More reports on: Defence production

BEL workers oppose sale of stake in defence units at throw-away pices

28 August 2017

Workers at Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), a defence production unit under the defence ministry, have opposed the government's move to sell part of its equity in such units to private investors and lighten its fiscal deficit.

But, at the same time, they pointed out that the central agencies have undervalued the company at Rs518.44 crore while it is worth at least Rs 55,000 crore.

They have submitted a memorandum to this effect to minister of finance and defence Arun Jaitley on the sidelines of the inauguration of an academy of excellence and two state-of-the-art testing facilities.

The defence minister on Sunday inaugurated the electromagnetic compatibility test facility and near field antenna test range - at Bharat Electronics Limited.

Built at a cost of Rs47 crore, BEL Academy for Excellence, spread over six acres, aims to address the training needs of BEL employees, its customers and partners, especially MSMEs. The institution will be affiliated to national international universities and will cater to the Centre's skill development initiatives.

The workers' union at BEML, meanwhile, said its members are opposed to the centre's proposal to sell 26 per cent stake in the public sector undertaking. Workers from Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kolar and Palakkad submitted a memorandum to Jaitley.

"We are competing with private firms when it comes to production without any government subsidy. We are the only manufacturers of defence products and Metro coaches in the country. Why is the government trying to sell off 26per cent of the company?" Domlur Sreenivas Reddy, president of BEML Employees' Association, said.

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