NEW DELHI(PTI): President Pranab Mukherjee, in his address to a joint session of Parliament, called upon all MPs to discharge their responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation.
He also declared that the government would strive for smooth and constructive conduct of Parliamentary business.
The President remarks assume significance in the context of repeated disruption of business on various issues, loss of time of Parliament and the stalling of legislative business in Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority.
“Let noble thoughts come from all directions, should be the spirit behind the debate in this temple of democracy. Being a member of this great institution bestows great honour as well as important responsibilities,” Mr. Mukherjee said.
On national security
Asserting that the government is fully committed to firmly dealing with all challenges concerning the security of the country, the President said terrorism is a global threat and strong counter-terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it.
“Let me congratulate the security forces in successfully foiling the recent attack at the Pathankot airbase by terrorists. Firm and effective steps will be taken to deal with any situation arising out of cross-border terrorism,” he said.
He said the government believes in a secure and prosperous future for the neighbourhood while committing itself to the principle of ‘the world is one family’.
The President said the government is committed to forging a “mutually respectful relationship” with Pakistan and in creating an environment of cooperation in combating cross-border terrorism.
‘Development for all’
The President also said the country must ensure that the poor and deprived are truly empowered to take advantage of opportunities to improve their lives.
“Development for all means that backward sections of society are equally valued and are genuine stakeholders in the country’s progress. Development for all implies that we tackle the pollution, traffic, and garbage problems that plague our cities,” he said.
He said the government is focused on poverty eradication, farmers’ prosperity and massive employment generation.
“The overriding goal for my government is poverty eradication,” he said, adding the poorest of the poor were entitled to the first charge on the nation’s resources.
‘Setting up of e-platform for farmers’
The Government is setting up a national online agriculture market platform to connect 585 regulated wholesale markets to ensure fair remunerative prices for the farmers, the President said.
Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament, he said, ‘Kisaano ki Samriddhi’ (the well-being of farmers) is vital to India’s prosperity.
“To provide the best market price to farmers, the unified National Agriculture Market is working towards setting up a common e-market platform to connect 585 regulated wholesale markets, thereby making India, One Food Zone, One Country, One Market.”
Mr. Mukherjee said the government has taken several steps for welfare of farmers, like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, which is the biggest ever government contribution to crop insurance with the lowest ever premium rates for farmers.
He said soil health cards will be issued to 14 crore farm holdings by March 2017.