Key takeaways from President Ram Nath Kovind's address in Parliament

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said that no matter how tough the challenge is "neither we nor India will stop"
Last Updated 01 April 2021, 10:25 IST

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said that no matter how tough the challenge is "neither we nor India will stop" and the MPs present in the Parliament are sending away this message.

Lauding the government's effort to control the Covid-19 pandemic, Kovind said, "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 and provided lakhs of doses of vaccines to several nations."

While many Opposition parties boycotted his address, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu raised slogans demanding a repeal of three farm laws while the President was speaking in Parliament.

Here are the key takeaways from the President's address at the Joint Session of Parliament:

> President Kovid said that Atmanirbhar Bharat is improving the quality of lives of farmers. "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 7,000 centres across the country, under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana," he added.

> The President paid tribute to former President Pranab Mukherjee and six MPs who passed away due to Covid-19.

> On the government's handling of the pandemic, he said he was "satisfied that the timely decision taken by my Government saved the lives of lakhs of citizens". He added, "Today the number of new Covid-19 cases is going down rapidly. The number of recoveries is very high."

> Talking about the recent violence in Delhi on Republic Day, the President noted, "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 and rules have to be followed seriously."

> In his speech, President Kovind reached out to the protesting farmers. He said, "Small and marginal farmers are also a priority for my government. To support such farmers in their small expenses, around Rs 1,13,000 crore have been transferred directly to their accounts, under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi."

> The President highlighted various schemes started by the government that improved employment opportunities to women, transgenders and access to healthcare facilities.

> "Centre-State coordination has strengthened democracy," Kovind said.

> Stating that the Parliament passed three important farm laws after extensive deliberations seven months ago, Kovid said, "My government would like to clarify that the rights and facilities that were available before the formation of the three farm laws have not been cut short, in fact with these new agricultural reforms the government has provided new facilities and rights to farmers."

> "No matter how big the challenge is, we will not stop, India will not stop," the President said.

> "Last governments 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," he said.

> President Kovid said that the nation is recovering from the damage that the economy suffered while saving the life of every Indian during the coronavirus period. "Even in this difficult time, India has emerged as an attractive destination for global investors," he added.

> The President also spoke about extremism and incidents of violence in the Northeast. "Extremism 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 Ram Nath Kovind said.

> In the ongoing standoff between India and China along the eastern border in Ladakh, the President said, "Twenty jawans made the supreme sacrifice in Galwan valley in June 2020. Every citizen is grateful to these martyrs. My government is committed to the protection of the interests of the nation. Extra Forces have been deployed at LAC for protection of India's sovereignty."

The President's customary address marks the beginning of the Budgetary Session in Parliament.

(Published 29 January 2021, 06:33 IST)

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