Indian Railways COFMOW closed
Following the ministry’s announcement, no more tenders shall be floated or opened by COFMOW | (Photo: South Western Railways)

Railway PSU COFMOW to close down; staff to be released or redeployed

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The Railways Ministry has announced the closure of the Central Organisation for Modernization of Workshops (COFMOW) effective December 1.

The decision has been taken “in line with the recommendation made by Principal Economic Advisor, Ministry of finance, on rationalization of government bodies,” the circular by the Railway Board said. The Centre had last year asked the ministry to rationalise and reduce its undertakings.

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Four-decade old PSU

COFMOW, a public sector undertaking based in New Delhi, was created in 1979 to modernise the workshops of Indian Railways. Established through funding from the World Bank, COFMOW is credited with successfully helping in the modernization of production units and workshops for over four decades.

The company has over the years procured over 22,000 machines to modernise production and maintenance units at a cost of almost Rs 6,300 crore.

Following the ministry’s announcement, no more tenders shall be floated or opened by COFMOW. Also, all sanctioned works against which tenders have yet not been finalised or where no contractual liability exists, will be transferred immediately to the concerned zonal railway offices.

Staff’s future

According to the circular, all contracts, files and documents will be handed over to the concerned zonal railway offices and the COFMOW’s non-gazetted posts will be surrendered. The staff will either be released, repatriated or redeployed elsewhere.

As for the officers with COFMOW, they “may be posted elsewhere by concerned Board Members, as deemed appropriate”. Also, by November 30, COFMOW’s building and other Infrastructure will be handed over to the Secretary branch of Railway Board.

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Within the past year, the Railways also decided to shut down the Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) and the Indian Railways Organisation of Alternative Fuel (IROAF).

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