National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 14 August 2017
DEFENCE MINISTER’S CUSTOMARY BROADCAST TO THE ARMED FORCES
Natioanal Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 14 August 2017
Following is the text of customary broadcast by the Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley to the Armed Forces personnel over All India Radio on the eve of the 71st Independence Day:
My Dear Jawans,
The country will be celebrating our 71st Independence Day tomorrow. On this momentous occasion, I extend my heartiest greetings and best wishes to each one of you serving in the Armed Forces. I extend my greetings to all serving personnel as well as ex-servicemen of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard. I also extend my best wishes to the family members of our Armed Forces personnel, many of whom are deployed far from their homes in not only tough terrain but also in deep seas.
2. On this auspicious occasion, my thoughts and gratitude are with the near and dear ones of all those who laid down their lives protecting our nation. We are forever indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice. Since the Armed Forces are at the forefront of our nation’s defence, I assure you that the Government will do all that is necessary to keep your morale high and to meet your functional requirements.
3. Despite our repeated requests to our Western neighbour not to use our territory occupied by it not only to train terrorists but also use it as launch pad for pushing these militants into India, such nefarious activities continued. We ran out of patience as these terrorists were not only targeting our Armed Forces but also civilians. Based on specific and credible inputs about some terrorist teams having positioned themselves at launch pads along Line of Control to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other States, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on 29 September last year at several of these launch pads to pre-empt infiltration by terrorists. The operations were focussed on ensuring that these terrorists did not succeed in their design to cause destruction and endanger the lives of our citizens. During these counter terrorist operations significant casualties were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them.
4. Even now our jawans continue to be vigilant on the Line of Control, defending the nation, as our adversary continues with its abhorrent acts. Some of our soldiers continue to make the supreme sacrifice while defending our motherland. The nation is indebted to their martyrdom.
5. The Government is committed for the welfare of our jawans. The Government has taken decision on recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission on Allowances, which will benefit 14 lakh Defence Forces personnel. Some of these include, rates of Siachen Allowance for extreme risk and hardship increased from ₹ 14,000 per month to ₹ 30,000 per month; Counter Insurgency Operations Allowance increased from between ₹ 3,000 and 11,700 per month to between ₹ 6,000 and 16,900 per month. Territorial Army Allowance increased from between ₹ 175 and 450 per month to ₹ 1,000 and 2,000 per month.
6. The welfare of Ex-Servicemen has been paramount for the government. The benefits of One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme started reaching the accounts of Ex-Servicemen and families since last year. Till July 10 this year, a sum of ₹ 4,156 crores and ₹ 2,385 crores have been paid towards first and second instalments of OROP arrears to around 20,40,000 Ex-Servicemen/family pensioners and 15,93,000 Ex-Servicemen respectively. Further, a sum of ₹ 2,250 crores has also been paid to 15,13,000 Ex-Servicemen as third instalments of OROP arrears. The Government is also sympathetically considering the report of the one-man judicial committee headed by Justice L Narasimha Reddy on O
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