With an aim to achieve Rs 35, 000 defence export target, the government urged the DPSUs to develop and adopt latest technologies to help make India a defence manufacturing hub.
September 30, 2022 marks completion of one year of the operations of the seven defence companies, which were carved out of erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). These companies had commenced their work as seven different companies on October 1, 2021 and were dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 15, `Vijayadashami’ the same year.
A year later defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the performance of the companies and stated that the corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was a major reform in the direction of making of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
According to an official statement issued by the ministry of Defence (MoD), the minister was briefed on the progress of these companies by officials of the Department of Defence Production. In his virtual address to the officers and employees of the company the minister expressed appreciation that the companies are working efficiently with full autonomy, and accountability. And also protecting the interests of the employees and this was the main base at the time of corporatising the OFB.
For modernisation, Rs 2,953 crore in the form of equity has been released to these companies, during the FY2022 and FY2023. And soon for capital expenditure further amount of Rs 6,270 crore is going to be released to these companies up to FY2027. Additionally, an amount of Rs 3,750 crore has already been released in the form of Emergency Authorisation Fund for these companies.
Significantly, between October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, the new companies achieved the turnover of more than Rs 8,400 crore, considering the Value of Issue of erstwhile OFB during the previous financial years.
And for the FY 2023 also, these seven companies have projected cumulative sales targets of approx Rs 17,000 crore, which is higher when compared to achievements of previous years.
Production achievement of more than Rs 6,500 crore in first six months of financial year 2022-23 has been reported by the new DPSUs. Previously it was approx Rs 5,028 crore between April 1, to September 30, 2021. And the new entities post corporatisation, have shown improvement in quality and productivity, and six out of seven have indicated profits which are based on provisional financial statements.
The minister in his address listed out key areas which need more attention including new technologies and modernization through research and development domestically. And to increase India’s market share across the globe, the minister called on the companies to implement and devise new strategies to make their presence felt. The minister also expressed hope that the companies will play an important role in strengthening the country’s defence manufacturing ecosystem.
Major achievements of the new companies
-Troop Comforts Limited (TCL) has developed items like Bullet Proof Jacket, Ballistic Helmets, ECWCS and more.
-Advanced Weapons & Equipment India (AWEIL) has received an order for supply of JVPC carbines to Delhi Police.
-Armoured Vehicles Nigam (AVNL) – a new variant of Mine Protected Vehicle has been designed for CRPF, and this may be useful for other Armed Forces also.
-Munitions India (MIL) successfully proved new variants of Pinaka Rocket i.e., Pinaka Mk-I (Extended Range) and DPICM. It developed 40 mm UBGL ammunition, 76/62 SRGM HEDA Ammunition, 500 Kg General Purpose Bomb successfully. MIL in the last one year has got orders for more than Rs 1,500 crore for different types of ammunition.
-India Optel (IOL), a first in terms of technology of Fusion Imaging this company has developed Driver Night Sights for Tanks.
-Yantra India (YIL) after making progress in product and customer diversification the company has got orders worth Rs 300 crore from non defence customers like Indian Railways.
-Gliders India (GIL) has received orders for export of Parachutes.