Government committed to welfare of armed forces: Antony

August 14th, 2011 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Sunday said the government was committed to the welfare of the armed forces and had taken steps to improve the quality of their rations, clothing and equipment.

Extending his heartiest greetings and best wishes to members of the Indian armed forces - uniformed and civilian - on the eve of the country’s 65th Independence day, the defence minister in a statement said: “On this occasion, I pay my tributes to all the martyrs who gave the supreme sacrifice for the nation.”

Antony said he has visited the frontiers in the northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, and seen the preparation in the desert and other areas.

“On these visits, I have come to know about the challenges that troops have to face. Keeping such challenges in mind, the government has taken several steps to improve the facilities. An improvement in the quantity and the quality of rations, clothing and equipment has been brought about,” he said.

“The government is committed to the all-round welfare of our jawans (troops) and will continue to provide them the best facilities and living conditions, especially for those living in inhospitable and difficult conditions,” said Antony.

“We have taken several steps for the welfare of our ex-servicemen. 199 new polyclinics and 15 new regional health centres have been started to provide better health care facilities to ex-servicemen. Besides, a pilot online automation scheme has been started to address pension related problems.”

Speaking on ex-servicemen, Antony said he had asked states to provide more employment opportunities to ex-servicemen at all levels.

The defence minister expressed confidence that the armed forces would “leave nothing to chance in defending our land, air and sea borders. Your vigil on the borders and commitment to the nation will enhance the prestige of the Forces and do the nation proud”.

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