Jaitley meets chiefs of armed forces

Jaitley meets chiefs of armed forces

Jaitley meets chiefs of armed forces

A day after holding talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is understood to have been briefed by the chiefs of the three armed forces on India’s situation along its borders with China and Pakistan.

While their interaction with the prime minister was brief, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley was given a detailed review on the security situation and challenges being faced by the armed forces.

Gen Singh, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan each gave a half-an-hour presentation to Jaitley, whose first job is to provide Defence Ministry inputs for the Union budget. Incidentally, Jaitley also holds the finance portfolio and would present the Union Budget in July.

Prior to the three service chiefs, Defence Secretary R K Mathur gave an overall perspective to the new defence minister, besides flagging out pending acquisition issues and security concerns as highlighted in the 2012 Naresh Chandra Committee report.

Acquisitions of fighter aircraft, different types of helicopters, artillery guns and submarines are some of the long-pending issues on which the new defence minister needs to take a decision.

After assuming charge as the new defence minister on Tuesday, Jaitley said that speeding up procurement of equipment for the armed forces would be a priority for the Modi government. Impending issues for Jaitley are, however, to clear the appointment of a new Navy vice chief and order a rejig of the chiefs in the three naval commands.

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