The Indian Air Force is preparing to welcome the new generation ultra-modern Rafale fighter aircraft in its fleet to strengthen its strike capabilities, President Ram Nath Kovind said today.
Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget Session, he said neglecting the country’s defence needs, even for a moment, will prove detrimental to the present and future of the country.
“Compromising with security needs is not in the interest of the present and future of the country. New deals in the last year, purchase of defence equipment, raised the morale of the defence. After decades, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will use the ultramodern Rafale aircraft in the coming months and strengthen itself,” he said.
The statement from the President comes at a time when the Rafale jet deal controversy is on the boil.
President Kovind also hailed the Indian Armed Forces for the September 29, 2016 cross-border “surgical strikes” and stated that by making such a move India has introduced its new policies and strategies to the world.
“In the International context, while India is a staunch supporter of friendly ties with all countries, there is also a need to constantly strengthen our capabilities to tackle any challenges. Through surgical strikes on cross-border terror posts, India has shown its new policy and strategy. Last year India joined the handful of countries that possess the Nuclear Triad capability,” he said.
He also noted that due to his Government’s diplomatic success, India’s voice is heard with respect in the international fora.
“My Government has not only enhanced the credibility and prestige of the passports held by the Indian diaspora but has also stood by them in their hour of need. During the last four years, more than 2 Lakh 26 thousand Indians stranded abroad have been rescued and brought back to the country,” he said.
On the issue of One Rank One Pension (OROP), the President said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre was successful in fulfilling the longstanding demand of the Indian armed forces and has disbursed the required amount.
“Our defence forces and their morale symbolise the prowess of the India of the 21st century. Not only has my Government fulfilled the demand for One Rank One Pension that had been pending for four decades, but it has also disbursed arrears amounting to more than Rs 10,700 crore to 20 lakh ex-servicemen,” he said.
“I would also like to congratulate the country’s security forces that are constantly striving to strengthen the country’s internal security. Their concerted efforts have played a crucial role in reducing terrorism and violence,” he said.
On the issue of Naxalism, the President said a large number of youngsters in Naxal hit areas have come forward to join the mainstream in the past few years. “The Police Memorial, which was dedicated to the nation last year seeks to honour their sacrifice and also preserves the memories of their sacrifice for the future generations,” he added.