‘This is a historic session heralding advancement of budget cycle and merger of general budget with rail budget for first time,’ he said.
New Delhi: Addressing both Houses of Parliament ahead of the Budget session on Tuesday, President Pranab Mukherjee listed out the achievements of the BJP-led NDA government, including its effort to combat terrorism.
“India has been facing grave challenge of terrorism, threat to global community. My Govt is committed to combat terrorism, and ensure that perpetrators of these acts are brought to justice,” the President said.
Speaking about demonetisation, he added, “ The resilience demonstrated by our countrymen, particularly the poor, in the fight against black money and corruption, is remarkable.”
Mukherjee said that at the core of the Modi government’s policies was the welfare of the poor, the suffering and the Dalits. He added that the government was committed to its ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ programme.
Pitching for the voluntary giving up of LPG subsidy, Mukherjee stated that those who did so have helped the poor.
"My government has taken many initiatives to improve quality of life of the poor and improve the welfare of farmers. It is committed to providing shelter to all," Mukherjee stated.
"Under Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, over Rs 16,000 crore have been made available to SHGs in the current financial year. Furthermore, over Rs 2 Lakh Crore has been provided through 5.6 crore loans sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana," Pranab said describing the schemes initiated by the government.
The President also said that the government has fulfilled the "Four decades old demand of OROP".
Mukherjee stressed that the government had succeeded in controlling the prices of pulses, which were soaring around this time in 2016.
The President said that farm yield had increased due to the government's policies. "A favourable monsoon supplemented by farmer-oriented schemes has increased the acreage and yield of most Kharif crops. Also, the sown area in the current Rabi season has shown six percent increase in comparison to last year."
Speaking about the government’s initiatives towards women’s empowerment, Mukherjee said, “My government is making 'naari shakti' (woman power) an integral part of our development journey. Women deserve equal opportunities. PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Deepa Malik (who won medals at the Olympics) illustrate the strength of our women.”
On employment opportunities provided to the youth, Pranab said, “With the objective of providing international training to the youth, a national network of skill development centres has been established.”
The President also added that under the 7th Pay Commission, 50 lakh employees have been benefited.
He mentioned the Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana which has been launched for promoting entrepreneurship education and training to 7 lakh students, the 'Har Haath Ko Hunar' scheme, and the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' scheme to educate girl children. Mukherjee said all these initiatives been largely successful.
On village electrification, the President disclosed that 11,000 of the 18,000 villages ‘which were in darkness since Independence’ have been electrified in record time.
Mukherjee said that through its focus on inclusive development, the government has fulfilled the aspirations of all sections of society.
He added that the Modi government had put special focus on 'reducing the isolation of the Northeast' from India by developing a network of roads.
The Economic Survey will be tabled later in the day today.
Apart from the presentation of the general budget, 34 bills will be taken up for passing and consideration during the entire session. These include three ordinances which will be replaced through bills. The ordinances relate to Enemy Property, Payment of Wages and Specified Bank Notes.
The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs had recommended that the Budget session should commence on January 31 and the Union Budget be presented the next day so that the new financial provisions come into force on April 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.