President Mukherjee calls for debate, not disruption, upbeat on India growth story

Budget session

Setting the stage for the Budget session of parliament, India’s President Pranab Mukherjee conjured up a robust picture of the Indian economy and underlined the need for “debate and discussions in parliament, and not disruption or obstruction.” In a joint address to Parliament on the opening day of the budget session on February 23, Mr Mukherjee stressed that India has emerged as a haven of stability in a turbulent global economy and the GDP growth had increased, making India the world’s fastest growing economy among the large economies in the world.

Putting inclusive growth and development at the heart of the government’s socio-economic agenda, the president stressed on the development philosophy of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,’ which is the self-proclaimed anthem of the Modi government. The NDA government will present their third budget on February 29.

Enumerating a slew of initiatives undertaken by the Indian government and its accomplishments during the year, the president’s address highlighted a balance between economic reforms and social welfare of the masses in the government’s overall approach towards economic rejuvenation of the country. While economic reforms continues to dominate the discourse in the media and other events hosted by industrial bodies and lobby groups, Mr Mukherjee gave adequate space for welfare in his address and highlighted the importance of the welfare schemes implemented by the government.  During his address Mr Mukherjee said that the government is focused on the welfare of poor, farmers and jobs for the youth. “Government is committed to the philosophy of ‘per drop, more crop’,” he said.“My Govt. is also focused on ‘Garibon Ki Unnati’, ‘Kisano Ki Samridhi’ and ‘Yuvaon Ka Rozgar’,” he added.

In the wake of an increasing number of suicides among farmers in the country, Mr Mukherjee reasserted that the well being of farmers is vital to India’s prosperity and to ensure the same he said that the assistance provided to farmers afflicted by natural calamity has been increased by 50 percent and eligibility norms have been relaxed. Focusing on rural development is one of the important priorities of the government, he said. He also spoke about the government’s commitment to provide ‘Housing for all’. The issue of financial inclusion and social security found a mention in his address.

Highlighting the economic reforms undertaken by the government, Mr Mukherjee spoke about the ‘Make in India’ initiative which achieved an increase of 39 percent FDI inflows despite a dispiriting global investment climate. He also emphasized on the comprehensive reforms in coal sector and conducting transparent auction in the allotment of over 70 coal blocks.

Underscoring the importance of infrastructure development, Mr Mukherjee elaborated that it would expand and support innovation ecosystem in the country. The setting up of world-class infrastructure for electronics manufacturing across the country remaining a priority of the government was mentioned during the address.

Amid an eloquent enunciation of the government’s key priorities, the message that’s going to ring out loud is the president’s exhortation on smooth conduct of the parliament’s business. The president underlined  the government’s resolve to move ahead with the opposition parties and said it would work towards “smooth and constructive” conduct of Parliamentary business.

“Our Parliament reflects the supreme will of the people. Democratic temper calls for debate and discussion, and not disruption or obstruction. Aa No Bhadra Kratvo Yantu Viswataha—let noble thoughts come from all directions, should be the spirit behind debate in this temple of democracy. Being a member of this great institution bestows great honour as well as important responsibilities,” Mr Mukherjee said in his address. “My government will constantly strive for smooth and constructive conduct of Parliamentary business. I urge all members of the Parliament to discharge their solemn responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation.”


Here are some highlights from President Pranab Mukherjee’s joint address of the budget session of the parliament on February 23.

Our Parliament reflects the supreme will of the people. Democratic temper calls for debate and discussion, and not disruption or obstruction

  • Rural development is one of our top priorities.
  • My Govt. is focused on the welfare of poor, farmers and jobs for the youth.
  • Highest urea production was achieved in 2015. The Govt. realises the role of animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries sectors.
  • The Govt. has envisaged increasing the renewable energy capacity manifold to 175 GW by 2022.
  • Highest ever increase in rail capital expenditure was achieved in 2015.
  • Building upon the success over the past year, the Govt.’s endeavour is to scale new heights in space research.
  •  Inflation, fiscal deficit and current account deficit have decreased.
  • India recorded its highest ever foreign exchange reserves in 2015.
  •  We are working to ensure that our Armed Forces are equipped with the most capable and sophisticated armaments in the world.
  • The Govt. played a proactive role in addressing climate change by launching International Solar Alliance.


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