President Ram Nath Kovind said Centre is taking all requisite steps towards modernization of armed forces and announced that the delivery of first Rafale fighter aircraft and Apache helicopters in the offing in the “near future”.
“My Government is rapidly taking forward the work of modernisation of the army and the armed forces. India is going to receive the delivery of first ‘Rafale’ fighter aircraft and ‘Apache’ helicopters in the near future,” he said in his address to the joint sitting of Parliament.
The President also stated that a special emphasis is being accorded by the Central Government to manufacture of modern armaments under ‘Make in India’
“The policy of indigenously manufacturing weapons such as modern rifles and cannons, tanks and combat aircraft is being carried forward successfully. Defence Corridors coming up in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will further strengthen this mission. While fulfilling our security requirements, the export of defense equipment is also being encouraged,” he said.
Kovind spoke on the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme saying “increased pensionary benefits to ex-servicemen and expansion of health facilities, efforts are being made to improve their living standards.”
“Respect towards soldiers and martyrs enhances self-respect and enthusiasm among the forces, and also strengthens our military capabilities. Hence, all possible efforts are being made to take care of our soldiers and their families,” he added.
President Kovind also touched about the issue of growing menace of terrorism and said that the country had demonstrated its intentions and capabilities by carrying out air strikes on terrorist targets across the border, first by carrying out surgical strikes and second the Pulwama attack. ” In the future also, my government will take all requisite steps to protect the nation. National security is paramount for my government.”
“Today, the entire world is supporting India on the issue of terrorism. UN declaring Masood Azhar — who was responsible for several major terror attacks in the country, is great proof,” he added.
The Parliament’s Budget Session, which began on June 17, will continue till July 26. The Economic Survey will be presented on July 4 followed by the Union Budget for 2019-20 on July 5.