NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said that the mandate that the people have given to the new government, shows that they have shown faith in the country's development journey that started in 2014 when Narendra Modi was first elected to power at the Centre.
In his customary address to both houses of Parliament after the formation of the 17th Lok Sabha at the Central Hall, Kovind said that government is moving ahead to create a strong, secure and inclusive India.
Here are some key points of the 55-minute address:
- In this election, the people of the country gave a clear mandate. After the assessment of the government's first tenure, the people have given it a bigger mandate this time. By doing so, the people have given the mandate to accelerate the development process initiated in 2014.
- Empowerment of women is one of the highest priorities of my government. The empowerment of women and their effective participation in society and economy is the test of a developed society. To ensure equal rights for every woman, social evils like 'triple talaq' and 'nikah halala' must end. I would urge all the members to cooperate in these efforts to make the lives of our sisters and daughters better and dignified. The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign has brought down female foeticide and improved the sex ratio in many districts of the country.
- Inflation is low, fiscal deficit is under control and foreign exchange reserves are rising... India is moving towards becoming the world's fifth largest economy. 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.
- The Government has made provision of 10 per cent reservation for youth from economically weaker section of the general category. This will enable them to get more opportunities in employment and education. 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. Today India has joined the league of countries with 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.
- Large scale investments have been made to strengthen rural India. In order to enhance agriculture productivity, an investment of Rs 25 lakh crore will be made in the coming years. Through ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi’, an amount of Rs 12,000 crore has been disbursed to the farmers in just three months. An estimated expenditure of Rs. 90,000 crore is likely to be incurred annually on this scheme since every farmer has now been brought in its ambit.
- World's biggest healthcare scheme 'Ayushman Bharat Yojana' has been implemented, providing 'Health-Protection-Cover' to 50 crore poor people. Under this, so far about 26 lakh poor patients have availed treatment in hospitals.
- My government will make its policy of zero tolerance towards corruption more expansive and effective.
- Continuous cycle of elections affect pace of development. It's high time to implement 'one nation one election'.
- The world is standing with India on the issue of terror. UN's declaration of Masood Azhar as global terrorist is the proof.
- My government is working to increase seats in higher educational institutes by 50 per cent by 2024, it will create 2 crore more seats.