Unveiling the vision of a strong, resurgent nation, India’s President Pranab Mukherjee presented the priorities of the Narendra Modi-led government, which includes reviving “Brand India” and spurring economic rejuvenation through a slew of reforms and policy innovations.
Addressing a joint session of the Parliament in Delhi June 9, the president underlined that reviving economic growth will be the top priority of the newly-inducted government, but also emphasised that growth will be blended with social inclusion and commitment to uplift the poor.
Echoing poll promises of Modi and his soaring vision of restoring India’s global stature, Mukherjee said that Brand India will ride on its strengths of five ‘T’s—tradition, talent, tourism, trade and technology. The new government’s economic revival plan include bolstering infrastructure, increasing tax collection, rationalization of the tax regime, easing procedures for attracting FDI, a single window clearance. In his wide-ranging speech, the president admitted that the Indian economy was going through a difficult phase with the GDP growth dipping to less than 5 percent. He stressed on the government’s commitment to rein in inflation and fast-track growth by encouraging investments, including through FDI and accelerating the creation of jobs.
The new government, the president said, will focus on transforming India into a globally competitive manufacturing hub riding on “skill, scale and speed,” – the mantra of national rejuvenation outlined by Prime Minsister Narendra Modi.
The president also unveiled plans to set up world class investment industrial and industrial regions along the dedicated freight as well as Industrial corridors throughout the country.
“Putting the Indian economy back on track is paramount for my government. We will work together to usher our economy into a high growth path, rein in inflation, reignite the investment cycle, accelerate job creation and restore the confidence of the domestic as well as international community in our economy,” he said.
Invoking Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s slogan, ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat,’ (United India, Supreme India), Mukherjee underscored Modi’s mantra of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’ and dwelled upon the road ahead for the newly elected National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Here are the highlights of the speech:
- The people of India have given a clear mandate. They want to see a vibrant, dynamic and prosperous India. They want to see a resurgent India regaining the admiration and respect of the international community.
- By successively electing women Speakers, the Lok Sabha has re-affirmed our age-old belief in the importance of women in our society.
- Poverty has no religion, hunger has no creed, and despair has no geography. The greatest challenge before us is to end the curse of poverty in India.
- Containing food inflation will be the topmost priority for my government.
- A substantial part of investment will focus on creating community assets and improving basic infrastructure such as roads, shelter, power and drinking water.
- Steps will be taken to convert farming into a profitable venture through scientific practices and Agro-technology.
- My government will complete the long pending irrigation projects on priority and launch the ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana’ with the motto of ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’.
- With the motto of “Har Haath Ko Hunar”, my government will strive to break the barriers between formal education and skill development, and put in place a mechanism to give academic equivalence to vocational qualifications.
- My government will formulate a New Health Policy and roll out a National Health Assurance Mission. It will promote Yoga and AYUSH.
- For ensuring hygiene, waste management and sanitation across the nation a “Swachh Bharat Mission” will be launched.
- For the Scheduled Tribes, my government will launch a dedicated “Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana”. Electrification of tribal hamlets and connecting them with all-weather roads will be a priority area.
- With a commitment of “Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao”, my government will launch a mass campaign for saving the girl child and enabling her education. The government will have a policy of zero tolerance for violence against women, and will strengthen the criminal justice system for its effective implementation.
- Sensitivity to security concerns and end to export of terrorism to neighbors is needed for stability in the region.
- Will further work together with South Asian leaders to revitalize SAARC as an effective instrument for regional cooperation.
- Government is determined to rid the country of the scourge of corruption and menace of black money.
- The backbone of my government’s new ways of working will be a Digital India.
- Putting the Indian economy back on track is paramount for my government. We will work together to usher our economy into a high growth path, rein in inflation, reignite the investment cycle, accelerate job creation and restore the confidence of the domestic as well as international community in our economy.
- My government will transform Employment Exchanges into Career Centers – connecting our youth with job opportunities in a transparent and effective manner through the use of technology as well as through counselling and training.
- Modernization and revamping of Railways is on top of the infrastructure agenda. My government will launch a Diamond Quadrilateral project of high speed trains.
- A fast, time-bound and well monitored programme for execution of the National Highways programme will be initiated, to overcome the stagnancy of the past few years.
- The aim of the government will be to substantially augment electricity generation capacity through judicious mix of conventional and non-conventional sources.
- Making urbanization as an opportunity rather than a challenge, the government will build 100 Cities focussed on specialized domains and equipped with world class amenities.
- The government will earnestly take up mitigation works to meet the challenges posed by climate change and will closely work with the global community in this regard. Conservation of Himalayan ecology will be a priority area for my government. A National Mission on Himalayas will be launched.
- My government will take all necessary steps to ensure a perennial, clean and pristine Ganga.
- My government will launch a national mission “e-Bhasha” that will develop digital vernacular content and disseminate our classic literature in different languages.
- The government will also establish institutes of Technology for Rural Development and a Central University of Himalayan Studies.
- My government will do everything to repay the debt of our brave and selfless soldiers. It will appoint a Veterans Commission to address their grievances, so that they know that we don’t stop caring for them when they retire from active service.
- We will never shy away from raising issues of concern to us at a bilateral level. We emphasize that the future of shared prosperity can only be built on the foundation of stability in the region, which requires sensitivity to security concerns and an end to export of terrorism to neighbours.
- My Government will engage energetically with other neighbours in our region, including China, with whom we will work to further develop our Strategic and Cooperative Partnership.
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