Narendra Modi at DefExpo 2018: Commitment to peace as strong as commitment to territory, says PM

April 12:In a veiled dig at the previous UPA regime, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said defence preparedness was hampered due to policy paralysis earlier but his government had changed that by revising the procurement procedure with provisions for stimulating growth of the domestic defence industry. Inaugurating the Defence Expo in Thiruvidanthai in Tamil Nadu, Modi, who is observing a day-long fast in protest against washout of Parliament proceedings, also said the government's commitment to peace is just as strong as its commitment to protecting its people and territory.
"Our commitment to peace is just as strong as our commitment to protecting our people and our territory. For this we are ready to take all necessary measures to equip our armed forces, including through the establishment of a strategically independent defence industrial complex," the PM said.
Modi, who took a chopper to the venue instead of travelling by road to avoid the protests over the Cauvery water board issue, also raked up the scrapped Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal. Trying to deflate the Congress' charge that the fresh government-to-government deal for 36 Rafale jets was a scam-in-the-making, Modi said he did not want to spend 10 years in discussions without any tangible outcome.
The PM also said that while in May 2014 the total number of defence export permission granted stood at 118 for $577 million, in less than four years, 794 more export permissions were issued for a total value of $1.3 billion. "There was a time when critical issue of defence preparedness was hampered by policy paralysis. We have seen the damage of such laziness, incompetence or perhaps some hidden motives, can cause to the nation. Not now, not anymore, never again," Modi, who was received at the airport by Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, said. Modi cited the examples of bullet-proof jackets and procurement of fighter aircraft to drive home his point on how the previous UPA regime dragged its feet over procurement of defence equipment. "The issue of providing bullet proof jackets to Indian soldiers was kept hanging for years. You would have also seen that we have brought the process to a successful conclusion with a contract that will provide a boost to defence manufacturing in India," Modi said. Agencies
Source: Agencies


  
  

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