Kick launching the Budget Session with an address to joint session of Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind today said India was going through “uncertain times” ahead of the 2014 LS elections and the Narendra Modi government after assuming power has taken several initiatives to build a ‘New India’.
President stated that the government’s main aim is to better the living condition of the people. The government has been working to complete hopes and aspirations of all sections of people, he said.
Highlighting the government’s achievements and several welfare schemes, President said the government is working hard to build a New India which is giving new hope to the people.
Here is what he said:
* National security is our top priority. Compromising with security requirement is not in the interest of the present & future of the country. Surgical strikes gave India a new dignity.
* After years of delays, Indian Air Force will induct a new generation ultra-modern fighter jet Rafale next month.
* Government feels that Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha and whole East India have potential to become the new growth engine of India. It is working to strengthen the infrastructure in these regions with the building of new highways, rail lines, waterways, and airways.
* GST is a long-term policy and is a boon for the business sector. The taxpayers in the country trust this government.
* More than Rs 3 lakh crore has been recovered under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code.
*Over Rs 6.5 lakh crore has been transferred to beneficiaries under different Direct Benefit Transfer Schemes. This has outcomes in savings of nearly Rs 1.10 lakh crore. The government has removed around 8 crore ghost beneficiaries who were only present on papers.
* More than Rs 50,000 crore worth of assets have been closed under the Benami and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
* In 2014, 3.8 crore taxpayers filed returns in 2014, which has now increased to 6.8 crore
* Nearly 34 crore bank accounts have been opened under Jan Dhan Yojana. Each family is now connected to the banking channels. Rs 88,000 crore deposited in these accounts is proof that saving habits are changing in India.
* According to an international agency, 55 percent of the total bank accounts opened in 2014-2017 were opened in India itself.
* In 2014, the cost of 1GB data was Rs 250, it has now fallen down to Rs 10-12. Today India is the largest nation with mobile phones.
*Before 2014, Ony 59 village panchayats had the digital connectivity. Today 16,000 village gram panchayats have optical fiber connectivity and nearly 40,000 panchayats have Wi-Fi hotspots.
* Government is making all efforts to double the farm income. It has taken a historic decision to increase the MSP of 22 crops to nearly one and half times of the production cost.
* More than 15 crore entrepreneurs have taken benefits of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. Women have been a big beneficiary of this scheme, more than 73 percent beneficiaries are women.
* Government has reduced taxes and have kept inflation under control. This has increased prospects of high savings for the middle-class. Government is making effort so that hard-working middle class gets higher income and get more avenues for better investments.
* My government is operating to bring light to everybody’s life. Today every village has an electrical connection. In 2014, there were 18,000 villages that were not connected to the electric grid.
* Affordable houses were difficult because of black money. My government has worked to bring more transparency in the realty sector with the introduction of RERA law.
*Healthcare is my government’s topmost priority. I am happy to inform you that the benefits of government’s schemes are reaching poorest of the poor.
* My govt understood this & started Ayushman Bharat Yojana. In the last 4 months, more than 10 Lakh poor people availed health benefits in hospitals under this scheme.
* As many as 4,900 Jan AushadhiCentres have been opened in over 600 districts in the past few years. More than 700 medicines are available at cheap rates in these centers
* This year is important because the country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The country is also celebrating the 70 anniversary of the Constitution
* My government has build 9 crore toilets under Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan. The coverage is now over 98 percent. It was less than 40 percent in 2014.
* There was only 14 crore gas connection in 2014. My government has given 13 crore gas connections in the last four and a half years.
*Citizenship Amendment Bill will make it easier to provide Indian citizenship to those who had to take refuge in India after facing oppression somewhere else. They were not at fault, they were victims of situations like that