In his address to the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament in the historic Central Hall, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday urged the Parliamentarians to extend their support to eradicate malpractices such as triple talaq and 'nikah-halala' in order to ensure equal rights to the women of the country.
"To provide equal rights to the women, it is imperative to eliminate evil practices such as 'triple talaq' and 'nikah halala'. I would urge all the members of the parliament to help bring a change and ensure a better and respectable future to the daughters of our country," he said.
The President gave his customary address to Parliament in the historic Central Hall after the formation of the 17th Lok Sabha.
"Empowerment of the women is the top priority of my government. The empowerment of the women and their effective participation in the economy and in society is the real test of a developed nation. Under the National Livelihood Mission, more than two lakh crore has been given to approximately three crore women living in rural areas so far," he added.
In his 60-minute speech, the President also spoke about the ongoing water crisis in the country and stressed that there is a dire need for the country to work towards water conservation.
"The water conservations in India are disappearing at a faster pace. In lakes and ponds, the water is depleting, therefore, resulting in the escalation of the water crisis for the poor. We must save water for our future generation. The formation of the new 'Hydropower Ministry' is a good move and will have far-reaching benefits," he said and added, "We (The government) are ensuring to provide clean drinking water and water availability for agriculture."
After extending his heartiest congratulations to all newly elected Members, the President highlighted the various initiatives taken by the Centre in the last five years stating that the government created opportunities for poorer sections of the youth in education and of appointment.
The President also added that under the Prime Minister's Mudra Yojana, around 19 crore loans have been given so far for self-employment adding that the scheme will now be expanded to as many as 30 crore people.
"A loan plan of up to Rs 50 lakh will also be introduced without guarantee for entrepreneurs," he added.
Kovind said his government is committed to improving the lives of the people residing across India.
"The people of the country have given a very clear mandate in the elections. After evaluating the government's first term, the countrymen have given even stronger support for the second time. By doing so, the countrymen have mandated the development journey since 2014 to be unimpeded and fast-moving," he said.
"From day one, my Government is committed to the goal of improving the lives of all the countrymen, removing their sufferings from misgovernance and providing all the necessary facilities to the last man of the society. My government worked on Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas," he added.
President Kovind also touched about the issue of growing menace of terrorism and said that the country had demonstrated its intentions and capabilities by carrying out air strikes on terrorist targets across the border, first by carrying out surgical strikes and second the Pulwama attack. " In the future also, my government will take all requisite steps to protect the nation. National security is paramount for my government."
"Today, the entire world is supporting India on the issue of terrorism. UN declaring Masood Azhar -- who was responsible for several major terror attacks in the country, is great proof," he added.
He also talked about the economic offenders who have fled the country saying that the government is making efforts to acquire information from 146 nations including Switzerland. " For all those who have black money, we are getting information about them. The campaign to against black money will be carried out at a faster speed now. In the past two years, more than 4 lakh 25 thousand have been disqualified."
In his concluding remark, President Ram Nath Kovind called for deliberation on "One Nation, One Election" citing that it will help India to grow faster and all the political parties will be able to carry out their task of welfare and development for the people in accordance with their respective ideologies.
"I urge all the MPs to seriously consider the development-oriented proposal of 'one nation - one election together," he said.
The Parliament's Budget Session, which began on June 17, will continue till July 26. The Economic Survey will be presented on July 4 followed by the Union Budget for 2019-20 on July 5.
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