Addressing the joint session of Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee laid out the roadmap for the new government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The President congratulated the newly elected government saying that India had made a wise choice by voting for a united and strong government.
Narrating the statement of intent of the government, the President emphasised on key issues which the Prime Minister plans to tackle and revive the economy. He said the government will revive ‘Brand India’, riding on its strengths of five ‘T’s, three Ds and three Ss. The five Ts are Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology while the three Ds are Democracy, Demography and Demand and the three Ss are Skill, Speed and Scale. India will also pursue foreign policy on the basis of “enlightened nationalism” and mutually beneficial relationships, the President said.
Outlining its agenda for five years, the government announced a slew of measures to push growth and create jobs, which will include encouraging investment and creating a predictable, transparent and fair environment.
Addressing the first joint sitting of Parliament after the recent Lok Sabha elections, the President said the government will initiate a series of social, healthcare and infrastructure programmes while asserting that there will be ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism and extremism, besides violence against women.
“The people of India have given a clear mandate. They want to see a vibrant, dynamic and prosperous India. They want to see a resurgent India regaining the admiration and respect of the international community,” Mukherjee said in his 55-minute address.
The President also said that the new government had the 3 Ds- democracy, demography and demand – on its side. “We must rise to the occasion to fulfil these great expectations. In 60 months from now, we should be able to say with confidence and pride that we have done it,” he said.
As Prime Minster Modi has been revealing in the past few days, the President in his address also said that the government needs to focus on skill, skill and speed for the prosperity of the country.
Noting that the country is passing through an “extremely difficult phase” on the economic front, the President said that GDP growth has been less than five per cent, tax collection has declined and inflation continues to be at an “unacceptable” level.
“Putting the Indian economy back on track is paramount for my government. We will work together to usher our economy into high growth path, rein in inflation, reignite the investment cycle, accelerate job creation and restore the confidence of the domestic as well as international community in our economy,” he said.
In this context, he said the government will create a policy environment which is “predictable, transparent and fair”. He also said that the government will seek to heal the fractured and contentious politics of the previous years and work for the eradication of corruption in the country.
“The people of India have voted for a united, strong and modern India -“Ek Bharat-Shreshta Bharat”. My government will work to fulfil these aspirations, with the involvement of all the 125 crore people of this great country,” he said.
In a word of assurance to minorities, the address said the new government is committed to making all minorities equal partners in India’s progress. Mukherjee noted that the just-concluded election has been an election of hope.
“The surge in aspirations and the belief that these could be realised through democratic processes, has been amply reflected in the record 66.4 per cent participation by voters and a clear verdict in favour of a single political party after a gap of nearly 30 years. The electorate transcended the boundaries of caste, creed, region and religion to come together and vote decisively in favour of ‘Development through Good Governance’,” he said.
“My government will create a policy environment which is predictable, transparent and fair. It will embark on rationalisation and simplification of the tax regime to make it non-adversarial and conductive to investment, enterprise and growth,” he said.