Mamata urges PM not to corporatise ordnance factories

In her letter to Prime Minister, Mamata also alleged that the state government was not taken into confidence about the bid to corporatise OFB, headquartered in Kolkata. (PTI File Photo)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reverse the Centre's bid to corporatise the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for the sake of national security.

In her letter to Prime Minister, Mamata also alleged that the state government was not taken into confidence about the bid to corporatise OFB, headquartered in Kolkata.

“I have been receiving reports regarding a decision that the Government of India has apparently been taking to corporatise all the Ordnance Factories, including the Ordnance Factory Board, with its Head Quarters in Kolkata. It has also been suggested that this will finally lead to the privatisation of these great national assets,” stated Banerjee.

The development comes at a time when the Centre is apparently considering corporatising all the ordnance factories in the country.

Describing the issue as “extremely sensitive and urgent” the chief minister stated that she was “shocked and surprised” that such a key establishment of the country’s defence industry was being considered for privatisation.

Alleging that no stakeholders were informed about the Centre’s move, the chief minister stated that the West Bengal government was also not informed about it.

“At least the government of West Bengal has not received any inkling of discourses that have led to such inexplicable initiatives by the government of India,” stated Mamata.

She also argued that the Centre should not take the privatsation route for ordnance factories, in the interest of national security.

“ I would, therefore, request you to kindly stall and reverse the process of corporatisation and privatisation in the greatest interest of national security and defence of our country...I urge you to kindly keep the role of national custodianship unaffected in future too,” stated Banerjee.

She also pointed out that while the industrial policy is being made more friendly for private players in strategic areas, the state has not yet abdicated its paramount role.

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