Ordnance factories are the oldest and largest organisation in India’s defence industry.
New Delhi: “Perform or perish” is the message the defence ministry is sending out with the sacking of 13 joint-secretary, deputy-secretary and director level officials of the Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS), a Group A Central service.
Ordnance factories are the oldest and largest organisation in India’s defence industry. It is for the first time in the history of IOFS that high officials with about 30 years of service and above 50 years of age have been asked to leave. A defence ministry release said the step has been undertaken “in public interest due to their overall unsatisfactory performance”.
A ministry source told this newspaper that the 13 officials have been given a three-month termination notice while they will be entitled to all pensionary benefits depending on the number of years of service they have already put in.
While it could not be confirmed whether the latest measure is the first of a series of planned steps, indications are strong of further such moves as the government has been quite critical of the low efficiency of the OFs in the recent past and had reiterated that the OFs step out of the “cocoon of comfort”.
There are 41 ordnance factories in the country employing about a lakh people mandated to produce weapons and equipment for the armed forces.
Just last month, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had slammed the OFs for critical deficiency in availability of ammunition to the Army. In a scathing report, the national auditor criticised the OFB for inadequate quality of ammunition supplied to the Army since March 2013.