<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday blamed the past regime for not taking timely decisions resulting in gaps in the Indian Air Force. Speaking at the bi-annual conference of IAF commanders, the defence minister assured that governement is fully committed to fill these gaps. She only advocated for service chiefs to ‘fully utilise’ their power. Sitharaman’s statement comes at a time when India and Pakistan continue to remain in loggerheads and relationship with China has hit a rough end even after though the Doklam stand-off was resolved amicably. IAF though has repeatedly said that it is fully equipped to face any kind of eventuality.The government is lcurrently ooking to bulk up IAF’s acquisition. Currenly it has has 33 fighter squadrons against the authorised strength of 42 squadrons. Sitharaman in her speech stressed on the need of exploring greater possibility of Make in India in the defence sector. She urged IAF to work with the DRDO and the Ordnance Factory Board, a state-run defence equipment maker in this regard. According to IAF release, the minister said, budgetary allocations “should not be viewed as a constraint and should be looked at to acquire what is absolutely necessary”. The three-day conference is to deliberate on host of issues to charter the future course of IAF. With PTI inputs

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Lack of timely decisions led to gaps in IAF, committed to fill them: Nirmala Sitharaman