New Delhi, January 29: "चुनौती कितनी ही बड़ी क्यों न हो, न हम रुकेंगे और न भारत रुकेगा", quoted President Ram Nath Kovind on the very first day of the Budget session. This is after the 18 opposition parties present in the Parliament today announced to boycott the President's address. As India enters into the 75th year of Independence, President added that 2021 marked a new year, a new decade and that this Budget session would be very important for the bright future of India.
President, in his first remark paid heartfelt tributes to the citizens, MPs who lost their lives to the Corona virus pandemic. "I am satisfied that the timely decision taken by my Government saved the lives of lakhs of citizens. Today the number of new COVID cases is going down rapidly. The number of recoveries is very high", he added. Here's what more he said on more issues ahead of FinMin tabling the Economic Survey 2020-21 in Parliament today, which provides a summary of the annual economic development across the country during the financial year-
- It is a matter of pride that India is running the biggest vaccination program in the world. Both vaccines of this program are made in India. In this crisis India shouldered its responsibility towards mankind & provided lakhs of doses of vaccines to several nations
- The facilities of Ayushman Bharat Yojana can be availed in any of the 24,000 hospitals across the nation. The poor are getting medicines at very low costs at 7000 centres across the country, under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana
- The national flag and a holy day like Republic Day were insulted in the past few days. The Constitution that provides us Freedom of Expression, is the same Constitution that teaches us that law & rules have to be followed seriously
- Small and marginal farmers are also a priority for my Govt. To support such farmers in their small expenses, around Rs 1,13,000 crores have been transferred directly to their accounts, under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi
- My Govt would like to clarify that the rights and facilities that were available before the formation of the three #FarmLaws have not been cut short, in fact with these new agricultural reforms the Govt has provided new facilities & rights to farmers
- Centre-State coordination has strengthened democracy
- Last govts had made efforts for construction of a new Parliament building. It's a delightful coincidence that the nation started construction while moving towards 75th year of independence. The building will provide more facilities to MPs in carrying out their duties
- The nation is recovering from the damage that the economy suffered while saving the life of every Indian during the Corona period. Even in this difficult time, India has emerged as an attractive destination for global investors
- Extermism in the northeast is heading towards its end, the incidents of violence are declining. The youth that had gone astray is returning to the mainstream of development and nation-building
- The rehabilitation of Bru refugees is being carried out peacefully. The historic Bodo peace agreement was also signed and successfully implemented. Bodoland Territorial Council election took place successfully after the agreement
- President Kovind says his government is working on an ambitious plan of 'Jal Jeevan Mission'. "Under this, along with delivering every house water, water conservation is also being done at a rapid pace. Under this campaign 10 million families have been connected to the pipe water supply so far," he says
Earlier this morning, PM Modi while addressing the media said, "A golden opportunity has come before the nation to fulfill the dreams seen by the freedom fighters. This is the Budget Session. For the first time in India's history, in a way, the Finance Minister had to present 4-5 mini budgets in 2020 in the form of different packages. So this Budget will be seen as a part of those 4-5 mini budgets, I believe this", he added.
Meanwhile, the very first day of the Budget session witnessed acrimonious scenes, with the opposition parties preparing a strategy to corner the government on issues like farmer protest, recession, job losses, handling of COVID crisis and LAC stand-off with China. A total of 18 Opposition parties including the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, National Conference, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI, Indian Union Muslim League, RSP, Peoples Democratic Party, MDMK, Kerala Congress (M) and the All India United Democratic Front had earlier announced to boycott the President's address.
The Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party also separately announced their decision of boycotting the President's address. There are over 20 opposition parties in Parliament. The President's address will be followed by the presentation of the Economic Survey. The Union Budget will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. Both the Houses will also debate on the Motion of thanks to the President's address after the budget presentation. The session will be held in two parts, January 29 to February 15 and March 8 to April 8 and will have a total of 33 sittings.