A project to bring in private firms to operate the army’s workshops is facing resistance from its officials. Under the proposed Government-Owned Contractor-Operated (GOCO) model, private contractors were to operate the army’s base workshops that repair and overhaul equipment from guns and vehicles to tanks and helicopters.

Officials who are opposed to the move have claimed that it could increase the cost and that private companies in India didn’t have the skills to carry out this work. The model will also deplete the army’s capabilities built over years to overhaul equipment, they have said.

The matter has been raised with the army top brass, officials aware of the developments said. Those supporting the model, however, say privatisation was important. They army then doesn’t have to run workshops in remote areas and this is away to reduce administrative flab, they said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which in January was selected as a consultant and attract private players for the project, has submitted a report to the army, officials said.

The army and the defence ministry didn’t respond until press time Tuesday to emails seeking comment. PwC said it didn’t want to comment.

The eight base workshops established during World War II in different states are meant to keep the army operationally ready at all times.