New Delhi, Feb. 21 : President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said the people of India are grateful to the armed forces for their exemplary professionalism, commitment and bravery in defending our nation.
"The country is united in paying tribute to our soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice by laying down their lives for the country," he said, while addressing a joint session of Parliament for the first time as President.
President Mukherjee said the armed forces are fully prepared to defend the country against any threat.
"My government will continue to take all necessary steps to modernize and equip our Armed Forces; bolster defence infrastructure, especially in the border areas; encourage indigenous defence R&D; and expand domestic production of defence equipment," said President Mukherjee.
"The continuing progress in our missile programme has strengthened our deterrence capability. Coastal security has also been further strengthened," he added.
President Mukherjee, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, further said the government attaches the highest importance to the welfare of servicemen and ex-servicemen.
"Significant steps have been taken to enhance the pay and pension of serving and retired Services personnel and to remove disparities. This will benefit over 13 lakh personnel," he added. (ANI)