India will procure 400 fighter planes by 2030, Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said today. "The NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is concerned over the country's security. India is going to procure 400 fighter planes by 2030," Singh told reporters here while highlighting the achievements of the BJP government in its two years in office.
He said the previous UPA regime in its 10 years rule did not pay attention to the country's defence needs and preparedness despite the fact that the country has neighbours like Pakistan and China. Singh recalled that India had 500 fighter planes, 40 years ago. But, the arms and ammunition dwindled under the UPA dispensation.
He said that under Modi, the long awaited one rank one pension (OROP) scheme has been cleared and is being implemented. "The army men desperately needed it. It has boosted their morale," he said. Referring to Congress leader Girija Vyas, who was here yesterday and accused Modi government of rechristening UPA government's schemes, the minister said that their opponent's intention and implementation of the schemes were not right.
"UPA government failed to achieve the aims of these schemes and that why we have reformed them," he said. "We have completely transformed Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) and made it foolproof. Now we are making payment through direct benefit transfer (DBT) to 94 per cent beneficiaries under MNREGA," he said.
Meanwhile, on fresh controversy over the sudden transfer of MP's Barwani district collector Ajay Singh Gangwar to state secretariat yesterday, over his Facebook post for praising former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said everyone has the right to freedom of expression. Singh, however, added that the officer might have been shunted out for some other reasons.