Praising government’s decision of surgical strikes, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that the defence forces successfully conducted strike to prevent infiltration by terrorists.
“We are proud of the forces, and the exemplary courage and valour displayed by them,” President said while addressing joint session of parliament.
He added that the government has simplified procedures, repealed obsolete Acts and eliminated scope for corruption. “Over 1,100 obsolete laws have been repealed, and 400 more are in the process of being repealed. Transparency and social justice are my government’s guiding principles” he added.
“Digi-dhan and common service centers have been providing employment to 5 lakh youth. Government procurements have been brought under a single platform, and interviews have scrapped for grade 3 and 4 posts.” he said.
“26 islands have been earmarked for integrated development. Over Rs. 3 lakh crore has been instituted as outlay for projects in the seas. Metro Rail projects have been green lighted for four cities — Ahmedabad Nagpur, Pune, and extension of the project in Chennai,” President said.
He said demonetisation exercise, garnering loud applause. “To curb black money, corruption, counterfeit currency and terrorism, my government implemented demonetisation on November 8 last year,” president said.
The President lists the legislations and amendments to treaties with other countries to highlight the government’s fight against black money.
There will be a rail route to neighbouring countries for connectivity with our South Asian neighbours, he says.
“To increase the focus on the North-east, the Railways has undertaken major expansion at a cost of Rs10,000 crore. Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have benefited, and broad gauge tracks are being laid,” he said
“All rural habitations will be linked with all-weather roads, and there will be air connectivity for small towns,” he added.
“All policies of my government are for the welfare of the poor, the deprived and the underprivileged. Balance and equitable development is vital for India’s progress. This government will focus on the North-east and Eastern region to increase connectivity,” he said.
Mukherjee said that the through the Stand Up India initiative government plans to empower 2.5 lakh Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe members, and women entrepreneurs. He added for this, there will be an initial allocation of Rs. 496 crore.
He said that the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Chherta Yojana has been established for sustainable mining and betterment of the tribals. “To give more employment opportunities to tribals, 100 of 300 districts will be developed in tribal areas.” he said
President also highlighted the achievements of Indian athletes in the Paralympics. “PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Deepa illustrate strength of our women: President Pranab Mukherjee,” he said.
Mukherjee then speaks of sanitation and cleanliness. “My government has taken many initiative to improve quality of life, housing, affordable health care, clean energy etc. Under the Pradhan Mantri Avas Yojana for the needy over 3 crore toilets have been built under sanitation programmes. Free gas connections are being provided to 5 crore people. Over 30 per cent of the beneficiaries of the Ujjwala Yojana are from Scheduled Castes.”
Mukherjee hails the decision to advance the date of the Budget and to merge the Railway Budget and the Union Budget. “This year marks the 30th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, and the centenary year of the Champaran Satyagraha.” he said.
Read full text of President address to both houses: President of India