Defence ministry compulsorily retires 13 senior ordnance factories officials1 min read . Updated: 01 Sep 2017, 01:35 AM IST
The defence ministry has compulsorily retired 13 officials of Indian Ordnance Factory Service for poor performance
New Delhi: The ministry of defence has compulsorily retired over a dozen officials of Indian Ordnance Factory Service (IOFS) for poor performance, in what an analyst characterized as the first such order by the government.
ordnance factories provide ammunition to the country’s armed forces and have long been flagged for inefficiency even by government auditors.
“The government is taking various steps to improve the performance of Ordnance Factories by making its officers accountable to ensure delivery of quality products to Armed Forces of the nation in prescribed timelines," the defence ministry said in a statement on Thursday adding, “One of the steps taken in this direction was to initiate rigorous screening of overall performance of its officers based on their entire service records... and prematurely retire the officers whose overall performance is not found up to the mark"
At least 13 “group A" officers have been found wanting and “following the prescribed procedure" have been retired, it said.
There are 39 ordnance factories employing about 100,000 people in India.
The so called group A officials are responsbile for functioning of the ordnance factories, said Laxman Behera from the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (Idsa), a think tank.
“The Modi government has also suspended IAS, IPS and tax officers so I am not surprised. In the past, people have been suspended for corruption allegations but non performance would be a first," he said.
In a report tabled in the Parliament on 22 July, the government auditor Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had slammed the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for critical deficiency in availability of ammunition to the Indian Army.
CAG criticised the OFB for inadequate quality of ammunition supplied to the Army since March 2013. It said that despite serious concerns highlighted in a high-level report on ‘Ammunition management in Army’ in 2015, no significant improvement took place in the critical deficiency in availability of ammunition and quality of ammunition supplied by the OFB.
“If ordnance factories have to perform, drastic reforms like handing over the factories to a PPP mode are required," Behera said, referring to public private partnerships.
The announcement came a day after defence minister Arun Jaitley announced Indian Army reforms involving the redeployment of 57,000 personnel, optimization of communication arms and the closure of military farms.