Budget Session 2018: President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday addressed the joint session of the Parliament to mark the start of the Budget Session This was President Kovind’s first address to the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament. In his speech, President Kovind highlighted the several achievements of Narendra Modi government in the last four years and noted that “2018 is an important year for realising the dream of New India.” He also urged the Parliament to pass the Triple Talaq Bill, which was introduced by the government in the winter session. “Giving respect to Muslim women for decades remained a prisoner of political gains and losses. My government has introduced a bill against triple talaq…I hope it will pass in the Parliament soon…After this law, Muslim sisters and mothers will be able to live without any fear, the president said.
While stressing that his government is committed to social justice, especially for the weaker sections of the society, the President hailed the Swachh Bharat Mission, saying, “Probably no one would have ever thought that toilet construction would be helpful in extending social justice…It’s our responsibility to make the country totally clean by 2019 when we will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.”
Watch President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech
Here are highlights of President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech in joint session of Parliament
- Our fight against corruption is continuing. In the past one year, registration of about 350,000 suspicious companies have been cancelled.
- There should be a debate on carrying out simultaneous elections, all political parties need to arrive at a consensus on this
- I appreciate the soldiers and offer condolences to those who lost their lives in action. Jammu and Kashmir police, defence and paramilitary forces are working together to fight terrorism in the state.
- After Independence, while only 76 Airports were connected to Commercial flights, under ‘Udaan’ 56 Airports and 31 Helipads are being connected to commercial flights within 15 months only.
- With help of Aadhaar, facilities are reaching poor beneficiaries directly without involvement of middlemen. Digital transactions are being done for over 400 policies of present govt. This has saved over Rs 57,000 Crore from going into wrong hands.
- It’s a matter of pride for us that UNESCO recognised Kumbh Mela as’Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’. UNESCO also designated Ahmedabad as ‘Heritage City’. Chennai was included in the list of Creative Cities by UNESCO.
- The government increased the minimum wage of labourers by more than 40 per cent.
- Our nation is the youngest nation. My govt started Start Up India, Stand Up India, Skill India and Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojana to help the youth of the country to realise their dreams & make them self-employed.
- To bring everyone closer to development, work under ‘Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojana’ is being done speedily. In 2014 only 56% villages were connected to roads, today more than 82% villages have road connectivity with the majority being in remote areas.
- I hope the Triple Talaq Bill will be passed soon so that the Muslim women can live a life of dignity and without fear.
- 2.70 Lakh Common Service Centers have been set up across the nation. These Centers provide digital service at low rates for various services even in the far off remote areas.
- Work has started to connect villages with Broadband connectivity. 2.5 lakh Panchayats have already been connected so far.
- The government is committed to double the income of farmers by the year 2022.
- Parliament approved a bill granting working woman paid maternity leave of 26 weeks.
- It is our duty that when we celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019 we pay tribute to him by making our country completely clean.