Parliament proceedings | Thaawarchand Gehlot nominated as Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and others arrive at Parliament House in New Delhi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

A day after the Lok Sabha unanimously elected Om Birla as the Speaker, President Ram Nath Kovind addresses a joint session of the Parliament on June 20, 2019.

542 Members were sworn in in the presence of pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar on Monday and Tuesday. The Prime Minister introduced his Council of Ministers to the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Here are the updates:

Lok Sabha | 12.45 p.m.

House is in session. Speaker Om Birla is in the Chair.

The President’s address is laid on the table. House is adjourned till Friday.

Rajya Sabha | 12.40 p.m.

Rajya Sabha is in session. Chairman Venkaiah Naidu is in the House.

New Members are being sworn in. Birendra Prasad Baishya, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa from Assam take their oaths in Assamese.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is introduced to the House. Thaawarchand Gehlot is nominated as the Leader of the House.

President’s address is laid on the table. The PM rises to introduce his Council of Ministers.

Papers are laid on the table. House is adjourned till Friday.

12:10 am

Presidential address ends with National Anthem being played.

The President and Vice President greet the Prime Minister, senior ministers, and other parliamentarians as they are escorted back to the cavalcade. The Prime Minister, Speaker, and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi accompany them.

The Lok Sabha will assemble in 30 minutes.

Read: Full text of President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament


12 noon

Big national goals can be achieved with public participation, Mr. Kovind says. “Development gets affected because some election or the other is always on. There is a need for one nation, one election. All MPs should consider the proposal.

“I am sure all of Members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, while performing their duties well as MPs, will make their invaluable contribution to achieve the ideals of the Constitution. I wish you all the heartfelt good wishes during the next five years by calling upon them to dedicate themselves to the building of new India and to carry out your duties with all sincerity.”

Mr. Kovind concludes his address. Mr. Naidu rises to read out sections of the President’s speech in English. Departing from the usual practice to reading the first and the last paragraphs, Mr. Naidu chooses to highlight the salient features of the speech in English.

11.45 a.m.

“Solar energy plays an important role in reducing the impacts of climate change and global warming. India's active efforts have created the International Solar Alliance. Through this organisation, India is making a significant contribution to the development of solar energy in other developing countries.

“In 2014, the number of protected areas in the country was 692 which has now increased to 868. In view of the challenges associated with air pollution, the National Clean Air Programme has been launched in 102 cities of the country.

“During the Lok Sabha elections, the country achieved another goal, though it could not be discussed as much as it should have been,” he says about Mission Shakti. “Our scientists are preparing for the launch of Chandrayaan-2. It will be India's first spacecraft to reach the moon. By 2022, India's goal of sending the first Indian into space in its 'Gagan-Yan' is also progressing rapidly.”

“Today, India has a new identity all over the world and our relations with other countries have been further strengthened. It is heartening to note that India will host the G-20 Summit in 2022.

“On the issue of terrorism, the whole world stands with India now. That the UN declared Masood Azhar a terrorist is great proof of this.

“My government is also conscious of protecting the interests of Indians settled abroad and working there. Today, if an Indian is in trouble abroad, he is confident of getting speedy help and relief. Many services from passports to visas are made easy and accessible.

“Foreigners entering India illegally are a great threat to internal security. My government has decided that the process of 'National Register of Citizens' will be implemented on a priority basis in areas facing infiltration issues.

“India has demonstrated its intentions and capabilities by carrying out air strikes on terrorist targets across the border, first with surgical strikes and then after the Pulwama attack. In the future also, all possible steps will be taken to protect ourselves.

He says the government will take all steps to develop Jammu and Kashmir.

“My government, the Army and the armed forces are speeding up modernisation work. In the near future, India will get the first Rafale fighter jet and Apache helicopter,” he says. “All efforts are being made to take care of the soldiers and their families. Efforts are being made to improve the lives of ex-servicemen by increasing their pension through 'One Rank One Pension' and expanding their health facilities.”

“The 'National War Memorial' built by my government near India Gate in Delhi is a humble tribute to martyrs. In memory of our police force personnel who were killed in action, the government has built the 'National Police Memorial'.”

11.30 a.m.

“This government is making rules even easier to make startup ecosystem stronger. Under the Prime Minister's Mudra Yojana, about 19 crore loans have been given for self-employment.

“Expanding this plan, an effort will now be made to reach out to 30 million people. Loan scheme upto ₹50 lakh without any guarantee for entrepreneurs will also be brought.

“The government is attempting to make the number of seats in higher education 1.5 times more by 2024. Atal Tinkering Labs are being set up in 9,000 schools.

“Our goal is that India becomes a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Emphasis is being laid on continuous reform of the tax regime as well as simplification. The decision to tax-free income of up to ₹5 lakh is an important step in this direction.

“With the introduction of GST, the idea of 'one country, one tax, one market' has come true. There are attempts to make GST simpler.

“Government will strengthen anti-corruption steps, follow minimum government, maximum governance.” He cites the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act and states that the government is working with many countries to extradite those who have left the country after defaulting on loans.

“The campaign against black money will be carried forward at a faster pace. In the last 2 years, 4.25 lakh directors have been disqualified and 3.5 lakh dubious companies have been registered.

“'Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code' is one of the biggest and most effective economic reforms in the country. After the implementation of this code, the amount of more than Rs.3 lakh crores has been settled directly and indirectly by banks and other financial institutions.

“In the ranking of 'Ease of Doing Business', India was ranked 142nd in the year 2014. In the last 5 years, we have reached 77th position by raising 65 ranks. Now our goal is to come to the top 50 list of the world.

“So far, ₹1.41 lakh crore has been saved from going into the wrong hands due to 'Direct Benefit Transfer'. The names of about 8 crore wrong beneficiaries have been removed.

“My government is constantly striving to provide world-class infrastructure and civic amenities, from villages in the country to cities for modern India.

“Under the Bharatmala Project, about 35,000 km of National Highways are to be constructed or upgraded by 2022. Also, the 'Sagarmala Project' is laying a network of better roads in the coastal areas of the country and around ports. The government is working extensively in the areas of highways as well as railways, airways and inland waterways. Under UDAN, connecting small cities in the country with air traffic is progressing fast.”

The President moves on to speaking about renewable energy and says electric charging stations will be set up in cities. “The work being done to clean the Ganga during the Kumbh has been discussed all over the world. My government will further speed up the campaign to close down the dirty drains that flow into the river Ganga under the Namami Gange scheme. It will be the endeavour of the Government to make other rivers like Cauvery, Periyar, Narmada, Yamuna, Mahanadi and Godavari free from pollution.”

11.15 a.m.

“To strengthen cooperative federalism, the government met Chief Ministers last week.”

He goes on to list the government’s policies regarding agriculture — the increase in MSP, health cards for farmers, and the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi has given ₹12,000 crore in 3 months to farmers.”

He then goes on to detail the government’s fisheries programmes. He speaks of the Blue Revolution. He says the Fisheries Ministry has instituted funds for improving production.

On the Jan Dhan Yojana, he says the government has taken banks to the people.

“For 50 crore people living in poverty, insurance is going to be provided under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

“The government will set up model schools for Adivasi children.

“Women’s empowerment is among the top priorities of my government. The punishment for crimes against women has become more stringent.” He lists the Ujjwala Yojana, the electricity scheme as benefits for rural women.

“Under the National Livelihood Mission, 3 crore women of rural areas have been given a loan of more than ₹2 lakh crore so far.”

Also for rural women, self-employment is being promoted, he says. He adds that the government believes that not only should there by development of women, but it should be under women's leadership. He says the triple talaq Bill is required for women’s empowerment. “I request all members to support the attempts [law against triple talaq and nikah halala] to make women's lives better.”

2 crore homes will be made in villages.

“The government has provided reservation of 10% for the poor youth of the general category. With this, they will be able to get more opportunities in the field of appointment and education.”

11 a.m.

The President begins his address. He congratulates Members on the formation of the new Lok Sabha.

“People have stood in queues in heat and cast their votes this time. This was also the time that women’s votes were equal to men.

“I also congratulate the new Speaker of the Lok Sabha on his election. I would like to congratulate the Election Commission for successfully conducting these elections.

“This is the first time 78 women have been elected to the Parliament.” He lists the professions of different Members and says that he believes they will bring their unique experiences in their fields will contribute to their stints as lawmakers.

“My government worked on Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. The people of the country waited for basic facilities for very long. But that is changing now.

“It is a matter of pride for all Indians that when India completes 75 years in 2022, we would have achieved many targets.”

He announces the extension of PM Kisan to all farmers. He lists the schemes to aid farmers through income support and pension among the achievements of the government.

He also announces that children of soldiers who were killed in action would get scholarships from the National Defence Fund.

“Climate change and global warming will have an increasing impact on water. We have to conserve water for our children and future generations. We have created a new Ministry for this.”

10.45 a.m.

President’s motorcade leaves for Parliament

President Ram Nath Kovind’s motorcade has left Rashtrapati Bhavan for his address to the join session of Parliament.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Parliament House. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also reaches. Speaker Om Birla is on the stairs awaiting the President’s arrival.

Mr. Kovind is greeted by Mr Modi, Mr. Naidu and Mr. Birla.

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