India supports freedom of navigation and free trade in IOR: Rajnath Singh
India Navy’s role in ensuring maintenance of peace and stability in the region is going to increase manifold in the times to come, the Defence Minister said
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said as a responsible maritime stakeholder India supports consensus based principles and a peaceful, open, rule based and stable world order and envision Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with the universal values of rule based freedom of navigation and free trade in which the interests of all participating countries are protected.
The Defence Minister said this while addressing the Naval Commanders during the inaugural session of the second edition of Naval Commanders’ Conference which began in New Delhi.
The conference is attended by all Operational and Area Commanders of the Indian Navy to review major operational, materiel, logistics, Human Resource Development, training, and administrative activities.
Speaking about the rapidly changing economic and political relations across the world, the Defence Minister said that these economic interests do cause some stress in the relations.
“Only those nations have been successful in gaining dominance across the world whose Navies have been strong and I am happy to say that our Navy is playing an important role in our maritime and national security,” he added.
The Defence Minister said in consonance with the vision of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ Indian Navy has already been ahead in the field of self-reliance, indigenisation in shipbuilding, and manufacturing of submarines.
“It is worth mentioning that in the last five financial years, more than two-thirds of the Navy's modernization budget has been spent on indigenous procurement,” he added.
“It is a matter of great pride to know that out of 41 ships and submarines ordered by our Navy, 39 are from Indian shipyards. This is a testament to the Navy's commitment to 'Aatma Nirbhar Bharat'. It is important for us to maintain the momentum of the success we have achieved so far and I am sure that the steps taken by the government will give it more strength,” the Defence Minister said.