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Address by the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee to the Joint Session of both houses of Parliament

News and Press Release - Dated:- 23-2-2016 - Honourable Members, 1. In this Basant season of renewal and growth, I welcome you all to the Joint Sitting of the Two Houses of the Parliament. I am confident that your deliberations will live up to the trust reposed in us by our fellow citizens, and going forth, we will all be partners in the progress and development of our great country. 2. During my address to the Joint Sitting last year, I had outlined the visionary initiatives undertaken by my Go .....

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ple guides all the programmes of my Government. My Government, in particular is focused on Garibon ki Unnati (Poverty Eradication), Kisaano ki Samriddhi (Farmers Prosperity) and Yuvaon ko Rojgaar (Massive Employment Generation). Honourable Members, 4. The overriding goal for my Government is poverty eradication. Gandhiji said and I quote Poverty is the worst form of violence (unquote). The essence of progress lies in bringing a sense of fulfillment to the poor and the deprived, the marginalized .....

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eed them the most, when they need them the most. Last year, I had spoken of the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna. Today, I am proud to say that it is the world's most successful financial inclusion programme. Under the programme, out of over twenty one crore accounts opened, fifteen crore accounts are operational with an aggregate deposit of over Rupees thirty two thousand crore. The programme has gone beyond mere opening of bank accounts, to becoming a platform for poverty eradicatio .....

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truction of about 2 crore houses to benefit primarily slum dwellers, urban poor and people from economically weaker sections and lower income groups of society. The Mission intends to cover all 4041 statutory towns in coming 5 years. In its first year alone, 2011 towns/cities in 27 states have been included under this Mission. A total of over four lakh twenty five thousand houses have been sanctioned with a project cost of over rupees twenty four thousand six hundred crore. 8. Targeted subsidies .....

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LPG consumers have voluntarily surrendered their LPG subsidy under the campaign. The highest number of new cooking gas connections to the rural poor were distributed in 2015. 10. Dr. Ambedkar had said and I quote Political Democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it a social democracy (unquote). Social justice with inclusion is the first promise of our Constitution and the poor and the backward are the focus of my Government. The Scheduled Castes and The Scheduled Tribes (Preventio .....

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people and to serve this end, my Government has allocated more than 50% of the Ministry of Minority Affairs budget to scholarship funds. Two new schemes; Nai Manzil and USTAA Daimed to empower the minorities, have been launched. Currently about 20,000 madarasa children are undergoing skill training under the Nai Manzil scheme. Everlasting Flame, an exhibition to showcase the life, history and the culture of the Parsi community is being organized next month. Honourable Members, 12. Kisaano ki Sa .....

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farmers. It has many firsts to its credit like national coverage of post-harvest losses due to inundation and unseasonal rains, no capping on Government subsidy, and use of technology for early and accurate settlement of claims. Assistance to farmers afflicted by natural calamity has been increased by 50% and eligibility norms have been relaxed. 13. Soil Health Cards will be distributed to all 14 crore farm-holdings by March, 2017 and will result in judicious application of fertilizers, lowerin .....

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ified National Agriculture Market is working towards setting up a common e-market platform to connect 585 regulated wholesale markets, thereby making India One food zone, One Country, One Market. This will immensely benefit our farmers in getting fair and remunerative prices. Targeted policy interventions in the last year have brought down sugarcane arrears from over ₹ 21,000 crore to ₹ 720 crore. 16. My Government notified the New Urea Policy-2015 with the objective of maximizing in .....

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es sectors in the socio-economic development of the country. India continues to be the biggest milk producing country with an impressive growth rate of 6.3%. Implementation of Poultry Venture Capital Fund and Rural Backyard Poultry Development has led to highest ever egg production. A Blue Revolution is underway to ensure the integrated development and management of fisheries, with a central outlay of Rupees three thousand crore. 18. To fully harness the agricultural potential of eastern States, .....

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ssing Fund has been operationalized last year to provide affordable credit to designated Food Parks. In the last 19 months, five new Mega Food Parks have been operationalized. Under the Cold Chain Scheme, 33 projects have been made operational during the last 18 months. 20. Rural development is one of our top priorities. The grant of over Rupees two lakh crores by the 14thFinance Commission over a five year period from 2015-16, exclusively for Gram Panchayats has been received with great enthusi .....

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are driving job creation through an integrated set of initiatives including Make in India, Start up India, Mudra, Skill India, etc. 22. My Government s innovative initiatives have helped India jump up 12 places in the latest rankings by the World Bank on Ease of Doing Business. Notably, the Make in India initiative has achieved a 39% increase in FDI inflow despite an adverse global investment climate. 23. My Government has fostered competitive cooperation among various States to enhance Ease of .....

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rovide large-scale employment. Banks have cumulatively disbursed over Rupees one lakh crore to more than 2.6 crore borrowers under the PM s Mudra Yojana, of which 2.07 crore are women entrepreneurs. Udyog Aadhar Portal has been set up to facilitate online registration of MSMEs. My Government has decided to set up rural livelihood and technology business incubators to boost entrepreneurship in the agriculture and rural sector. The Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme is a new vertical to s .....

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onvert job seekers into job creators. My Government has launched the Start-Up India campaign which would deepen, expand and support the innovation eco system in the country. 27. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been revamped to ensure the efficient disbursements of wages, increased transparency and creation of productive assets. Mission Antyodaya - an intensive Participatory Planning Exercise has reached 2569 most backward blocks, to identify the kind of assets t .....

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cation have been set up. Two Indian Institutes of Technology, six Indian Institutes of Management, one Indian Institute of Science Education and Research and one National Institute of Technology have started functioning. My government has given impetus to research through the launch of IMPRINT India whereby scientific goalposts have been identified in 10 fields of research ranging from Defence to Sustainable Living. To enable increased interaction between foreign faculty and our students, under .....

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ersons from all the SAARC countries participated. The games were the biggest ever sporting event in North East India. 32. I am happy to inform that we have successfully eliminated Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus well before the global targeted timeline of December, 2015. The largest number of children ever fully immunized in a single year was in 2015. 33. My Government is leveraging KAYAKALP, an inter-institution ranking system to bring about extensive improvement in cleanliness in our health inst .....

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nistries and programmes with a clear focus on measurable outcomes. Infrastructure required for effective implementation of the Integrated Child Development Scheme is being strengthened in convergence with other programmes. Two lakh Anganwadi buildings are being constructed in 2,534 most backward Blocks under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme over a period of four years. 36. My Government has launched the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyanas a nation-wide campaign for achieving univer .....

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h from waste, my Government has formulated policies on mandatory procurement of power from waste to energy plants, co-marketing of compost by chemicals and fertilizer companies, and use of construction and demolition waste. 38. My Government firmly believes that economic development and environmental protection can co-exist. At the crucial Climate Summit in Paris, India's position for climate justice, sustainable lifestyles and clean development was widely supported. Real time online monitor .....

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r conservation and management involving all stakeholders including Gram Panchayats. As part of the Namami Gange Programme, my Government is implementing several projects in all 118 cities and complete sanitation solutions for 1,649 gram panchayats, on the banks of the holy Ganga. Honourable Members 40. My Government has taken several measures to improve the quality of governance. Significant steps have been taken to reform institutions, simplify procedures and repeal obsolete laws. Close to 1800 .....

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f India to ensure absolute transparency in recruitment to Government jobs. 41. While on the one hand, my Government has taken measures to eliminate the scope for corruption, on the other hand, it has been unsparing in punishing those who are found guilty of corruption. Stringent amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act are also on the anvil to address the perceived gaps in anti-corruption law. Honourable Members 42. Robust infrastructure development unlocks opportunities for all. My Govern .....

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olicy, bundling of thermal power with solar power, setting up solar parks in States, etc. Installed solar capacity has almost doubled in the last 20 months and crossed 5000 MW. Today under my Government, solar power is affordable and accessible to thousands of people. 44. Since the Government assumed office, energy shortages have been reduced from 4 to 2.3%. My Government is committed to providing electricity to all the census villages by May 2018. My Government has launched the Ujwal DISCOM Ass .....

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outh India, finally moving towards the goal of One Nation, One Grid, One Price. To revive gas based power generation capacity, my Government implemented a new initiative of supply of Refined LNG. This has ensured revival of stranded gas plants with installed capacity of 11,717 MW. In the year 2015 India witnessed the highest ever generation of electricity. 46. My Government has introduced critical amendments in the Tariff Policy for ensuring availability of electricity to consumers at reasonable .....

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. These will immensely benefit the eastern States in the years to come. Strong emphasis on increasing coal production has resulted in a record 9.8% growth in CIL's coal production and highest ever output of coal. This has also led to reduced imports of coal. Honourable Members, 48.To give a boost to the mining sector and to bring in transparency in the allocation of mineral resources, the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act, 1957 was amended and auction of mines has commenced. .....

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ousand nine hundred crore. The project is expected to generate employment for about one lakh persons, both direct and indirect. Honourable Members, 50. My Government has initiated several ambitious measures for improving sanitation standards at Railway Stations and Trains. Samman guides us in our endeavor to phase out the open discharge of sewage from trains and combat manual scavenging. All new coaches are now being fitted with bio-toilets. Focus has also been on Doubling, Gauge Conversion and .....

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9, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, one lakh seventy eight thousand rural habitations will be connected with all weather roads. My Government has revived a majority of the 73 stalled road projects, completed construction of 7,200 km of highways and awarded 12,900 km of highway projects which is the highest ever number of new highway kilometers awarded. 53. My Government has formulated an umbrella scheme, Bharatmala at an estimated cost of over Rupees two lakh sixty seven thousand cror .....

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ent cases. Honourable Members, 54. To rejuvenate the Shipping sector with focus on Make in India, my Government has launched a scheme for financial assistance to domestic shipyards. Several steps for improving the operational efficiency of major ports and for simplifying rules and processes have been initiated. In 2015, India achieved the fastest average turnaround time in ports and the highest ever quantity of cargo handled by major ports. My Government is keen on promoting extensive use of inl .....

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ventions and subsequent rationalization of duty structure in mobile handset manufacturing industry has led to near doubling of mobile handset production in the current year. Transparent and efficient auction of spectrum has fetched highest ever price of about Rupees one lakh ten thousand crore. Policies like Spectrum trading and sharing have been finalized for optimum utilization of resources. 57. The country recorded the highest ever software exports during 2015. Under BharatNet, the architectu .....

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puterization and networking of 1,55,000 Post Offices in the country, will be completed by 2017. The proposed Postal Payment Bank of India will further boost financial inclusion. Honourable Members, 59. My Government has embarked on several significant projects such as National Supercomputing Mission, Improving Fuel Efficiency and Controlling Emissions. My Government has launched Science & Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM) initiative to explore the modern scientific roots of our trad .....

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r development under Swadesh Darshan Scheme and PRASAD Scheme respectively. 62. Radio has once again emerged as the people s medium. Establishment of new radio stations has received a fresh impetus. The good response to the successful and transparent bidding for the first batch of private FM Radio for phase III comprising 135 channels in 69 cities augurs well for the medium. Honourable members, 63. India is a haven of stability in an increasingly turbulent global economy. GDP growth has increased .....

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and moved to a fully transparent and meritocratic recruiting process. We have also issued 23 banking licenses after a long hiatus of ten years. 65. The Government's concerted efforts to tackle the menace of black money have started yielding results. With the enactment of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, a stringent legislative framework has been put in place to combat the menace. 66. The Government has launched the Gold Monetization Sc .....

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ourable Members, 68.My Government is fully committed to firmly deal with all challenges concerning the security of the country. Terrorism is a global threat and strong counter-terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it completely. Let me congratulate the security forces in successfully foiling the recent attack at the Pathankot air base by terrorists. Firm and effective steps will be taken to deal with any situation arising out of cross-border terrorism. 69.There has been signifi .....

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th the people who have faced natural calamities and has immediately forwarded physical and financial resources to the States to handle such disasters. An amount of more than Rupees thirteen thousand crore has been released under State and National Disaster Response Fund. Honourable Members, 71. Defence procurement procedure has been streamlined with a focus on indigenously designed, developed and manufactured weapon systems. We are working to ensure that our Armed Forces will be equipped with th .....

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e Emergency Response Systems, a Central Victim Compensation Fund, Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children, and Organized Crime Investigative Agency and an Integrated Emergency Response Management System for women's safety on the railways. 73. We are indebted to those who inspire by their selfless service and their supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. Acknowledgement must not hinge on ceremony or noble gestures of gratitude alone. In spite of huge financial implication of more tha .....

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world is one family. My Government is committed to this principle and its expression is most resonant in the steps we have taken in reaching out to our neighbours. Last year, my Government adopted the historic Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, leading to the peaceful exchange of disputed territories between our two countries. The signing of the Motor Vehicles Agreement between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal, will provide seamless connectivity and further strengthen ties. We have been .....

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providing support to the people of Afghanistan in realising their dream of building a stable, inclusive and democratic nation. Dedication of the Afghanistan Parliament to its people by Prime Minister Modi was our contribution to Afghanistan's pursuit of peace and prosperity. 76. We reached out to the world, both on land and sea. Of 54 participating nations, the India-Africa Summit, attended by Heads of States and Governments from 41 countries, has rejuvenated India's relations with the .....

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limate change by launching an International Solar Alliance that has been universally acknowledged. We remain at the forefront of the global fight against terrorism. Sustained Indian efforts have led to concrete action for reforming the UN Security Council. India has also provided strong leadership and new vision to regional and international groupings like BRICS, G-20, WTO, East Asia Summit, ASEAN and the SCO. 78. My Government has enhanced NRI and PIO engagement by making it easier for them to .....

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