New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday gave an address to a joint sitting of Parliament to mark the beginning of the budget session of Parliament. The address was significant as it comes ahead of the last Parliament session of the 16th Lok Sabha before the upcoming general elections slated for later this year. In his address, Kovind emphasized on the idea of a ‘new India’ and following are the five key takeaways:
New India – The President provided an overall theme, summing up the work of the government as efforts to build a new India, which includes access to basic amenities.
Defence – Amongst an ongoing political controversy over the Rafale deal, Kovind said “neglecting the country’s defence needs even for a moment is detrimental to the present as well as future of the country".
Corruption – Kovind highlighted how the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government “has come down heavily on corruption in the past four-and-a-half years" and lauded demonetization as one of the key steps in curbing black money.
Health and sanitation – The President said the government’s focus has been on ‘reducing the burden of out of pocket expenses on medical care for the poor and the middle class’ by several schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana among others.
Jobs – Kovind spoke about government schemes which have promoted employment, including the push for “Start up, Stand up India", and added that 1 crore youth have benefitted from the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana.