Strong, secure & inclusive India: President outlines Modi govt's priorities

President Ram Nath Kovind, accompanied by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and other dignitaries, proceeds to the Central Hall of Parliament to address its joint session | Photo: PTI

India will implement more reforms to boost economic growth, including higher spending in farm sector and easing collateral-free loans to small businesses, President Ramnath Kovind told lawmakers on Thursday.

"Inflation is low, fiscal deficit is under control and foreign exchange reserves are rising ... Now India is moving towards becoming the world's fifth largest economy," Kovind said while addressing the joint session of parliament, ahead of the annual budget.

Newly appointed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the annual budget on July 5.

मेरी सरकार ‘नमामि गंगे’ योजना के तहत गंगा नदी में गिरने वाले गंदे नालों को बंद करने के अभियान में और तेज़ी लाएगी।

सरकार का प्रयास रहेगा कि गंगा की तरह ही कावेरी, पेरियार, नर्मदा, यमुना, महानदी और गोदावरी जैसी अन्य नदियों को भी प्रदूषण से मुक्त किया जाए — राष्ट्रपति कोविन्द

— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) 20 June 2019
In the past five years, the citizens of the country have understood that the government is willing to empower and uplift citizens, the President said. “To empower every person is our goal. This journey is inspired by ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas,” President Ram Nath Kovind at the Parliament. ‘Prime Minister Farmer Kisan Samman Nidhi’ will be extended to every farmer in the country,” Kovind asserted.

The President said, in this election more than 610 million people cast their vote and created a new record. The people of India gave a clear mandate, he added.

 

वर्ष 2014 में देश में संरक्षित क्षेत्रों की संख्या 692 थी जो अब बढ़कर 868 हो गई है। वायु प्रदूषण से जुड़ी चुनौतियों को देखते हुए, देश के 102 शहरों में ‘राष्ट्रीय स्वच्छ वायु कार्यक्रम’ शुरू किया गया है — राष्ट्रपति कोविन्द

— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) 20 June 2019
"I congratulate the Election Commission for conducting the biggest election in the world," said the President. There are several MPs who have been elected for the first time to the Lok Sabha. Largest number of women MPs have been elected this time, this paints a picture of the new India, said the President. 

The government has been committed to the goal of improving lives of all the countrymen from the first day after coming to power. Easing their sufferings, removing misgovernance and providing necessary facilities to the last man of society has been its priority, the President said in his speech.  President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday urged the government to ensure stringent punishment for crimes against women and said the new Modi government's main objective was to build a secure nation.

Kovind said the penal provisions for crimes committed against women should be strictly enforced.

He added that to ensure equal rights for every woman, social evils like 'triple talaq' must end.

"Empowerment of women is one of the highest priorities of my government. The empowerment of women and their effective participation in society and economy is the test of a developed society," Kovind said.

The President said the new government would serve everyone and was committed to fight corruption.

He said government is moving ahead to create a strong, secure and inclusive India.

The president said the government was working towards a Rs 25 trillion farm productivity spend and Rs 900 billion annual spend on farmers’ income support. 

The government will implement a national register of citizens on a priority basis in the states facing infiltration of foreign citizens illegally, the president added.

“Foreigners entering India illegally are a great threat to internal security,” Kovind said.

Authorities in Assam are preparing a national register to verify people who entered the state illegally.