Essential Defence Services Bill
Part of: GS Prelims and GS III – Defence and Security
In news The Essential Defence Services Bill was recently introduced by the Parliament.
- It is aimed at preventing the staff of the government-owned ordnance factories from going on a strike.
What are the Highlights of the Bill?
- It is meant to “provide for the maintenance of essential defence services so as to secure the security of nation and the life and property of public at large and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.
- The Bill empowers the government to declare services mentioned in it as essential defence services.
- It also prohibits strike and lockouts in “any industrial establishment or unit engaged in essential defence services”
What are the latest changes?
- The Ordnance Factory Board was directly under the Department of Defence Production and worked as an arm of the government. But, in June 2021 the government announced its corporatisation.
- As per this plan, 41 factories ammunition and other equipment to the armed forces will become part of seven government owned corporate entities.
- The government has claimed that the move is aimed at improving the efficiency and accountability of these factories.
- However, following this, many federations announced the launch of indefinite strikes.
- This was countered by the Essential Defence Services Ordinance which was promulgated on June 30, 2021.
Who will it affect?
- It has a direct bearing on around 70,000 employees of the 41 ordnance factories around the country, who are unhappy with the corporatisation of OFB, fearing that it will impact their service and retirement conditions.
What is the need?
- 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 state of the art battlefield equipment.
- Therefore, there is a need to provide for the maintenance of essential defence services so as to secure the security of nation and the life and property of public at large and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
News Source: IE