India is fastest-growing major economy: Murmu

President Murmu stated that without social, cultural, and strategic strengths, this newfound development and economic prosperity would not be permanent

Updated - February 01, 2024 02:51 am IST

Published - January 31, 2024 02:10 pm IST - New Delhi

President Droupadi Murmu receives guard of honour on the first day of the Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi on January 31, 2024.

President Droupadi Murmu receives guard of honour on the first day of the Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi on January 31, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

President Droupadi Murmu, in her maiden address to MPs of both the Houses from the new Parliament building on Wednesday, listed the achievements of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the last ten years. Amid thumping on the desk by BJP members, she said that the centuries old aspiration to construct the Ram Mandir is a reality now.

Ms. Murmu said that for her government the vision of developed India is not limited to economic prosperity alone, and equal importance is being given to social, cultural, and strategic strengths. “Without them, the development and economic prosperity would not be permanent. The decisions of the last decade have also been taken with this objective in mind. Many more steps are being taken keeping this goal in mind,” she said in her speech. Ms. Murmu was welcomed to the Lok Sabha chamber, where the joint session was convened, by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

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Ms. Murmu said there come junctures in the history of civilisations, which shape the future for the coming centuries. “There have been many such defining moments in the history of India also. This year, on January 22, the country witnessed a similar epochal moment. After waiting for centuries, Ram Lalla has now been enshrined in his grand temple in Ayodhya. This was a matter of aspirations and faith for crores of our countrymen and the resolution of this has been accomplished in a harmonious manner,” the President said. Highlighting her government’s role in promoting heritage tourism, she said in the five days of Pran Pratishtha, 13 lakh devotees have visited Ayodhya.

“There is unprecedented expansion of facilities at pilgrimage sites in every part of India, East-West-North-South,” she added.

On the subject of the economy, Ms. Murmu said that, amid serious global crises, India emerged as the fastest-growing major economy, consistently maintaining a growth rate of over 7.5% for two consecutive quarters. She said the Centre has ensured macro-economic stability. “We have seen India transform from ‘fragile five’ to a ‘top five’ economy. India’s exports have increased from about $450 billion to more than $775 billion. FDI flows have doubled,” she said adding that sales of Khadi and Village Industries products have increased by more than four times and the number of people filing Income Tax Return has increased from about 3.25 crore to about 8.25 crore. “Today, we have Forex reserves in excess of $600 billion,” she said.

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The President said that the Centre is laying stress on making farming more profitable. “Our aim is to reduce the cost of farming while increasing profits. For the first time, my government has given priority to over 10 crore small farmers in the country’s agricultural policy and schemes. She said the Centre is also promoting cooperation in agriculture. “Under the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, farmers have received over ₹2.80 lakh crore so far. Over the past 10 years, there has been a threefold increase in easy loans for farmers from banks. Under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, farmers paid a premium of ₹30,000 crore. In return, they have received a claim of ₹1.5 lakh crore,” she said.

President Droupadi Murmu on her way back to the Rashtrapati Bhawan in a traditional horse-drawn buggy after addressing the joint sitting of both Houses on the first day of Budget session, in New Delhi on Jan. 31, 2024.

President Droupadi Murmu on her way back to the Rashtrapati Bhawan in a traditional horse-drawn buggy after addressing the joint sitting of both Houses on the first day of Budget session, in New Delhi on Jan. 31, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

“The dropout rate in the country has reduced due to efforts of my government,” she said and added that the enrolment of girls in higher education has increased. “Enrolment of Scheduled Caste students has increased by about 44%, that of Scheduled Tribe students by more than 65%, and that of OBC by more than 44%,” she said.

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Education of children in families having ‘pucca’ houses has improved and has resulted in a decline in the dropout rates, the President said. “Under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, 100% institutional deliveries are taking place in the country today. This has resulted in a sharp decline in maternal mortality rate,” she added.

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