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Centre stresses defence readiness

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Centre stresses defence readiness

Nirmala Sitharaman says budgetary allocations should be used to acquire necessary equipment

Taking a dig at the previous United Progressive Alliance government, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Tuesday that lack of timely decision-making in the past decade had caused gaps in military preparedness.

However, Ms. Sitharaman assured the armed forces that the National Democratic Alliance government was committed to filling those gaps.

She made the comments while addressing the biannual Indian Air Force (IAF) Commanders’ Conference which began at the IAF Headquarters. Later in the day, she addressed the biannual Army Commanders’ Conference.

Devolved powers

“During her address, the Defence Minister said the devolved powers given to the Service Chiefs should be fully utilised for achieving their capabilities. She said that the budgetary allocations should not be viewed as a constraint and should be looked at to acquire what is absolutely necessary,” the Air Force said in a statement.

In his address, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa reiterated the IAF’s role as the first responder in most contingencies, and stressed the need to sustain the ongoing process of capability enhancement.

Addressing the Army Commanders at Manekshaw Centre, Ms. Sitharaman listed integration of the armed forces as her priority as it was essential, particularly in the domain of training, communication, logistics and cyberspace, to prepare for any future conflict.

Building infrastructure

“Assuring focus on capacity and capability development, she promised close monitoring of improvement in strategic infrastructure, long- pending force modification requests, welfare of serving, retired and families,” the Army said in a statement.

Ms. Sitharaman has also informed the Army of her request to Home Minister Rajnath Singh for provisioning of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) equipment to allow the personnel of the force to use them during the time of natural disasters.

Since taking charge as Defence Minister, Ms. Sitharaman has travelled extensively to various military stations and also border areas.

Source: The Hindu

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