Post PMO letter, 4-lakh defence civilian staff to protest ‘privatisation’

Four-lakh defence civilian employees from 430 defence unions working in 41 ordnance factories, 52 Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs, the army, navy and the air force are protesting what they term the Centre’s bid to privatise the defence sector.
Massive demonstrations are planned across the country, coming close on the heels of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking details from all the 41 ordnance factories.

“We will observe March 16 as protest day against the policy of the NDA government to privatise the defence sector with 100% FDI,” the All India Defence Employees’ Federation (AIDEF) has said .  Stating that the government has already issued licenses to several private firms to make military equipment, the AIDEF, says: “These equipment are being made by the ordnance factories now. The recent PMO letter is causing serious concerns,” C Srikumar, General Secretary, AIDEF said. TOI had reported on February 22 that the PMO has sought these factories to “provide a complete listing of products manufactured along with a photo of each product, description of each product, number of items of each product produced in each of the last three year completed financial years, and value of production of each product in each of the last three completed financial years.”

 “The employees and their trade unions are in the dark about why the PMO is asking for all these from ordnance factories, where more and more work is being outsourced causing serious threat to the future of recruitment especially of trained apprentices,” the unions claim.The Centre, however, has been clear that involvement of private industry so as to enhance indigenisation in defence production. Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had, in February told TOI:

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