New Delhi: Parliament reflects the supreme will of the people, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday in a strong criticism of disruption and obstruction and called upon all MPs to discharge their responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation.
In his customary address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament outlining government’s agenda in the coming financial year, he also declared that the government will constantly strive for smooth and construction conduct of Parliamentary business
“Our Parliament reflects the supreme will of the people. Democratic temper calls for debate and discussion, and not disruption of obstruction.
“My government will constantly strive for smooth and constructive conduct of Parliamentary business. I urge all Members of Parliament to discharge their solemn responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation. Let us all collectively endeavour to build a flourishing and prosperous India,” he said.
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.
The 20-page speech was heard in rapt attention by members in the central hall of Parliament whenever he spoke of the government achievements and new announcements.
“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.
In his address President said that Firm steps would be taken to deal with cross-border terrorism.
“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,” the President told a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
Expressing the government’s commitment to firmly deal with “all challenges concerning the security of the country,” he said terrorism was a global threat and “strong counter- terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it completely.”
Mukherjee said a landmark deal with Japan will make the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor a reality.
By March 2019, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, 1.78 lakh habitations will be connected with all-weather roads.
“My government has revived a majority of the 73 stalled road projects, completed construction of 7,200 km of high ways and awarded 12,900 km of highway projects which is the highest-ever number of new highway kilometres awarded,” he said amidst thumping of desks by members.
India, the President, said is a haven of stability in an increasingly turbulent global economy. GDP growth has increased making India the world’s fastest growing economy among large economies. Inflation, fiscal deficit and current account deficit have all decreased.
India recorded the highest-ever foreign exchange reserves in 2015, he said.