President Ram Nath Kovind lauds govt’s efforts to build ‘New India’
President Ramnath Kovind on Thursday described the current government as one that had worked to build a “New India” after assuming power in 2014 when, he said, the country was passing through “uncertain times.” The President was addressing a joint sitting of Parliament before the last budget session of the government.
The address also gave a thumbs-up to contentious decisions of the government including demonetisation and the Rafale deal, which Mr. Kovind described as a move that would strengthen the strike capability of the Indian Air Force after a gap of many decades. The government believes that neglecting the country’s defence needs even for a moment is detrimental to the present as well as future of the country, he said.
In his address to the joint session of Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind highlights various development works of the NDA government
“Prior to the 2014 general election, the country was passing through a phase of uncertainty. After the elections, my government assumed charge and vowed to build a New India. A New India with no place for imperfect, corrupt and inertia-ridden systems,” President Kovind said.
He added that “demonetisation was a defining moment in the government’s war on corruption and black money. This decision struck at the very root of the parallel economy thriving on black money, and the money outside the formal system was brought within the ambit of the nation’s economy.”
The President also referred to the Constitutional Amendment recently passed by Parliament enabling 10% reservation in jobs for the economically weaker sections in the general category, the triple talaq legislation and the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill in the speech that lasted over an hour.
Touching on the triple talaq Bill, which has been stuck in Rajya Sabha after being passed in Lok Sabha, Mr Kovind said the BJP-led NDA government was striving hard to get it passed by Parliament to “liberate Muslim daughters” from a life of fear and anxiety, and to provide them with equal rights.
Highlighting the government’s achievements and various welfare schemes, President Kovind said 21 crore poor people were covered under the PM’s life insurance scheme, while over two crore households had got power connections as part of the Saubhagya scheme. “Under the Swachh Bharat initiative, the government has built nine crore toilets,” he said. He also described 2019 as a significant year for democracy as the country is observing the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
“Be it cities or villages, the government has worked towards strengthening the health care infrastructure by building new AIIMS and wellness centres across the country,” the President said.
Citing other achievements of the government, President Kovind said the number of people filing income tax returns had doubled from 3.8 crore to 6.8 crore under its tenure and added that over 73% of around 15 crore Mudra loan beneficiaries were women.
Approvals for works costing over ₹66,000 crore out of the ₹80,000 crore package had been given by the government for development in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, asserting that the government was committed to the border State’s growth.
–NEW DELHI, JANUARY 31, 2019