Govt denies proposal for jt army exercise with US in Alaska

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New Delhi, Dec 3 (UNI) The Government today refuted reports of any proposal for a joint exercise by the Indian Army with the United States Army in Alaska.

Defence Minister A K Antony informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply that these joint exercises contribute to enhancing the capability of our Armed Forces through the exchange of best practices and procedures and exposure to advanced technology.

Mr Antony said these exercises also increase the interoperability which would be of benefit during disaster management situations and peace keeping operations.

On whether another exercise with the US troops would be held at the end of the year in India, Mr Antony replied in the negative.

He also said so far there was no decision of the Government to set up an Aerospace Command.

The Defence Minister said the allotment of defence land to private parties for commercial purposes is permissible under the Cantonment Land Administration Rules 1937.

There are some instances where private parties have misused land alloted to them. Whenever instances of misuse come to the notice, action is taken under various statutory provisions of the Cantonment Act and the Public premises (Eviction of Unauthorised occupation) Act, 1971.

In response to another question, the Defence Minister said his Ministry had formulated the Eleventh Defence Five Year Plan covering the period 2007-2012.

The plan covers the anticipated requirement of the three services, Ordnance Factories and Defence Research and Development Organisation for the plan period, both under Revenue and Capital heads, including modernisation of Defence Services.

He said the plan projections are under active consideration in consultation with the Ministry of Finance. Projects related to procurements are generally long term projects at times spanning two or more plan periods. Generally, the on-going projects at the end of the Tenth Plan period have been carried forward to the Eleventh Plan.

He said the reasons for delay in completion of projects remains under constant focus. Various steps have been taken to expedite the process. These include revision of procurement procedures in 2006, enhancement in the financial powers of the Defence Minister and delegtion of powers for capital expenditure upto Rs 30 crore to the services.

UNI

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