substitution, in line with the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. An order book of more than 65,000 crore (about $8.7 billon) reflect the increasing confidence of the country, in these companies, he added. The Prime Minister recalled the various initiatives and reforms undertaken in the recent past that have created Trust, Transparency and Technology driven approach in the defence sector like never before. He noted as new opportunities are emerging for the youth and MSME, the country is seeing the result of policy changes in the recent years. “Our defence export has increased by 325 per cent in last five years”, he added. He stressed that it is our target that our companies not only establish expertise in their products but also become a global brand. He reiterated that the Government has also ensured that the interests of the employees are fully protected.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in his address, said the move reflects the Government’s resolve of achieving 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'. He said, this decision will provide autonomy to these companies and improve accountability & efficiency in the functioning of 41 factories under them. He exuded confidence that the new structure will help in overcoming various shortcomings in the existing system of OFB and provide these companies incentive to become competitive and exploring new opportunities.
Reiterating the Government’s commitment towards protecting the interests of OFB employees, Rajnath Singh stated that all employees of OFB (Group A, B & C) belonging to production units will be transferred to corporate entities on deemed deputation for a period of two years without any change in their service conditions as Central Government employees.
MoD has set a target of achieving a turnover of 1.75 lakh crore (about $24 billion) in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2024, including exports of 35,000 crore.
Defence Minister defined the present defence manufacturing scenario in the country as a synergy of the private and public sectors. “Public and private sectors are working hand-in-hand to enhance the preparedness of our Armed Forces,” he said.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar & other senior officers were also present.