In his customary joint address to Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday outlined the NDA government’s objectives for “new India.” Stating that the government plans to make India a 5-trillion dollar economy by 2024, President Kovind in his address at the Central Hall of Parliament said, “My government is moving ahead to create strong, secure and inclusive India.”
Adding that the world today is standing with India on issues of terrorism, Kovind said, ” National security paramount for my government, surgical strike and Balakot air strike on terror camps have made India’s intentions clear. Declaration of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist is proof that the world is watching.” He also said that the government plans to double the farmers’ income by 2022, to provide electricity for all and to ensure the empowerment of women
Stating that a clear mandate has been given in favour of “sabka saath, sabka vikas,” Kovind congratulated all the MPs. “Everyone knows the situation before 2014. People of India voted to continue with India’s development journey that started in 2014.” He also thanked the voters for their participation and said the diverse backgrounds of the members will enrich the debate in Parliament. He also hoped that the parliamentarians would work together for the development of the country.
Highlights from President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to Parliament
For farmers: PM-KISAN scheme, Rs 25 lakh crore investment
In the best interests of agriculturists, President Kovind said the cabinet in its first meeting has decided to extend the benefits of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi (PM-KISAN) to all the farmers across the country, regardless of the size of their landholding. Announced ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in the Interim Budget this February, the scheme provided Rs 6,000 a year in income support — to be distributed in three instalments of Rs 2,000 each every four months — to small and marginal farmers, who owned 2 hectares or less.
Large-scale investment has been made to strengthen rural India. To increase the productivity of the agriculture sector, another Rs 25 lakh crore will be invested in the coming years. In order to double the farmers’ income by 2022, the government has hiked the MSP and introduced 100 per cent FDI in food processing industries, among other initiatives. Massive work is being carried for the ‘aspirational districts’ of the country, he added
Triple Talaq, Nikah Halala and women empowerment
The government is committed to women empowerment, President Kovind said. “Removing practices like triple talaq and nikah halala essential to give equality to women,” he said. “According the highest priority to women’s security, several effective steps have been initiated with the cooperation of the States. Penalties for crimes against women have been made harsher and the new penal provisions are being strictly enforced. The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign has brought down female foeticide and improved the sex ratio in many districts of the country. My Government is committed to make women equal stakeholders in the country’s development and prosperity,” Kovind said.
‘Aim to make India 5 trillion dollar economy’
Adding that the government plans to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy, Kovind said, “India is now on the way to become the world’s 5th largest economy in terms of GDP. In ‘Ease of Doing Business’, India has leap-frogged 65 positions during the past 5 years, from a ranking of 142 in 2014 to 77. Now our goal is to be among the top 50 countries of the world. With the implementation of GST, the concept of ‘One country, One tax, One market’ has become a reality. Efforts to further simplify the GST will continue,” he added.
India and space mission
Our scientists are involved in the preparations for the launch of ‘Chandrayaan-2’, which will be India’s first spacecraft to reach the Moon. We are making rapid progress towards achieving the goal of sending the first Indian in India’s own ‘Gaganyaan’ by 2022. With the successful testing of ‘Mission Shakti’ a new dimension has been added to India’s capability in space technology and security-preparedness. For this, today I once again congratulate our scientists and engineers
On simultaneous polls
‘One Nation – Simultaneous Elections’ is the need of the hour, which would facilitate accelerated development, thereby benefitting our countrymen. With such a system in place, all political parties, according to their respective ideologies, will be able to better utilise their energy towards development and public welfare. Therefore, I urge all Members of Parliament to seriously ponder over this.
Health sector and Ayushman Bharat
26 lakh poor patients have benefitted under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship project Ayushman Bharat or National Health Protection Scheme, President Kovind said. “1.5 wellness centres likely to function by 2022,” he added.
Pension for small-size businessmen
The government will also provide a pension for small and marginal farmers, retailers, traders and the self-employed, which will ensure them a monthly income of Rs 3,000 after they turn senior citizens at 60, Kovind added.
National security of prime importance: Kovind
India has amply demonstrated both her intent and capabilities, first through surgical strikes and then through air strikes after the Pulwama attack at terrorist hideouts across the border. In future too, all possible steps will be taken to ensure our security. Today the whole world stands with India on the issue of terrorism. Designation of Masood Azhar, responsible for dastardly terrorist attacks on our soil, as a global terrorist by United Nations, is a major testimony to this fact
New India will be sensitive and also, economically prosperous. But for this to happen, nation’s security is of utmost importance. My Govt accords top most priority to national security. Therefore, effective steps are being taken to tackle Terrorism and Naxalism.
“Illegal infiltrators pose a major threat to our internal security. My Govt has decided to implement the process of ‘National Register of Citizens’ on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration,” Kovind said.
Scholarship for children of armed forces, state police personnel
President Kovind also said that the government has also increased the amount of scholarships to children of brave jawans under the National Defence Fund. “This is the first time that the children of state police personnel have been included in the scheme,” Kovind added
Introduction of Jal Shakti Ministry
To increase piped water coverage in the country and to provide the people with clean water, the government has formulated Jal Shakti Ministry. “Through this new Ministry, water conservation and management arrangements will be made more effective,” Kovind added.
Plan to take the first spot in fish production: Kovind
The government has set up a separate department for the overall development of fisheries. “Today, India ranks second in the world in fish production. We have the capacity to grab the first place,” he added.
After Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, the government is now planning to take the banking services to doorsteps of people. For this, India Post’s postal payment banks are playing a crucial role. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is among the biggest & most impactful economic reforms undertaken in the country. With coming into force of this Code, banks and other financial institutions have been able to settle directly or indirectly an amount of more than Rs 3,50,000 crore.
India and foreign relations
New India is rapidly moving towards occupying its rightful place in the world community. Today, India has acquired a new image and our relations with other countries have become stronger. It is a matter of pleasure that in 2022, India will host the G-20 Summit
Plan to establish 50,000 start-ups by 2024: President Kovind
“Today India has joined the league of countries with the most number of start-ups in the world. To improve the start-up ecosystem, the Government is simplifying the rules. Our goal is to establish 50,000 start-ups in the country by 2024. Under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna’, about 19 crore loans have been disbursed for self-employment. An effort will now be made to cover 30 crore people by expanding this scheme. A facility for entrepreneurs to avail loan up to Rs 50 lakh without any guarantee will also be introduced.”
Campaign against corruption to continue
“During the last two years, 4,25,000 Company Directors have been disqualified and the registration of 3,50,000 suspicious companies has been revoked. The campaign against black money will be taken forward at a faster pace. The ‘Fugitive and Economic Offenders Act’ has proved effective in controlling fugitive economic offenders. Now we are receiving information in this regard from 146 countries, including Switzerland.”