Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of budget session on Monday, President Ram Nath Kovind highlighted the achievements of the union government in the sphere of economic initiatives, agriculture, education and social equality, among others.
“The architect of our Constitution, Dr. Ambedkar used to say that political democracy cannot survive without social and economic democracy,” the President said.
“Guided by this fundamental spirit of the Constitution and committed to the welfare of weaker sections, my Government is working towards strengthening social justice and economic democracy and to usher ease of living for the common man,” he added.
This is President Ram Nath Kovind’s first address to the Joint session of both houses of Parliament.
Underlining the need to protect the rights of Muslim women, he urged members to help pass the triple talaq bill and also praised the government for economic initiatives such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Also underlining the growing stature of India in the global order, he said 10 ASEAN leaders attended the Republic Day celebrations as chief guests this year. “It also reflects India’s philosophy of vasudhaiva kutumbakam,” the President said.
The President also spoke on the growth of agriculture sector saying that the highest priority of the government is to remove various difficulties faced by farmers and to raise their standard of living.
“As a result of Government’s policies and the hard work of farmers, a record production of more than 275 million tonnes of food grain and about 300 million tonnes of horticultural produce has been achieved in the country,” he said.
“Nearly 6 crore farmers have been covered under the crop insurance scheme,” the President added.
Speaking further on the achievements of Union government, he congratulated ISRO for successful launch of the 100th satellite earlier this month. Talking of the digital initiatives of the government, he underlined on Aadhaar, saying that government schemes are reaching the correct beneficiaries with the help of Aadhaar.
“Government is emphasising on the last mile connectivity… Recently, the government has also approved ‘Bharat Mala’ programme for the connectivity through the national highways,” he said.
“UDAAN scheme has started in order to connect small cities through air and make air services more affordable for the middle class,” the president said.
The President also spoke on the host of subjects including achievements of the government in the areas of education, infrastructure, rural electrification, connectivity in north-east areas, cleaning of rivers and establishment of smart ports, beside others.
Citing the achievements of the union government in the sphere of internal security, he said that forces are giving “befitting reply to the terror prepetrators in Jammu and Kashmir”, while at the same time underlining that government has kept its doors open for dialogue with those shunning the path of violence.
Talking further on internal security, President Kovind said maximum number of youths, who were influenced by the Naxal-Maoist ideology, have surrendered and joined the mainstream in the past three years.