Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, promising to crush the menace of corruption and kill black money. On both fronts, the Union government appears to have made some progress. Speaking during the joint session of both houses of Parliament ahead of the start of the Budget Session 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind today outlined several successes on Narendra Modi government. Some of the revelations made by the President was really big in terms of numbers. For instance, while talking about Modi’s government’s fight against corruption, President said, “Our fight against corruption continues. Towards this end, registration of about 3 lakh 50 thousand dubious companies has been cancelled in the last one year.”
The President said his government is working on “achieving robust and inclusive development” and “striving to institutionalize honesty and develop transparent systems in the country.” In the last three years, Kovind said, Modi government has repealed 1428 obsolete laws. Also, “India has moved up from 142nd to 100th rank in the Ease of Doing Business ranking of the World Bank. This has improved the credibility of the country in the global market.”
In the very start of his speech, President Kovind highlighted the “success” of Modi’s ambitious missions like “Swachh Bharat” and distribution of gas cylinders under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana. Both the schemes, Kovind said, has contributed to the welfare of the weaker sections of the society. He also made a special mention of the Triple Talaq Bill which is pending in Rajya Sabha.
“Perhaps no one had imagined that construction of toilets could also contribute towards social justice. Construction of toilets not only protects their dignity but also fosters a feeling of social justice in women. The movement for social justice is becoming widespread day by day,” the President said.
“Here in this House, there are many like me who for years have seen women collecting firewood for cooking…‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ has empowered these poor women to enjoy equal rights with their privileged counterparts thereby addressing a hitherto ignored aspect of social justice. So far, under this scheme, over 3 crores 30 lakh cooking gas connections have been provided,” he added.
On Triple Talaq Bill and steps for women’s welfare, Kovind said, “The dignity of Muslim women has remained captive to political cost-benefit. Now the Nation has an opportunity to emancipate them from this situation. My Government has tabled a Bill on Triple Talaq in Parliament. I hope that the Parliament will soon pass it into a law…To eradicate discrimination against daughters, my Government had introduced the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme. Seeing its positive results, the scheme has been extended from 161 districts to 640 districts. The Government has also taken a big step by amending the Maternity Benefit Act. It now provides for 26 weeks of paid leave in place of 12 weeks.”
“Keeping in mind the objective of women’s empowerment, for the first time since independence, the restriction on women above 45 years of age to perform Haj pilgrimage unaccompanied by their male relatives has been removed. This year, more than 1300 women are going on Haj pilgrimage without Mehram,” Kovind said.
Under the ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’, Kovind said, about 31 crore bank accounts have been opened for the poor and “women have especially benefitted from the scheme”.
“Under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana’, about 10 crore loans have been sanctioned so far and more than Rs. 4 lakh crore worth of loans have been disbursed. About 3 crore first-time beneficiaries have received assistance under this scheme for self-employment,” he added.
The President said that around 2 lakh 70 thousand Common Service Centres have been set up that provide digital services at low cost across the country. “Under the ‘Bharat Net Project’, the Government is providing broadband connectivity to 2 lakh 50 thousand Gram Panchayats. In the first phase, more than one lakh Panchayats have already been connected.”