Budget session: President calls 2018 a year of full of opportunities
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the joint sitting of both the Houses of the Parliament in Budget Session on Monday and called 2018 a year full of opportunities to fulfill the dreams of new India.
During his address, the President highlighted the works and achievements of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
President Kovind appreciated the efforts of the NDA government of approving the bill granting working women paid maternity leave of 26 weeks.
The President has requested all the parties to participate fully and carry out a sustained debate on the subject of simultaneous elections and arrive at a consensus on the important issues.
Here is what else the President stated:
The architect of our Constitution, Dr. Ambedkar used to say that political democracy cannot survive without social and economic democracy.
Guided by this fundamental spirit of the Constitution and committed to the welfare of weaker sections, NDA Government is working towards strengthening social justice and economic democracy and to usher ease of living for the common man.
The government is protecting the rights of Muslim women which is commendable.
To make bank credit accessible to the poor and middle class and to encourage self-employment, the Government has facilitated provision of credit without insisting on bank guarantee.
The Budget will work towards giving wings to the aspirations of every Indian.
The highest priority of the Government is to remove various difficulties faced by farmers and to raise their standard of living.
The schemes of the Government are not only removing their hardships but also reducing the expenditure incurred by them on farming.
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.
The government has worked for the growth of the agriculture sector.
An ambitious scheme has been introduced to enhance the income of farmers in the Dairy sector under which a ‘Dairy Processing Infrastructure Development Fund’ with a corpus of Rs. 11 thousand crore is being set up.
Under ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’, farmers are being provided affordable and simple crop insurance services. During 2017, under Rabi and Kharif crops, 5 crore 71 lakh farmers were provided protective coverage under this scheme.
The Government has introduced insurance schemes for poor at a premium of 1 rupee per month and 90 paise per day.
Over 18 crore poor have been covered under the ‘PM Suraksha Bima Yojana’ and ‘PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana’ and about Rs. 2 thousand crore has been paid out as claims.
About 2 lakh 70 thousand Common Service Centres have been set up that provide digital services at low cost, even in the remotest areas of the country.
To ensure that benefits of development reach all sections of society, the NDA Government is actively pursuing the work of connecting all villages under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’.
As compared to 2014 when only 56 per cent of the villages had road connectivity, now more than 82 per cent villages mostly in far flung and inaccessible areas have been connected by roads.
Our target is to provide road connectivity to every village by 2019.
A great work has been initiated for the progress of the backward community.
Lives of lakhs of people in tribal areas especially in the North East region are dependent on bamboo industry. Inclusion of bamboo in the category of tree had adversely affected livelihoods associated with it.
Keeping in mind these difficulties, the Centre has excluded bamboo from the category of tree. This has now provided freedom to cut, transport and use bamboo.
We are committed to 'Empowerment and not Appeasement'.
Government is making intensive efforts for economic, social and educational empowerment of the minorities.
With a sensitive approach towards providing housing with availability of water-electricity-toilet facility to all.
Government is targeting to provide a house to every poor and homeless household by the year 2022.
One of the major worries of the poor and middle class relates to treatment of diseases. The financial burden of treatment of disease further aggravates the suffering.
New ‘National Health Policy’ has been formulated.
We have aimed to provide better and affordable healthcare facilities to the poor and middle class.
Under the ‘National AYUSH Mission’, traditional methods of treatment, such as, Yoga and Ayurveda are being promoted.
Through the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi’ Kendras, 800 different medicines are being made available to the poor people at affordable rates.
More than 3 thousand Jan Aushadhi kendras have been established in the country.
Over 5200 lifesaving branded medicines and surgical implants are being provided through 111 outlets at discounts ranging from 60 per cent to 90 per cent under ‘Deendayal Amrut Yojana’.
Government is committed to strengthening and modernising School and Higher Education system in the country.
We have approved over 2400 ‘Atal Tinkering Labs’ under ‘Atal Innovation Mission’, in order to inculcate a spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity in children at an early age.
The minimum wage of workers has been increased by more than 40 per cent.
The number of registers for compliance of Labour laws has been reduced from 56 to 5 and now all returns are filed online on the Shram Suvidha Portal.
UNESCO accorded Ahmedabad the status of India’s first ‘Heritage City’.
Kumbh Mela was included in the list of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.
Chennai, on account of its glorious tradition of music, has been included in the list of Creative Cities by UNESCO.
‘BHIM App’ is playing a major role in promoting digital transactions.
The recently launched ‘Umang App’ has made more than 100 public services available on mobile phones.
‘Aadhar’ has helped in securing the rights of the poor by eliminating middlemen.
At present, Digital Payments are being carried out in more than 400 schemes of the Government.
The government has ensured power availability to all.
To bring transparency in government procurement and to provide opportunity to maximum number of entrepreneurs, a new system - Government E-market place has been created by the name of GeM with the help of which even the smallest of entrepreneurs are now capable of selling their products to Government.