The last Parliament session of the Narendra Modi government — the budget session — began on Thursday, January 31, 2019.
The session will go on till February 13. The interim budget is set to be presented on Friday, February 1, 2019.
President Ram Nath Kovind addressed a joint session of the Parliament, where he spoke about the Naredra Modi government's achievements in the last four years.
Here are the updates:
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for the day Thursday after President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament.
After the address, the Lower House was adjourned. Later, the President’s address was laid in the Rajya Sabha.
The Upper House was adjourned for the day after mourning the passing away of its former members Sitaram Singh and George Fernandes.
The President touches up on the decision to the build the Kartarpur Corridor and says it was a pleasure that the government took that decision. "This month, the government has issued a special coin on the occasion of Guru Gobind Singh ji's light festival," he adds.
On India's defence forces:
President Kovind talks about a 'changing India' that conducted surgical strikes and says this indicates that the country has introduced its 'new policy and new method'.
"Our forces and their morale symbolize the power of the 21st century India. My government has not only completed the demand of one rank one pension pending for four decades, but also paid arrears of more than Rs. 10,700 crores to 20 lakh ex-servicemen.
"After decades of intervals, the IAF is going to strengthen its power by adding the new generation of ultra modern fighter aircraft-Raphael in the coming months."
On International Yoga Day:
President Kovind calls the declaration of International Yoga Day as a "diplomatic success" for the Narendra Modi government and that the country's voice is heard with respect on the global forums.
He also adds that it is a "matter of pride" for all of us that India is leading the world-wide solar energy revolution. "Last year the first General Assembly of the International Solar Alliance was successfully held in Delhi," he says.
On the upcoming general elections:
This year's general elections will be celebrated as the biggest celebration of democracy, says President Kovind.
"This year our country will set a decisive direction for the strong, self-reliant and prosperous new India of the 21st century.
"I give my best wishes to the youth who voted for the Lok Sabha for the first time in this century, through this House. Being a citizen of India, now they will use their franchise and decide the direction of the country's policy and decisions.
"With the efforts of my government, changes are being made for the betterment in the country, and this process of change will continue.
"With the blessing and support of 130 crore people of the country, my government has moved towards a new India."
President Kovind talks about the Defence Corridors being constructed in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Ït will secure the country by setting up defense equipment and giving new opportunities to the youth. Soon, the state-of-the-art fast trains will be provided with the latest 'Wende Bharat Express'," he says.
He aso wished the scientists and engineers who are part of 'Mission Gaganyaan' god luck.
"ISRO's scientists and engineers are proving their superiority in the world by creating new records consistently in satellite launches. I wish my scientists and engineers wish for the 'Mission Gaganayan' from the nation," he says.
On Eastern India:
"19 airports are being developed in Eastern India. Of this, five airports are being made in the North-Eastern states. Construction of Veer Surendra Sahe Airport has been completed at Pakyong Airport in Sikkim and Jharsuguda in Odisha.
"My government believes that the country has the potential to become a new 'Growth Engine' in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and entire Eastern India.
"The Government is continuing to strengthen the infrastructure related to railways, highways, waterways, airwaves in Eastern India.
"Last year, the country's first container vessel has moved from Kolkata to Varanasi through the National Waterway.
"'Eastern Peripheral Express Way' has also been dedicated to the country last year, starting in November 2015."
On the 'Namami Gange Mission':
"Under the 'Namami Gange Mission', projects of 25 thousand 500 crores have been approved so far," says President Kovind.
"By shutting dozens of big drains falling in the Ganges, by stopping industrial waste, putting a lot of sewer treatment plant along the banks of the cities, my government engaged with cleaning the Ganges," he adds.
On Income Tax and DBT:
President Kovind says more than 6.8 million people have come forward to file income tax returns as against the 3.8 crore people in 2014. "Today the taxpayer has the belief that his money is being spent in the nation-building with integrity," he says
He also says that more than Rs. 6 lakh 5 thousand crores have reached beneficiaries in the last four and a half years due the expansion of the 'Direct Benefit Transfer' scheme.
President Kovind adds that that the government removed about eight crore fradulent names from the list of beneficiaries as, "many middlemen were looting the money of the people by fake names".
"Due to the new law of 'Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code' so far, the direct and indirect settlement of Rs. 3 lakh crore of banks and debtors has been settled. My government has auctioned coal mines, developed a transparent system and has protected national property, " he adds.
President Kovind says the GST is building an honest and transparent business system in the country.
"This arrangement has made it easy for traders to do business anywhere in the country and their difficulties have been reduced," he says.
"I congratulate the countrymen that despite the initial difficulties, they adopted a new system in a very short time for the better future of the country. Keeping in mind the suggestions given by the business world, my government has continued the process of reforming the GST."
On black money and demonetisation:
President Kovind said the bank accounts of 34 crore people are open in the country because of the Jan Dhan Yojna. "Almost every family in the country has been linked to the banking system," he says. "Today, Rs. 88 thousand crores deposited in the Jan Dhan accounts are witness to how these accounts have changed the way to save," he adds.
The President also touched on the matter of demonetisation. He called the move to "ban banknotes in the campaign run by the government against black money and corruption" an "important step".
"This decision struck the black economy of parallel economy and the money that was outside the system was linked to the economy of the country.
"Action against seizure of more than Rs. 50 thousand crores is being done under the law made against those who run away with an illegal property law, 'Prevention of Money Laundering Act' and economic offenses," he says.
On Minimum Support Price:
In his speech, President Kovind also talks about the support provided to farmers.
"I congratulate the farmers of India on behalf of the whole house. My government is trying every day to double the income of the farmers of the country. Understanding every need of the farmers, the government is endeavoring for a permanent solution to their problems," he says.
"My government has given minimum support price of 22 crops i.e. MSP Has taken a historic decision to do more than one and a half times the cost of the crop. Simultaneously, the availability of good quality seeds has been ensured to the farmers," he adds.
On digital connectivity:
"In the year 2014, only 59 Gram Panchayats in the country had access to digital connectivity. Today, one lakh 16 thousand gram panchayats have been linked to optical fiber and about 40 thousand village Panchayats have installed Wi-Fi hotspots.
"In the year 2014, the price of 1 GB of data was about 250 rupees. It has now reduced to Rs 10-12. Similarly, the amount spent before talking on mobile, that too has now reduced to less than half."
On the 'Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana':
"More than Rs. 7 lakh crores have been given without any guarantees for the youth to get loan easily for their business. It has been benefited by more than 150 million people receiving the loan," says President Kovind.
On new educational institutions:
"The government is establishing new educational institutions to increase opportunities for high level professional education and 7 IITs, 7 IIMs, 14 IIITs, 1 NITs and 4 NIDs are being set up."
On benefits for women:
"Women got the most benefits of the ' Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna . So far, 73% of the loans given out under the scheme been received by women entrepreneurs across the country.
"Under Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana ' about 6 crore women associated with Self Help Groups. Loans of more than Rs. 75 thousand crores have been made available to self-help groups by my government.
"Maternity Leave has been increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for working women to get adequate time for the well-being of their newborns."
"Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a visionary"
President Kovind remembers the the government at the time of former Prime MInister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "When the country had Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a visionary, all-inclusive, sensitive Prime Minister, many new departments, ministries and programs were started," he says.
"For the states of the Northeast to be a separate Ministry or tribal welfare ministry, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan or campaign to connect the country through the Golden Quadrilateral, these were the gifts of Atal ji.
"Following the formation of government in 2014, following the vision of Atal ji, my government started its efforts to solve the problems related to the people with full sensitivity," says President Kovind.
The President talks about the changes in law and order.
"With the sensitive thinking of eliminating every kind of lack and injustice in the society, my government has tried to make proper changes in the law and order for social and economic justice.
"Through the Citizenship Amendment Bill, it will be easier for those victims to get citizenship of India, who have been forced to migrate to India due to torture. There is no fault in them, but they are victims of situations
"My government is constantly trying to pass the law related to three divorce laws to allow our Muslim daughters to be emancipated from the life of fear and fear and to live like other daughters," he says.
"Trying to eliminate the challenge of malnutrition"
President Kovind also talks about the Ayushman Bharat Scheme and the other health-related schemes that the Narendra Modi government introduced.
"We are well aware that the cost of treatment of the disease makes any poor family more poor. My government, who understood this pain, started the 'Ayushman Bharat Scheme' last year,"
He gives out some numbers:
-- 4,900 Drug Centers have been opened in more than 600 districts across the country as part of the 'Prime Minister Bharti Jana Drug Project'
-- More than 700 medicines are being provided at these centers
-- 21 million poor siblings have been provided with insurance cover as 'Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna' and 'Pradhan Mantri Jyoti Jyoti Bima Yojna' at the premium of 90 paisa per day on premium of just Rs. 1 a month.
President Kovind also talks about the National Nutrition Mission in his speech.
"My government is also working with full power to eliminate the challenge of malnutrition in poor women and children. My Government has launched a National Nutrition Mission to eliminate the responsible areas for malnutrition and those suffering from malnutrition," he says.
"Whether it is a city or a village, my government is working on strengthening the health-related infrastructure. New medical colleges are being opened by the government, district hospitals are being upgraded and wellness centers are being opened in every major panchayat of the country.
"In the last four and a half years, more than 130 million houses have been constructed under the government's rural housing schemes. While before the year 2014, in just five years, only 25 lakh houses were constructed.
"As per 'Prime Minister Good Luck' scheme, electricity connection has been given to 2.67 crore households so far. Now India is rapidly moving towards the situation, where every house will have electricity and no family will be forced to live in the dark."
On government schemes
President Kovind, in his speech, touches on the schemes the government has brought in.
"Before the 2014 general elections, the country was passing through an uncertainty. After the election, my government took the charge and resolved to form a new India. A new India where there is no incompleteness and inaction in the systems, where there is no corruption, where there is no place for disinfection," he says.
"From the very first day, the mission of the governnance was to improve the lives of all the countrymen, remove their troubles from mismanagement and reach the people's facilities to the person standing in the last line of society," he adds.
President Kovind says the government communicated a new hope and trust among the people in the last four and a half years. "My government has increased the credibility of the country and made effective efforts for social and economic change. As a result, my government has won immense affection and trust of the countrymen. The life of every single Indian should be better, this is the main goal," he says.
He also speaks about Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the Ujjwala Scheme.
"The absence of toilet facilities forced millions of countrymen, especially our daughters-in-law to live an unhappy and unhealthy life. Over 9 crore toilets have been constructed under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
"Many of our mothers, sisters and daughters were sick due to the smoke of the stove, the health of the whole family was affected and most of their work and time was spent in fuel preparation.
"Under the Ujjwala scheme, more than 60 million gas connections have been provided so far. Even after decades of efforts, there were only 12 million gas connections in our country till 2014. In the last four and a half years, my government has connected 13 million families with gas connections," he says.
President Ram Nath Kovind begins his address to the Parliament with mentions of several anniversaries and milestones that 2019 will see.
"I am very happy to address the joint session of Parliament. The year 2019 is a significant hindrance in our history of democracy. This year we are celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi," he says.
"On April 13 this year, 100 years of the tragic massacre in Jallianwala Bagh is also being completed. I pay tribute on behalf of the whole nation to those martyrs who have given up their lives for our bright future," he adds.
"Our country will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Constitution Day. In this historic central hall, our great constitution makers composed the Constitution of India. We are celebrating this year's 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji who has taught life and living with goodwill."
"Our country is building an inclusive society based on the dreams of Gandhiji, based on ethics. Our country is moving forward with the ideals of social and economic justice given by Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar in the Constitution," says President Kovind.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu reach Parliament for President Kovind's address.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the media ahead of the Budget Session.
"Today, the country is observing the proceedings of the Parliament. The MPs should hold a meaningful debate in this session of the Parliament. We are eager to hold a debate on all important issues," he said.
"We are committed to the mantra of sabka saath sabka vikaas . We welcome discussion on all issues and hope that the House will function smoothly," he added.
Vice President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu called a breakfast meeting of legislators ahead of the Parliament session.
"I hope the spirit of the republic will be kept in mind and all of you will discuss among yourselves. As the Chairman, I thought I should call all my members to appeal to all of you that President's address, the interm budget proposals and the following discussions, they will get normal precedence," he reiterated.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has appealed to all parties to ensure that it remained without disruptions. The AIADMK has agreed to halt its protests on the Mekadatu Dam while the Telugu Desam Party, which has been agitating for special status for Andhra Pradesh, refused to make any commitments.