West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rethink the decision to privatise the country's 41 ordnance factories that make arms and ammunition for the Indian Army. Even the Ordnance Factory Board which has its headquarters in Kolkata may be "corporatised", she said.
"I am shocked and surprised to know that this vital pillar of the country's defence... is now being contemplated to be subjected to a sudden exercise of de-governmentalisation for which there has been not even an iota of stakeholders' consultations uptill now," Ms Banerjee said in a letter to the prime minister today.
The chief minister has expressed particular concern about the 1.6 lakh employees of the Ordnance Factories in 41 institutions set up across the country since 1775.
"At least the government of West Bengal has not received any inkling of discourses that have led to such inexplicable initiatives of the Government of India," she added.
She has urged the prime minister to "stall and reverse this process of corporatization and privatization in the greatest interest of the national security and defence of our country. ....There are some core and strategic areas were the state is yet to abdicate its paramount role.
"I urge you to kindly keep that role of national custodianship unaffected in future too," she wrote.
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