Manohar Parrikar formally takes over as Defence Minister, says defence deals will be transparent
New Delhi: Manohar Parrikar today took charge as Defence Minister and said the defence acquisition process will be transparent and fast under his stewardship. 58-year-old Parrikar met with Defence Secretary R K Mathur and all the three Services Chiefs minutes after he took over in his South Block Office.
The new Minister echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “Make-in-India” slogan and said the country should manufacture “as much as possible” domestically.
“Very unfortunate. Whatever will be there will be very transparent but fast process. I think that is one of my specialties,” he told reporters here replying to a question about the delayed acquisition process in the last 10 years and defence deals often getting mired in corruption.
He asked everyone to give him time to understand the issues concerning the new Ministry.
Parrikar, who earlier today filed his nomination paper to Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, said he was “equally worried” over the recent sinking of a torpedo recovery vessel off the coast of Visakhapatnam and recalled the series of accidents that the Navy has had over the last year and a half.
“Let me first take real grip of the situation so that the exact position can be expressed to you,” he said. With his task cut-out, Parrikar, an IITian, thanked Modi for reposing confidence in him by giving him this “very important and sensitive Ministry”.
“I am also aware that Jaitley (who was holding Defence as an additional charge) has done, in spite of constraints, a lot of initiation work on many of the issues concerning the defence and I am quite confident of taking them ahead with speed,” he said.
The former Goa Chief Minister admitted though he has exposure and good administrative experience, the type of requirement at the national level may be different. “I was left with no time. Let me be frank. I had to virtually pack in five minutes. Two days was given for all the excercise,” he said while requesting the media to give him time to understand the issues concerning the Ministry.