The government’s commitment to peace is just as strong as its commitment to protecting its people and territory, and for this, necessary measures to equip the armed forces will be taken, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said inaugurating the Defence Expo in Thiruvidanthai in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
The prime minister said that Defence Procurement Procedure was revised with many specific provisions for stimulating growth of the domestic defence industry.
“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,” he said.
The prime minister also said that while in May 2014, the total number of defence export permission granted stood at 118, for a total value of USD 577 million, in less than four years, 794 more export permissions were issued, for a total value of over USD 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 said.
Referring to his government’s move to buy bullet proof jackets, he said, “You would have seen how the issue of providing bullet proof jackets to Indian soldiers was kept hanging for years”.
In an apparent reference to the scrapped Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal, the prime minister said he did not want to spend 10 years in discussions without any tangible outcome.
“You would also recall the long-drawn process of procurement of fighter aircraft that never reached any conclusion. We have not only taken bold action to meet our immediate critical requirements, but have also initiated a new process to procure 110 fighter aircrafts,” the Prime Minister said.