Welfare of poor, dalits, & deprived is at core of Central govt policies: President

31 January, New Delhi

President Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday said resilience and forbearance demonstrated by countrymen recently in fight against black money and corruption is remarkable.

Addressing the Joint Sitting of both Houses of Parliament ahead of budget session, Mr Mukherjee favoured a constructive debate on simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Assemblies and funding of polls to eradicate money power. He said Frequent elections put on hold development programmes, disrupt normal public life and impact essential services and burden human resource with prolonged period of election duty.

In the speech, which is the Government’s narrative on what it had done during the year and what it plans to do in the new financial year, the President said, financial inclusion is key to poverty alleviation. The President said the Direct Benefit Transfer Programme of subsidies through the JanDhan-Aadhar-Mobile trinity has prevented leakages and helped save 36 thousand crore rupees.

The President said, the Indian Postal Payment Bank has been started to take the banking system to the doorstep of the poor and the unbanked. Mukherjee said Janashakti has transformed Swachh Bharat Mission into a mass movement.

The President said, welfare of the the poor , dalit, the exploited and the deprived, farmers, labourers and youth is at the core of all of the Central government policies. He said, over 2 Lakh Crore rupees have been provided through 5.6 crore loans sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. He said over 16000 crore rupees have been made available to SHGs in the current Financial Year under Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana.

Mukherjee said, over 11 thousand villages have been electrified in a record time under Deen Dayal Upadhayay Gram Jyoti Yojana. The President said, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana will make clean energy accessible to the poor as 37 percent of the Ujjwala beneficiaries belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Saying that his Government has taken many initiatives to improve the quality of life of the poor, Mukherjee said, the Government is committed to provide shelter to every houseless poor through the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana. He said, over two lakh crore rupees are being transferred to gram panchayats during 2015-20.

Batting for equal opportunity for women, Mukherjee said, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign is yielding encouraging results. He said his government is making Nari Shakti an integral part of the development journey and the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan will provide comprehensive ante-natal care to all pregnant women. He said, the revision of Maternity Benefit Act will support pregnant women at the workplace.

He said, with motto of ‘Har Haath ko Hunar’, the government has taken several steps for skilling youth and improving their employability and National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme has been launched with a budget outlay of ten thousand crore rupees. He said, Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana was launched for promoting entrepreneurship education and training amongst seven lakh students.

Mukherjee said government is opening up road and rail routes to neighbouring countries connecting with the North Eastern states to boost the economic development of the region. He said the government is committed to combating terrorism, and to ensure that the perpetrators of such acts are brought to justice.

Concluding his speech, the President said the vision of Mahatma Gandhi other founding fathers has laid down a great path for a resurgent India, where the path is of debate, discussion, accommodation and understanding. He said it is the rich tradition of Samvaad, Samanvay and Samvedna will continue to guide the spirit of nation building.

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