Need to cut delays in supply of weapons to CRPF: HM
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday lamented the "delay" in supply of weapons and critical equipment to the CRPF by the defence ministry and said there was a need to develop a framework involving defence PSUs to address the issue.
Singh also called upon all defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) to focus on 100 per cent indigenisation of military equipment and platforms and effectively implement the Make in India initiative in defence production to bring down import dependence.
Welcoming the appointment of Nirmala Sitharaman as defence minister, Singh exuded confidence that the key ministry will get "new energy and strength" under her as women symbolise "shakti" (strength).
Speaking at an event in DRDO, where equipment built by several DPSUs were handed over to the paramilitary CRPF, the home minister said procurement of weapons and other systems for paramilitary forces is largely handled by the defence ministry and delays in their supplies often affect them.
Sitharaman was also present on the occasion, the first event she attended as the defence minister.
"For the CRPF, I have seen that the procurement of equipment is done by the defence ministry. The CRPF does not get the priority it should.
"There has been a delay in supply of equipment and weapons to them. There is a need to think over it as due to the delay, they suffer. I think a framework for it has to be developed," Singh said.
The CRPF was handed over various weapons and platforms developed by DPSUs which included armoured buses, bullet-proof jackets, assault rifles, all terrain vehicles, carbines and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
Sitharaman congratulated the Defence Research Development Organisation and other DPSUs involved in developing the critical platforms.
The home minister asked the DPSUs to focus on 100 per cent indigenisation of military equipment and platforms and not limit the indigenous components to 60, 70 or 80 per cent.
He expressed happiness over the appointment of Sitharaman and noted that the media has hailed the move to make her the first full-time woman defence minister.
"I was with you at your last event as commerce minister and I am present here at your first event as defence minister," said Singh.
The home minister said the armed forces will have to equip themselves with latest technologies to deal with those involved in crimes.
He said when he visited naxal-dominated areas in Jharkhand, jawans requested fort lighter helmets. "We have given lighter helmets, but there is a need to make them more lighter."
He said, "Those involved in crime are using latest technologies. While sitting in any part of the world, anybody can make anyone a terrorist, they can hack.... We will have to equip ourselves with latest technologies to combat them."