BUDGET SESSION

Govt. will conduct debate on simultaneous elections, says Pranab

President Pranab Mukherjee addresses the joint session of the Parliament.  

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President Pranab Mukherjee addressed both Houses of Parliament on the first day of the Budget session on Tuesday , highlighting the government's welfare schemes and its commitment to carrying through the demonetisation exercise.

12.05 p.m.


"India today has a deep sense of pride in the awakening of India," states the President. "My government reiterates its commitments to fulfil the aspirations of its citizens. The vision of Mahatma Gandhi and other founding fathers have created a path. This path is debate, discussion, accommodation and understanding."

Vice President Hamid Ansari takes over to read out the President's speech in Hindi. The national anthem is played. The President, followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar, leaves the Central Hall of Parliament.

Read the full speech here.

Read more
 

12 noon


"India is ranked in the top prospective host economies in the World Investment Report. India has been facing the grave challenge of terrorism. Terrorism poses a serious danger to the global community. India will actively collaborate with other nations in decisively defeating these forces. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been affected by terrorism sponsored from across the border."

"There has been considerable success in containing left-wing extremism in the last three years, with the surrender of over 2,600 extremists. The security situation in the North-eastern states has also shown improvement in the last three years," says Mr. Mukherjee.

11.55 a.m.


"My government will conduct a constructive debate on simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, on funding of elections etc. My government will take a view on the Election Commission's recommendation in consultation with all political parties."

"Taking forward the concept of cooperative federalism, both Houses of Parliament have passed the Goods and Services Act."

"FDI and forex reserves have reached record levels. FDI inflows in 2015-16 were $55.6 billion, the highest ever in any financial year."

11.50 a.m.


"On September 29, our defence forces conducted surgical strikes on several terror launchpads," says Mr. Mukherjee. "My government has simplified procedures, repealed obsolete Acts and eliminated scope for corruption."

"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."

"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"

11.45 a.m.


"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."

Mr. Mukherjee mentions the demonetisation exercise, garnering loud applause. "To curb black money, corruption, counterfeit currency and terrorism, my government implemented demonetisation on November 8 last year."

The President lists the legislations and amendments to treaties with other countries to highlight the government's fight against black money.

11.40 a.m.


''There will be a rail route to neighbouring countries for connectivity with our South Asian neighbours. To increase the focus on the North-east, the Railways has undertaken major expansion at a cost of Rs.10,000 crore. Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have benefited, and broad gauge tracks are being laid."

"All rural habitations will be linked with all-weather roads, and there will be air connectivity for small towns."

 

11.35 a.m.


"A common inter-country sign language is being developed for the disabled."

"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."

11.30 a.m.


"Through the Stand Up India initiative," Mr. Mukherjee says, "my governmenht plans to empower 2.5 lakh Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe members, and women entrepreneurs. For this, there will be an initial allocation of Rs. 496 crore."

 

''Pradhan Mantri Khanij Chherta Yojana has been established for sustainable mining and betterment of the tribals, he says. "To give more employment opportunities to tribals, 100 of 300 districts will be developed in tribal areas."

The President also highlights the achievements of Indian athletes in the Paralympics.

 

11.25 a.m.


"The programmes under 21 Ministries and 50 departments have been brought under one roof. Rs.12,000 crore has been allocated to train one crore youth in four years. 20 lakh youth have already benefited. 978 employment exchanges have been integrated through service portals."

"Nationwide, 50 India International Skill Centres are being established to promote entrepreneurship. Rs.6,000 crore has been invested to boost employment and skill development, and is expected to create 1.1 crore jobs, especially for women."

"The Seventh Pay Commission has benefited 55 lakh employees and 30 lakh pensioners."

 

11.20 a.m.


The President points to the achievements of women athletes. "Over one crore accounts have been opened to safeguard girl children, and Rs. 11,000 crore has been deposited."

The implementation of the Maternity Benefit Act which increases maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks will help women in the workplace, he says.

 

11.15 a.m.


After consecutive years of drought, last year has seen a six per cent increase in sowing in the Rabi season, says Mr. Mukherjee. "Seeds and fertilizers have been made available to farmers."

"With an emphasis on digitisation of all Kisan credit cards, another three crore cards have been converted into Rupay cards, ensuring credit access of Rs. 40,000 crore to farmers."

11.10 a.m.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anantha Kumar arrive to address the Joint Session on the first day of the Budget Session at Parliament House, in New Delhi on Tuesday.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anantha Kumar arrive to address the Joint Session on the first day of the Budget Session at Parliament House, in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty


 

Mr. Mukherjee 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."

For clean energy, over 20 crore LED bulbs have been distributed, says Mr. Mukherjee, saving over Rs. 10,000 crore.

11.05 a.m.


"Countrymen have shown resilience in the fight against black money. Over 1.2 crore citizens have given up their LPG subsidy. 1.4 lakh villages, 450 cities, 77 districts and three states have declared themselves open defecation free."

Mr. Mukherjee speaks of financial inclusion, about the opening of Jan Dhan accounts and issuance of Rupay cards. "Over Rs. 2 lakh crore has been disbursed through the Pradhan Mantri Yojana, and over 70 per cent has been availed by women entrepreneurs."

 

11 a.m.


The President enters the Central Hall to address a joint session. The national anthem is played.

"Honourable members, in the Basant season of renewal and resurgence, I welcome you all to the joint session of Parliament," he says.

Mr. Mukherjee hails the decision to advance the date of the Budget and to merge the Railway Budget with the Union Budget.

"This year marks the 30th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, and the centenary year of the Champaran Satyagraha."

10.55 a.m.


The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan receive the President as he reaches the Parliament House.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Jitendra Singh arrive to address the media on the first day of the Budget Session at Parliament House, in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Jitendra Singh arrive to address the media on the first day of the Budget Session at Parliament House, in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

 

10.45 a.m.


The President leaves Rashtrapati Bhavan with a ceremonial convoy, for the Parliament House to deliver his address. This speech of Mr. Mukherjee will reflect the agenda of the government.

President Pranab Mukherjee leaves after addressing a joint session of Parliament in New Delhi on Tuesday.

President Pranab Mukherjee leaves after addressing a joint session of Parliament in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

 

Before the start of the session, Mr. Modi addressed reporters outside the Parliament House ,stating that a new tradition will begin today. "The Budget will be presented earlier and the Railway Budget will be incorporated into it."

The President will be conducted to the Central Hall in a procession once he reaches THE Parliament House.

10.30 a.m.

 

Three ordinances are to be promulgated on Tuesday — The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance 2016, The Payment of Wages (Ordinance) 2016, and The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance 2016.

(With inputs from Devesh K. Pandey)

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