Budget Session: President hails 10% quota for economically backward as historic

Budget Session President

New Delhi, Jan 31: Addressing the joint session of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget Session on Thursday, President Ram Nath Kovind termed the Modi government’s decision to provide 10 per cent quota to the economically backwards sections among upper castes as “historic” and said it will help provide justice to the poor.

This historic decision will serve as justice to those poor girls and boys, who due to poverty felt deprived of their rights.”; Kovind said.

President further added that the government has been making efforts to get the Triple Talaq Bill passed which is currently pending in the Rajya Sabha.

“To help Muslim women get over a life of fear and give them the right to live like other women, my government is making efforts to get the Triple Talaq Bill passed.”

He also spoke of efforts to expedite justice in cases of crimes against women and said capital punishment in aggravated rape cases has acted as a deterrent.

President Kovind also highlighted various welfare schemes and initiatives taken by the government.

Here are the highlights of President Kovind’s address to the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha:

** In the International context, while India is a staunch supporter of friendly ties with all countries, there is also a need to constantly strengthen our capabilities to tackle any challenges. Through the surgical strike on cross border terror posts, India has shown its new policy and strategy. Last year India joined the handful of countries that possess the Nuclear Triad capability; said President Kovind.

** “In 2017-18, more than 123 million people have traveled in the country. Under UDAN scheme, 12 lakh seats have been made available to the people at a reduced price. Due to this, today’s ordinary family person is getting an opportunity to fly in the airplane.”; Kovind said.

** Demonetisation

Kovind said: “Demonetisation was an important step in the campaign by the government against black money and corruption. It led to an attack on the parallel economy and it brought unaccounted cash back to the system. It eliminated the forces that were weakening the country.

“My government has taken strong measures against black money,” he said. Agreements have been signed with countries considered as tax havens. As many as 3.38 lakh shell companies have been shut, he added.

** Launched the ‘Energy Ganga Project’ at a cost of around Rs. 13 thousand crore, will expand the gas pipeline based industries in many cities in eastern India: President Kovind.

** India is world’s second largest manufacturer of mobile phones: President Kovind.

I am happy to inform you that under the ‘Make In India’ programme, India has already become the world’s 2nd largest manufacturer of mobile phones.

**My Government has the ability to become a new ‘growth engine’ of the country in the states of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and the northeastern states of India. We are also working towards the reconstruction of fertilizer plants in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, Sindri of Bihar’s eyelashes and Jharkhand has been progressing steadily: President Kovind.

** Under Jan Dhan Yojana, 34 crore people have opened a bank account and almost every family in the country is connected to the banking system. According to an international agency, 55% of the total bank accounts opened between 2014-2017 were opened in India itself, says the President.

“The expansion of ‘direct benefit transfer’ has reached over Rs. 6 lakh crores of rupees to beneficiaries in the past four years. Because of this, about 1 lakh to 10 thousand crores of rupees are saved in the wrong hands,” he added.

** President Ram Nath Kovind: GST is a long-term policy and is a boon for the business sector. The taxpayers in the country trust this government.

** 6.8 crore Indians are filing IT-returns: President Kovind

My government has curbed black money and corruption to a great extent. The government’s crackdown on black money was seen during demonetization (notes ban). Notes ban helped integrate India’s shadow economy with its regular economy. This strengthened India’s market and stabilized India’s financial sector: President Kovind

My government has also come down heavily on money laundering and has so far shut more than 26,000 illegal shell companies, he said.

** Citizenship Amendment Bill:

In his address, the president said, “The Citizenship Amendment Bill will ease the way in which India’s citizenship is obtained by those who have been forced to flee to India in the cause of harassment. They have no faults in it, but they are a victim of the circumstances.”

** In the last four years, more than 1 crore lakh houses have been built: President Kovind.

** More than 6 crore gas connections in houses under the Ujjwala scheme: President Kovind.

** Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, more than 9 crore toilets have been constructed. It is the outcome of this mass movement that coverage of rural sanitation, which was less than 40 percent in 2014, has increased to 98 percent.

This is the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha with elections due by May. The Budget session will end on February 13.


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