Jaitley, who kicked off his day with a visit to aircraft carrier INS Viraat, commissioned two fast-attack craft ICGS Achook and ICGS Agrim of the Indian Coast Guard.

INS Viraat was till recently the only aircraft carrier in the Indian Navy and the force is working towards keeping it operational for a few more years to meet its requirements.

The Western Naval Command, considered to be the sword-arm of the Indian Navy, suffered major blows in terms of the loss of INS Sindhurakshak.

INS Sindhurakshak submarine had sunk on August 14 last year after an explosion killing all 18 personnel on board. It is submerged in its berthing dock in the Naval dockyards in Mumbai and is being salvaged to verify the exact reasons for the mishap.

The work on the salvage operations is in advanced stages as the submarine has been lifted from the ground by the American salvage firm and is expected to be brought out of water anytime, Navy officials said.

The Defence Minister has been invited by the armed forces to visit far-flung bases to show solidarity with the troops and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to have been invited to visit Siachen glacier by the Army and largest warship aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya by the Navy.

Jaitley to take stock of economic situation

After reviewing the operational preparedness at the Western Naval Command, Jaitley, who also holds the finance portfolio, will meet sector regulators led by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and Sebi chairman UK Sinha to take stock of the economic situation in the country.

According to the RBI, Jaitley will in the afternoon chair the 11th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) at the Central bank's Mint Road office.

Apart from top Finance Ministry officials, the meeting will be attended by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Sebi chairman UK Sinha, IRDA chairman TS Vijayan, Forward Markets Commission head Ramesh Abhishek and PFRDA Chairman Anup Wadhawan among others.
    
The country’s fiscal situation, external sector environment and developments in financial markets are likely top the agenda, which would also include financial sector reforms, particularly in the banking sector, reeling under bad loans and depleting core capital.
    
An RBI panel report by PJ Nayak recently suggested that government should bring down its holding in public sector banks below 51 percent apart from calling for their merger.

Arun Jaitley at the commissioning ceremony of Indian Coast Guard Ships 'Achook' and 'Agrim' in Mumbai

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley (R) and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan walk up a ramp to the Indian Navy's aircraft carrier INS Viraat

Arun Jaitley during the commissioning ceremony of Indian Coast Guard Ships 'Achook' and 'Agrim' in Mumbai

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan at the commissioning ceremony of Indian Coast Guard Ships 'Achook' and 'Agrim' in Mumbai

JPN/Agencies

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