New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday held an interaction with three recognised unions of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) on issues related to its corporatisation.

The three unions who participated in this meeting were All India Defence Employees'' Federation, Indian National Defence Workers'' Federation and Bhartiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh, the Defence Ministry's statement noted.

As part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, the central government had announced on May 16, 2020, that it would improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies by corporatisation of the OFB.

The OFB is a defence ministry entity and supplies critical arms and ammunition to the three armed forces and the paramilitary.

The defence ministry's statement said on Friday, "The meeting was conducted in a very congenial atmosphere, in which the Raksha Mantri gave patient hearing to the concerns expressed by the Federations on OFB Corporatisation."

The three unions stated various points, mainly seeking a last chance to improve OFB performance while continuing in the present set-up for some more years; the Essential Defence Services Ordinance 2021 not to be converted into an Act; protecting the service conditions of the OFB employees post-corporatisation and ensuring work load for the new corporate entities.

"Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Raj Kumar clarified that the new Corporate entities would be 100 per cent government owned and suggested that further discussions with the employees'' representatives should continue with the department to identify specific issues, which can be brought before the Empowered Group of Ministers from time to time," the statement said.

Singh assured that the interests of the employees would be protected while implementing the decision of OFB corporatisation, it said.

The minister appealed to the unions to continue discussions with the department and issues, if any, would be considered sympathetically by the Empowered Group of Ministers under his Chairmanship, it mentioned.