Criticising the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance for policy paralysis and delays in decision making on issues of national security during its rule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Air Force would not have to wait for another 10 years to get new fighter aircraft to meet its urgent requirements.
“There was a time when, like many other aspects of governance, the critical issue of defence preparedness was also hampered by policy paralysis. We have seen how laziness, incompetence and perhaps some hidden motives can cause damage to the nation,” Modi said after inaugurating Defence Expo 2018 in Chennai.
“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 aircraft. We do not want to spend 10 years in discussions without any tangible outcomes,” he added.
The Prime Minister noted that his government has streamlined defence manufacturing and procurement processes.
“In all these areas, our regulations, processes and procedures have been made more industry-friendly, more transparent, more predictable,” he added.
At the event, the Prime Minister launched a portal called Innovations for Defence Excellence for startups to deal with the defence production department.
Modi arrived in Chennai at 9:30 am and flew to the site of the Defence Expo in a chopper, hampering Opposition’s plan to welcome him with black flags. The opposition and fringe groups were on the streets, expressing anger against what they call the Centre's failure to form a Cauvery Water Management Board.
"As you fly see the black flags reflecting our sentiments. People are hoisting black flags at homes . Wake up at least now. Withdraw the SC petition, otherwise the fire of black will not be extinguished," Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader MK Stalin, who was leading his party during the protest, said.
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