Budget session 2016: The Budget session of Parliament kicked off today with President Pranab Mukherjee’s addressing both the houses. During his speech, Mukherjee said, “the development philosophy of my govt is ‘Sabka saath, Sabka vikas’ and its overriding goal is to eradicate poverty which is the worst kind of violence”. Here are highlights of President Pranab Mukherjee’s speech:
* I urge all MPs to discharge their solemn responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation: President Pranab Mukherjee
* Let noble thoughts come from all directions should be the spirit behind debate in this temple of democracy: President Pranab Mukherjee
* We reached out to the world, both on land and sea: President Pranab Mukherjee
* My Government has fulfilled its commitment to implement four decades old demand of One Rank One Pension: President Pranab Mukherjee
* My Government has continued to pursue a bold and proactive foreign policy: President Pranab Mukherjee
* Defence procurement procedure has been streamlined with a focus on indigenously designed, developed & manufactured weapon systems: President Pranab Mukherjee
* Firm and effective steps will be taken to deal with any situation arising out of cross-border terrorism: President Pranab Mukherjee
* Govt launched Gold Monetization Scheme & Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme in Nov 2015 to ensure productive utilization of idle assets: President Pranab Mukherjee
* Government’s concerted efforts to tackle menace of black money have started yielding results: President Pranab Mukherjee
* Inflation, fiscal deficit & current account deficit have decreased. India recorded highest ever foreign exchange reserves in 2015: President Pranab Mukherjee
* GDP growth has increased making India the world’s fastest growing economy among large economies: President Pranab Mukherjee
* India is a haven of stability in an increasingly turbulent global economy: President Pranab Mukherjee
* Varanasi and Jaipur have been declared as the first two Indian cities to be part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network: President Pranab Mukherjee
* Building upon the success over the past year, my Government’s endeavour is to scale new heights in Space: President Pranab Mukherjee
* My Government has launched SATYAM initiative to explore the modern scientific roots of our traditional wisdom: President Pranab Mukherjee
* While measures have been taken to eliminate scope of corruption, govt has been unsparing in punishing the corrupt: President Pranab Mukherjee
* My Government is focused, in particular on “Garibon ki Unnati”, “Kisaano ki Samriddhi” and “Yuvaon ko Rojgaar President Pranab Mukherjee
* My Government firmly believes economic development and environmental protection can co-exist: President Pranab Mukherjee
* MGNREGA scheme has been revamped to ensure efficient disbursements of wages and creation of productive assets: Pranab Mukherjee
* Make in India initiative has achieved 39 per cent increase in FDI inflow despite adverse global investment climate:
* My govt’s innovative initiatives have helped India jump 12 places in the latest rankings by World Bank on Ease of Doing Business: Pranab Mukherjee
* The development philosophy of my govt ‘Sabka saath, Sabka vikas’; Overriding goal is to eradicate poverty which is the worst kind of violence: Pranab Mukherjee
Ahead of the Budget session Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hoped the Budget Session will be fruitful and utilised for constructive debate, adding “friends” from opposition parties had shown “positive” attitude during various interactions.
The Prime Minister also said opposition should severely criticise the government and highlight its shortcomings, asserting that it will strengthen democracy, as he highlighted how his government had risen above formalities to reach out to the opposition parties.
In his customary brief remarks to media on the first day of a Parliament session, Modi said “friends” from opposition parties had shown positive attitude during various interactions held with them and expected that its results will be felt by people during the session.
“The eyes of 125 crore countrymen are focused on Parliament, the rail budget and the general budget. World is also paying attention to the Budget Session due to India’s position in the global economy today. There has been discussion with parties for the last many days.
“Talks have been held by rising above formalities. One-on- one talks have also taken place. I am sure Parliament will be utilised for constructive debate and there will be intensive discussion on the country’s hope and aspirations. In our meetings, friends from opposition have shown positive attitude. In the session beginning today and in the coming days, people will feel it,” Modi said.
The Budget session of Parliament is expected to be stormy with major Opposition parties planning to corner the government on issues including the on-going JNU controversy as Congress President Sonia Gandhi accused it of launching a planned attack on freedom of expression and right to dissent.
Indications of a tumultuous beginning of the session emerged at the all-party meetings convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu with the Opposition accusing the government of “setting the agenda for disruption”.
Also at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, Sonia put the onus on the government for the smooth functioning of Parliament.
She declared her intent to rope in “like-minded parties” to target the ruling dispensation on issues like the JNU row, dalit scholar Rohit Vemula’s suicide in Hyderabad University and Pathankot terror attack.
On its part, the government assured opposition leaders that they will not find it wanting in ensuring discussion on any issue of concern.