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Parrikar sets priorities

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Shri Manohar Parrikar interacting with the media after taking charge as new Defence Minister, in New Delhi on November 10, 2014.

Shri Manohar Parrikar interacting with the media after taking charge as new Defence Minister, in New Delhi on November 10, 2014.
Shri Manohar Parrikar interacting with the media after taking charge as new Defence Minister, in New Delhi on November 10, 2014.

Newly-inducted Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said indigenisation of defence manufacturing and higher transparency are his top priorities.

Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur, army chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag, navy chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan, and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha were present to welcome Parrikar.

“I will take forward the work that (Arun) Jaitley ji has done…” Parrikar told media persons after he took charge as the 36th defence minister of the country.

“Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has been very clear on ‘make in India’. As
much as possible we must manufacture here,” he said.

“Any country with good manufacturing base can come up as it contributes to employment generation. My colleague (Rajiv Pratap) Rudy is heading the skill development ministry, I will see if I can take his help in it,” he said.

Asked about alleged corruption in some defence deals, the minister said: “There will be transparency and speed. That will be a priority.”

Parrikar also expressed concern over the recent sinking of a torpedo recovery vessel of the navy and other accidents earlier.

The minister however added that being new to the central government, he needed more time to get well versed with the details about the ministry.

“Coming from a state, though there is exposure and experience of good administration, the requirement at national level may be different,” Parrikar said.

The former Goa chief minister earlier in the day filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow.

Flanked by union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Kalraj Mishra and Skill Development Minister Rudy, the former Goa chief minister appeared cheerful as he chatted with the waiting media persons and state leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Talking to reporters in Lucknow, he said he was “feeling honoured” to represent the state in parliament.

He also said he came to know of his portfolio at only at 11.35 p.m. Sunday, when the list was released by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.