Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who launched INS Vikramaditya on Saturday, dedicated the warship to the nation, and made promises about 'one rank, one pension' to army personnel.
"My government is committed to One-rank, One-pension. There have been many promises, but no action was taken," Modi said on board the country's largest warship according to PTI.
Modi had earlier slammed the UPA government for its delay in implementing the 'one-rank-one pension' policy. In February this year, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had pushed for the scheme, which the government accepted and allocated ₹500 crore for the fund that is expected to benefit 30 lakh retired personnel of the Armed forces, according to Firstpost.
Modi also stressed on national security during his address. "India's security is my top priority. We want to see eye-to-eye with the world. We will not threaten others but we will also not bow down before others".
This was the PM's first visit to a military facility, after he was sworn in as the Prime Minister last month. He was given a ceremonial guard of honour on his arrival and also sat on a MIG 29 aircraft when he was on board.
Modi also spoke about the nation becoming self-sufficient in terms of its defence equipment. "Why should we import defence equipment? We must be self-sufficient," Modi said. "INS Vikramaditya will add to the strategic force of the nation." He also went on to say that technology would help in the progress of the nation.
Additionally, he congratulated naval officers on the launch of the warship.
INS Vikramaditya was acquired from Russia at a cost of ₹15,000 crore last November. The ship is India's second aircraft carrier after INS Virat, and is considered to be a sign of boost in Indo-Russian defence partnership.
With INS Vikramaditya, which was inducted into service last November, India has become the only country in Asia to have two such aircraft carriers. China launched its debut aircraft carrier last year.