The Lok Sabha today passed the Demands for Grants of Ministry of Defence for 2017-18 after negating all cut-motions moved by the opposition. Replying to the debate, Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre said, the Indian Armed Forces are well prepared to meet any challenge against national security. He assured the House that money will never be a constraint in strengthening the country’s security.
Hailing the capability of the Indian Armed Foces, Dr Bhamre said, it is the one of the finest force in the world. He denied any reduction in the defence budget. He said, more funds will be provided to Border Roads Organisation to create road infrastructure. Several steps have been taken by the government to modernise the defence forces with the latest equipment. He informed the House that the government will meet all the critical requirements of the defence forces to further enhance its capabilities. He said, during last two years, contracts related to defence equipments to the tune of over two lakh crore rupees were signed out of which 90 contracts worth around 84 thousand crore rupees have been given to Indian vendors.
Earlier, intervening in the debate, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley assured the House that the country’s defence forces are fully prepared to thwart threats to its sovereignty from any quarter. He said all needs of the three services in every critical area have been met. Funds are no crunch. Mr Jaitley gave a break up of the equipment the defence forces have been provided with since the present government took over.
Besides importing requisite armaments as per their demands, the public sector undertakings have been fully involved in producing equipment for the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force. Utmost transparency has been ensured in procuring defence equipment from abroad. The defence forces have already been paid two instalments of arrears under the One-Rank-One-Pension Scheme, OROP and the third instalment is to be paid shortly.
Participating in the debate, Jyotiraditya Scindia of Congress accused the government of not paying full attention to the welfare of armed forces. Members from different parties also participated in the discussion.