Budget session LIVE: Rafale jets will strengthen our Air force, says Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind
The Budget session of Parliament began on Thursday, a day before the Interim Budget 2019 will be presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. 

With the Lok Sabha elections around the corner, this year's Budget session is expected to be a stormy one. The Budget session began with President Ram Nath Kovind addressing a joint session of Parliament. The President said, "India was going through "uncertain times" ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the Narendra Modi government after assuming power resolved to work towards a 'New India', giving hope to the people." 

He said the NDA government has been trying to pass the triple talaq bill to empower Muslim women so that they can live a life without fear.

The government has been working to fulfil hopes and aspirations of all sections of people, he said.

Highlighting the government's achievements and various welfare schemes, Kovind said 21 crore poor people were covered under the PM's life insurance scheme, while over 2 crore households got power connection as part of the PM's Saubhagya scheme.

The Budget session will conclude on February 13.

Catch LIVE updates on Budget Session 2019

LIVE UPDATES

PM makes an impromptu visit to Hari Mandir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes an impromptu visit to Hari Mandir, in West Bengal.
PM makes an impromptu visit to Hari Mandir.
Echoing similar views, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien said the government should not take up controversial Bills during the session. He alleged that the government has found an "ally" in the Central Bureau of Investigation ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. 
Azad also said the Opposition has asked the government to take up only non-controversial Bills for passage in Parliament in the Budget Session. "We should take up only those Bills which are not controversial... on which there is total unanimity," the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha told reporters after an all-party meeting.
 
Azad also suggested that it will be difficult for Parliament to function if the government pushes for contentious Bills.  

PM has told Opposition that govt will present Interim Budget: Azad

PM Narendra Modi has conveyed to the Opposition that his government will present an Interim Budget, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal gives final touches to Interim Budget 2019

Government revises FY18 GDP growth to 7.2% from 6.7% earlier

The government on Thursday revised upwards the economic growth rate upwards to 7.2 per cent for 2017-18 from the 6.7 per cent estimated earlier. (Read more here)  
 
"Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2017-18 and 2016-17 stand at Rs 131.80 lakh crore and Rs 122.98 lakh crore, respectively, showing growth of 7.2 per cent during 2017-18 and 8.2 per cent during 2016-17," the CSO said.

Core sector growth slows down to 2.6% in Dec

Growth of eight core sectors slowed down to 2.6 per cent in December 2018 on account of negative growth in the expansion of crude oil, refinery products and fertilisers. (Read more here)  
All-party meeting held in Parliament library earlier on Thursday.


After decades, Indian Air Force will use ultramodern Rafale aircraft in coming months: Kovind

Compromising with security needs is not in the interest of the present and future of the country. New deals in last year, purchase of defence equipment raised the morale of defence. After decades, Indian Air Force will use ultramodern Rafale aircraft in coming months and strengthen itself: Kovind
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu reads President Kovind's speech in English at the joint session of Parliament.

President Ram Nath Kovind concludes his speech.

President Ram Nath Kovind concluded his speech to thundering applause.

President Kovind said, "6.8 crore Indians are filing income tax returns"

My government has curbed black money and corruption to a great extent. The government's crackdown on black money was seen during demonetization (notes ban). Notes ban helped integrate India's shadow economy with its regular economy. This strengthened India's market and stabilized India's financial sector: President Kovind 
 
My government has also come down heavily on money laundering and has so far shut more than 26,000 illegal shell companies, he said. 

Kovind says India is world's second largest manufacturer of mobile phones

I am happy to inform you that under the 'Make In India' programme, India has already become the world's 2nd largest manufacturer of mobile phones, said President Kovind.

Under Jan Dhan Yojana, 34 crore people have opened a bank account, said Kovind

Under Jan Dhan Yojana, 34 crore people have opened a bank account and almost every family in the country is connected to the banking system. According to an international agency, 55% of the total bank accounts opened between 2014-2017 were opened in India itself, the President said.
"Not just benefits, but infrastructure and institutions are also being built by my government at a record pace. From toilets to roads, hospitals to schools, institutes like AIIMS are being built at a brisk pace across various states in the country," he added. 

To enhance the opportunites for high-level professional education, govt is setting up news educational institutions: Kovind

To enhance the opportunites for high-level professional education, govt is setting up news educational institutions: Kovind
 
Every parent dreams that their children are well-read and continue to pursue good life. To enhance the opportunities for high-level professional education, the Government is setting up new educational institutions and setting up 7 IIT, 7 IIM, 14 IIIT's, 1 NIT.
Trying to double the income of farmers: President Kovind
 
'My Government is trying to double the income of the country's farmers. While understanding the needs of the farmers, the government strives for lasting solutions to their problems. More assistance to farmers in the whole process of buying agricultural equipment and seeds from the market to deliver and sell agricultural products, this is the priority of the government'.

President Kovind: 'Govt has enhanced India's credibility'

"Over the past four years, my government has communicated a new hope and confidence in the people, enhanced the credibility of the country and made effective efforts for social and economic transformation," said Kovind.

NDA to hold a meeting in the Parliament later today

The NDA will be holding a meeting in the Parliament later today, according to news agency ANI.
President Kovind: Under Jan Dhan Yojana, 34 crore people have opened a bank account and almost every family in the country is connected to the banking system. According to an international agency, 55% of the total bank accounts opened between 2014-2017 were opened in India itself.

MSP increased to empower farmers: President Kovind

The government is working on policies to empower farmers. The minimum support price (MSP) of crops has been increased to benefit farmers, President Kovind said.
Under the Prime Ministerial Fortune scheme, 2 crore, 47 lakh households have been given power connections. Now India is rapidly moving towards the situation where each household will have electricity and no family will be forced to live in darkness, he added. 

In the last four years, more than 1 crore houses have been built: President Kovind

Be it a city or a village, my Government is trying to strengthen the health-related infrastructure. The government is opening new medical colleges, upgrading district hospitals and opening a wellness centre in every major panchayat of the country.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee understood the plight of poor, says Kovind.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a prime minister who understood the miserable, sensitive issues including the problems of the poor. New departments, ministries and programmes were introduced for the masses, said President Kovind.

Government has tried find solutions to all kinds of injustice, says Kovind

To end all kinds of injustice in the country, my government has taken a lot of steps. We have decided to punish rapists of minors with death sentence. We have also brought up the issue of triple talaq to fight for the rights of women, President Kovind said at the joint sitting.
In the last four years, more than 1 crore houses have been built under the government's rural housing schemes: Kovind
As part of the 'mass drug project', 4,900 mass drug centres have been opened in more than 600 districts across the country so far. Medicines are being provided at more than 700 of such centres at very low cost, Kovind said.
We are well aware that the expense of curing diseases is a burden for the poor families. My Government launched 'Ayushaman India Scheme' last year: President Kovind President Kovind

The government is opening new medical colleges, upgrading district hospitals: Kovind

Be it a city or a village, my Government is trying to strengthen the health-related infrastructure. The government is opening new medical colleges, upgrading district hospitals and opening a wellness centre in every major panchayat of the country, said President Kovind

Citizenship Amendment Bill will make it easier to provide Indian Citizenship to those who had to take refuge, said Ram Nath Kovind

Citizenship Amendment Bill will make it easier to provide Indian Citizenship to those who had to take refuge in India after facing oppression in another country. They were not at fault, they were victims of situations like that, said Ram Nath Kovind.
The Prime Minister's ' Safety insurance plan' on premium of just 1 rupee month and the 90 money per day premium has been granted to nearly 21 crore poor siblings as insurance safety shields on ' prime Life Jyoti Insurance scheme': President Kovind

More than 6 crore gas connections in houses under the Ujjwala scheme: President Kovind

Most of our mothers, sisters and daughters, would remain sick because of the smoke released from stove and thus the health of the whole family was affected. Under the Ujjwala scheme, more than 6 crore gas connections have been given so far. After decades of effort, there were only 12 million gas connections in our country till the year 2014. In only four and a half years, my government has added a total of 13 crore households to the gas connection: President Kovind
As a result, my government has won immense affection and faith in the countrymen. The life of each of the people is better, that is the main mission of my Government: President Kovind
My government has taken a pledge for a 'New India', an India where nobody remains hungry, an India where everyone gets basic healthcare and education: President Kovind

Direct benefit transfers are reaching the poor without any pilferage, says Kovind.

I am happy to inform you all that the benefits of government schemes are reaching the masses, as had been aimed from the start. The poorest of poor are getting basic needs of life fulfilled, from healthcare to sanitation, education to cooking gas, and much more. The direct benefit transfers are also reaching the poor without any pilferage, he said.
The year marks the 70 anniversary of Constitution Day At the same historical Central hall, our great constituent manufacturers had created the Constitution of India. 2019 also marks the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who learned to live life with service sense and harmony, is also celebrating the same year: President Kovind
Healthcare is my government’s topmost priority. I am happy to inform you that the benefits of government’s schemes are reaching poorest of the poor: Kovind
Addressing the joint sitting in Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind said that over 9 crore toilets created under the Swacch Bharat Yojna has made the lives of thousands of women better and helped them to live with dignity.
President Ram Nath Kovind: We know that expenses on health makes a poor even poorer. My govt understood this and started Ayushman Bharat Yojana. In last 4 months more than 10 Lakh poor people availed health benefits in hospitals under this scheme.
My government is committed to a corruption free India, says Ram Nath Kovind.

India was going through a phase of uncertainty before 2014 elections, says Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind: The country was going through a phase of uncertainty before 2014 elections. After the election, my govt took up the initiative to form a 'New India.'
The government has given new hope to the people for a better future: President Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses the Parliament

President Nath Nath Kovind initiates his address to the parliament by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
Tomorrow, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will read out Interim Budget at 11 am.
The joint session of the Parliament will be held in the Central hall, where Kovind will address the MPs.

President Ram Nath Kovind leaves for the Parliament where he will address both Houses of Parliament before the Budget session.

PM Modi said lets remember the motto 'SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas' in the Budget session

Ahead of the Budget Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged parties to ensure the Parliament runs smoothly. He said that he welcomed debate and urged people to remember the motto 'SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas'.

President Ram Nath Kovind to address Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha.

The session will begin with President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the joint sitting of the two Houses.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel