The Government of India has decided to transfer Army Base Workshops (ABW) presently being operated by the Central Government, on the lines of Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) Model. These Army Base Workshops located across the country, are assigned the role of undertaking overhaul (OH) of specified weapons and support platforms in use by the Indian Army. These Workshops are also involved in undertaking repair and OH of major assemblies, repairs of PCBs and modules of various equipment held with the Indian Army. In some cases, spares are manufactured by these workshops. The Army has a total of eight ABWs, specializing in particular domain as under:-

Issues and Concerns

They have annual turnover upwards of Rs. 10,000 crore. Civilian staff accounts for over 75% of the strength and military manpower about 25%.  Potential partners desirous of being a part of this initiative be requested to contact Nodal Officers to enable the Indian Army to organise presentations / visits of the interested partners to the Army Base workshops. Notwithstanding the merits, some of the issues and concerns are:-

  • The 'Government Owned Corporate Operated (GOCO)' model the assets owned by Govt will be operated by the private industry for agreed upon terms. The process of transfer of assets would have to be protracted with expertise being gradually absorbed by the private industry.
  • The present infrastructure will require investment in upgrade of Plant and Machinery and training of employees.
  • The issue of criteria for selection of private partner for a particular segment say Tanks, Opto Electronics etc. The private sector may be able to partner with OEMs as a result the ABW will benefit from Transfer of Technology and upgrades.
  • Private companies will insist on the government rationalizing the workforce and replacement of Army personnel. There could be some disruptions in its equipment maintenance resources.

A deeper analysis is required to work out a plan that has the potential to succeed.

[Issue: 1, January-February 2018]

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