Nirmala Sitharaman to focus on military preparedness

By Dinakar Peri, 2017-09-07 08:39:38

Nirmala Sitharaman who took charge as the Defence Minister on Thursday said she would focus on military preparedness, ‘Make in India’ and the welfare of soldiers.

“My priority will definitely be the armed forces preparedness. It is important that the Indian armed forces receive the attention in terms of giving them every endowment and equipment necessary for them to perform their duty with the best of equipment available,” she said in a message after assuming charge.

She took charge of the Ministry from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who was holding additional charge since March at South Block, becoming the first full-time woman Defence Minister of the country.

Speaking later at her first engagement, at event organised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said it was a privilege to hand over indigenous products on her first engagement after assuming office.

The DRDO event which also attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh saw the handing over of armoured bus, bullet proof jacket, Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV) and small arms among others to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

Mr. Singh noted that all the media has complimented Ms. Sitharaman as India's first full-time defence minister and said with her defence Ministry will get a energy and direction.

Noting that the country's "import dependence has gone up," Mr. Singh said that the systems being developed by DPSUs under the 'Make in India' initiative will reduce the dependence.

Observing that defence procurements for Home Ministry are done through defence ministry, he said these delayed for the CAPFs.

"We need a framework for the supply of defence equipment to CAPFs," he said

Ms. Sitharaman was elevated to the Cabinet rank on Sunday and given the defence portfolio.

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