29 Jan 2018
President Kovind's address opens Budget session 2018
Written byKrunali Shah
The Budget session began with President Ram Nath Kovind's joint address to both houses of Parliament.
He invoked Babasaheb Ambedkar's legacy and elaborated on the government's various schemes.
He also made a pitch for the smooth passage of the triple talaq bill, which will be re-introduced in this session.
How will the budget session proceed?
Here's a sneak peek.
How will the Budget session proceed?
The first phase of the Budget session will be held from January 29-February 9. After a recess, Parliament will meet again from March 5-April 6.
The recess will allow department-related standing committees to clear budgetary proposals related to various ministries.
Finance minister will present his government's last full-fledged budget before the 2019 LS elections on February 1.
The economic survey has been tabled today.
'Government's highest priority is to remove farmers' difficulties'
President Kovind said that government's priority is to remove various difficulties that farmers face by raising their standards of living.
For that, he listed various schemes for farmers: affordable and simple crop insurance services under the 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana,' Dairy Processing Infrastructure Development Fund to enhance farmers' income, increased power generation and better roads under the 'Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana'.
Triple Talaq bill
'Triple talaq law will give Muslim women life of dignity'
President Kovind urged opposition to cooperate in passing the triple talaq bill. He remarked that once enacted, the law will "enable Muslim women to live a life of self-respect with courage."
He proudly added that for the first time, restriction on women aged 45+ to perform Haj unaccompanied by their male relatives has been removed. Thus, 1,300 such women are going on the pilgrimage.
'Government is committed to Empowerment and not Appeasement'
Regarding minorities, President Kovind further asserted that the government is working towards their economic, social and educational empowerment.
He said that government is committed to the welfare of the weaker sections of society.
Elaborating on this, he claimed that bank credit is made accessible to poor and middle class; Aadhaar has reduced the middlemen's role and minimum wage is increased by 40%.
What else did President Kovind talk about?
Apart from this, the President also referred to India's improved position and credibility on the global stage, citing the "Ease of doing business" ranking and its incorporation in export regimes like Wassenar Arrangement and Australia Group.
He also highlighted health, education and women empowerment schemes and the progress in India's space programme among other things.
Looks like Jaitley's budget will be along these lines.