CPI general secretary D Raja on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention “to save defence industry from corporatisation”.
In his letter, he said that while the government has decided to convert the departmentally-run 41 ordnance factories under the Department of Defence Production into a corporation/multiple corporations, the workforce has begun an agitation against the move.
“The 82,000 strong workforce are in a continuous agitation against the move of the government and in a ballot held recently, 99 per cent of the employees have rejected the move of the government and voted in favour of an indefinite strike against corporatisation of ordnance factories,” he said.
He further pointed out that the three recognised federations of the employees (AIDEF, INDWF and BPMS) have submitted an appeal to PM Modi and the defence minister that to avoid a confrontation and industrial dispute in a vital defence industry, the government may withdraw its decision to corporatise the factories.
“The appeal of the federations is still pending with the government. You in your address at ‘India Ideas Summit 2020’ has expressed the policy of your government by inviting private sector to invest in defence and space… You also offered special incentives for private and foreign investors. The CPI is of the firm view that these decisions are not in the interest of the nation,” Mr Raja said.
“On the one side there is a call of Atmanirbhar Bharat and on the other side the country is witnessing the spate of purchases of military equipment from overseas. Ultimately ‘Make in India” is at stake with a spate of huge imports,” he said.
He said that his party is of the firm view that self-reliance in the production of defence equipment in the public sector is imperative for the security and the self-reliance of the country and urged the prime minister to give due consideration to his plea.