- 200 year old OFB along with 41 Ordnance factories dissolved to carve out 7 government-run defence companies
- PM Modi’s major reform move to move one step closer in building a self-sustaining military power
With an objective of building, a self-reliant defence infrastructure in India, PM Narendra Modi, launched 7 new defence companies which would function as government-run entities and allocated Rs. 65,000 crores to the project. The 7 defence companies were created after dissolution of the 200 year old Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). The major reform move struck by the Prime Minister, intends to help India become the world’s biggest military power, independently.
During the launch of the state-run defence companies, PM Modi remarked that this initiative along with many others signify a transparent, trustworthy and tech-focused approach in the defence sector and that preeminent reforms are transpiring for the first time since independence. All assets owned by the Ordnance Factory Board inclusive of it’s 4 ordnance factories were passed on to the7 new defence firms.
The 7 new companies that have been launched are:
- Munitions India Limited
- Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited
- Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited
- Troop Comforts Limited
- Yantra India Limited
- India Optel Limited (IOL)
- Gliders India Limited
The aforementioned companies would contribute to the production of ammunitions, weapons, armoured vehicles, explosives, equipment, metals, steel, etc. Modi believes that along with establishing exceptional proficiency in their products, the companies should ultimately thrive towards becoming global brands. He further stressed on the fact the entire world was in awe of the competence of the ordnance factories during World War I; the sole reason for India’s dependency on foreign inventories were the ignorance of these companies in the post-independence era.
This decision would eventually eliminate the need to import military equipment. During the addressal, he pointed out “failure to upgrade the ordnance factories and adopt new age technology, ahead of India’s independence, was the reason why we became dependent on the foreign countries for the fulfilment of our strategic needs.
PM urged at the prioritisation of research and innovation and said that they were the determinants of brand value. Throwing light at the new opportunities that awaits the defence industry, he said that the defence exports had gone up by 325 per cent in the last five years. He solicited the companies to lead future technology and give enough opportunities to researchers with the eventual goal of creating product quality and reliability coupled with competitive costing. He also appealed the start-ups to be a part of this new beginning and leverage the counterpart’s research, expertise while nurturing innovation.
Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh also presided over the ceremony held at DRDO Bhawan. He said that the move would aid in providing functional autonomy to these companies and boost the accountability and efficiency of the factories running under them. He is optimistic that the restructuring would help deal with the shortcomings that are prevalent in the present OFB system while preserving the interests of the employees.
Mr. Singh also said that the Ministry of Defence has a turnover target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in aerospace and, defence goods and services by 2024, along with exports of Rs 35,000 crores. “Public and private sectors are working collectively to magnify the preparedness of our Armed Forces,” he added.