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Defence ministry sacks 13 group ‘A’ officers of ordnance factories

LiveMint logoLiveMint 31-08-2017 PTI

New Delhi: The defence ministry has decided to sack 13 senior officers employed with ordnance factories after finding their overall performance “unsatisfactory”.

Few months ago, the government had ordered rigorous screening of performance of all officers of the ordnance factories which work under the administrative control of the defence ministry’s department of defence production.

“The government, after having assessed the overall performance of officers of Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS), following the prescribed procedure, has decided to retire its 13 Group ‘A’ officers from government service in public interest due to their overall unsatisfactory performance,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

Official sources said the officers are being served three months’ notice period and they will get pension and other benefits. It is not clear whether any of the officers being sacked were employed with the Pulgaon ammunition depot in Maharashtra where 19 army personnel were killed in a massive blast on 31 May, 2016.

In July, the Army headquarters had conveyed its serious concerns to the defence ministry over the Ordnance Factory Board’s “failure” to punish officials responsible for the blast at the depot. Over 19,325 defective anti-tank mines had exploded primarily due to leakage of explosives from some of the mines stored at the central ammunition depot in Pulgaon.

In a letter to defence production secretary Ashok Kumar Gupta, the Army headquarters had sought fixing of responsibility for the blaze at the depot. The ordnance factories are managed by the officers of IOFS, which is a group ‘A’ central service. The IOFS is responsible to ensure that the ordnance factories cater to the logistical needs of the armed forces. The IOFS provides leadership to the 39 ordnance factories employing about one lakh people.

The ministry said various steps are being taken to improve the performance of ordnance factories by making its officers accountable and ensure delivery of quality products to the armed forces within prescribed timelines. “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,” said the ministry.

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