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Defence deals by NDA govt may be probed: Mukherjee

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 24, 2004 13:54 IST
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Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that some of the defence deals entered into by the National Democratic Alliance regime could be probed.

He said the new government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would strive for total transparency in armament purchases.

"If specific charges come up regarding defence deals concluded by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, these would be looked into," Mukherjee told newsmen as he assumed office.

Mukherjee said the new government wanted to ensure that institutional arrangement for arms procurement was made transparent and these cover both emergency and well as regular purchases.

Spelling out the priorities of the new government on security issues, he said the ongoing modernisation and upgradation of weaponry and training of the armed forces would be carried out with redoubled vigour and emphasis would be to ensure that all allocated funds for strategic systems were utilised and not allowed to lapse as was happening earlier.

"The budget resources of the country are scarce and efforts have to be made that they are optimally spent. Whatever is required for security of the nation would be made available," he said.

Mukherjee said the Kashmir problem has three dimensions to it -- one related to security, one related to intelligence and the third one political.

While political efforts, including talks with the neighbouring country and separatist elements in the state would continue, measures would be also taken to step up pressure on militants operating from within the state.

At the same time, Mukherjee said intelligence network had to be strengthened and anti-infiltration measures like fencing of border and installation of gadgets to detect infiltration on the Line of Control would be expedited.

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