LEH: On a surprise visit to Ladakh in the midst of heightened tension between India and China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told soldiers that modernisation of the armed forces is a priority and that the spending on border infrastructure has almost tripled.
In an address to troops, Modi said India is manufacturing critical weapons and bringing modern technology from around the world for the armed forces as the government is paying lot of attention for their requirement.
"If India is enhancing its powers on land, air and water, then it is for the welfare of mankind," he said.
"India is manufacturing modern weapons today. We are bringing modern technology from around the world for the armed forces. The spirit behind it is the same. If India is building modern infrastructure at a fast pace, then the message behind it is the same," he added.
Modi said the government is paying a lot of attention to bring modern weapons for the armed forces.
"Now the spending on border infrastructure in the country has almost tripled. This has also led to speedy development of border areas including construction of bridges and laying of roads," he said.
"One of the biggest advantages of this is that now the goods reach you in a short time. The country is strengthening its armed forces at every level today," he added.
The prime minister also heaped praise on soldiers for their bravery and courage and said they are serving the country under challenging circumstances.
"Your courage is higher than the heights where you are serving today. When the safety of the country is in your hands, then there is a belief. Not only me, but the entire nation believes in you. We all are proud of you," he said.
In the midst of the border standoff with China, the defence ministry on Thursday approved procurement of 33 frontline fighter jets, a number of missile systems and other military hardware at a cost of Rs 38,900 crore.
The government has also approved procurement of 248 ASTRA beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile systems and a significant number of long range land attack cruise missile systems.
The prime minister also mentioned about efforts to strengthen the national security apparatus.
He highlighted recent initiatives of the government such as creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff, construction of a grand national war memorial, implementation of the one rank one pension scheme and steps to ensure the well-being of the families of the armed forces personnel.