Budget 2017: 15 things President Pranab Mukherjee said in his address to both Houses of Parliament
President Pranab Mukherjee Press Information Bureau
President according to tradition, addressed members of both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday ahead of the Budget Session for the fiscal year 2017-18. The Economic Survey 2017 was also tabled before the Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday following the president’s speech. Jaitley will also present the Union Budget on Wednesday, February 1.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged all political parties to help in smooth functioning of the Budget Session. However, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee has said that her party would not be attending the first two days of the session, including the President’s address to the Parliament.
Here is a list of 15 things President Mukherjee said in his speech:
Mukherjee spoke about demonetisation saying: “To combat black money, corruption, counterfeit currency and terror financing, the government took the decision of demonetisation on November 8, 2016. The resilience demonstrated by our countrymen, particularly the poor, in the fight against black money and corruption is remarkable.”
He addressed the issue of terrorism from across the border and also praised the armed forces for their courage and valour. “My government is committed to combat terrorism, and ensure that perpetrators of these acts are brought to justice. Jammu and Kashmir has been affected by terrorism sponsored and supported from across the border.
Our defence forces successfully conducted surgical strikes to prevent infiltration by terrorists. We are proud of the forces, and the exemplary courage and valour displayed by them,” the president said. He added that the government had fulfilled the “four-decade old demand of One Rank One Pension” of the armed forces.
President Mukherjee also spoke about how the Centre was “making ‘naari shakti’ an integral part of our development journey.” He mentioned several schemes for women, including the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme, that have been providing good results. “Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan will provide comprehensive ante-natal care to all pregnant women. The revision of Maternity Benefit Act will support pregnant women at the workplace,” Mukherjee said.
“A favourable monsoon supplemented by farmer-oriented schemes has increased the acreage and yield of most Kharif crops. The sown area in the current Rabi season has shown six percent increase in comparison to last year… Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana expanded ambit of risk-coverage, doubled sum insured and facilitated lowest-ever premium. Three crore Kisan Credit Cards will be converted into RUPAY debit cards soon,” the president said.
India’s tourism sector “has shown a growth rate of over 10 percent” with more than 88 lakh foreign tourists visiting the country in 2016. The Centre also “approved the new e-VISA policy and expanded the scope of e-tourist visa.”
“Financial inclusion is key to poverty alleviation. An unprecedented 26 crore plus Jan Dhan accounts have been opened for the unbanked.
Close to 13 crore poor have been covered under various social security schemes. To take the banking system to the doorstep of the poor and the unbanked, the Indian Postal Payment Bank has been started,”
“The biometric AADHAAR Payment system to be launched soon will usher a technological revolution in India… Direct Benefit Transfer programme of subsidies through JAM Trinity has prevented leakages and helped save Rs 36000 crore. PAHAL is the world’s largest cash benefit transfer scheme,” President Mukherjee said.
“ISRO added another feather to their cap by launching 20 satellites in one go. India launched eight operational missions covering meteorological, navigation, earth observation and communication satellites,” Mukherjee said in his address.
Mukherjee also spoke about improving the lives of divyangs(disabled). “A common sign language being developed inter-country.
Over 6 lakh divyang jan have so far benefitted from 4700 special assistance camps organised since May 2014. The Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan is improving accessibility for the divyang jan at public places while a health insurance cover for divyansh” has also been put in place.
The president also said that the government had electrified 11,000 villages under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana.
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More than 1,100 obsolete laws have been repealed and 400 more are in the process of being repealed.
Mukherjee also spoke about the steps being taken by the Centre for the welfare of the North-East. “My government has started the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga.
We are opening up road and rail routes to our neighbouring countries to boost the economic development of the region… By the year end, all the meter gauge tracks in the North East will be converted into broad gauge lines. The government has approved North East BPO promotion scheme for creation of employment opportunities. The Ministry of Tourism has identified a thematic circuit for the North East region.”
Mukherjee spoke about providing skills and employment opportunities to the country’s youth. “With motto of ‘Har Haath ko Hunar’… National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme has been launched with a budget outlay of Rs 10,000 crore. Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana has been launched for promoting entrepreneurship education and training amongst 7 lakh students.”
Mukherjee also said that the Centre wishes to empower the deprived sections of society through the Stand-Up India initiative. “My government plans to empower over two and a half lakh SC, ST and women entrepreneurs. Fourteen different sectors have been identified under the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana for the empowerment of tribals,” he said.