The government on Thursday introduced a bill in Lok Sabha which seeks to prohibit any agitation and strike by anyone engaged in the essential defence services.
The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021, introduced by Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt amid din created by the Opposition over three new agri laws and the alleged Pegasus snooping controversy, seeks to replace an ordinance issued in June.
According to the Statements of Objects and Reasons of the Bill, Indian Ordnance Factories is the oldest and largest industrial set up which functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.
The ordnance factories form an integrated base for indigenous production of defence hardware and equipment, with the primary objective of self-reliance in equipping the armed forces with the state-of-the-art battlefield equipment.
In order to improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies, the Government decided to convert the Ordnance Factory Board into one or more one hundred per cent government-owned corporate entity or entities to be registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.
Against the decision, the recognised federations of the employees gave a notice for an indefinite strike. The conciliation proceedings initiated by the government at the level of Chief Labour Commissioner failed in the meeting held on June 15.
On June, 16, the government decided to convert the Ordnance Factory Board into seven Defence Public Sector Undertakings.