Prince Albert II of Monaco called on the President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, at RashtrapatiBhavan today (February 5, 2019).

Welcoming Prince Albert to India, the President said that India and Monaco have always enjoyed a relationship of trust, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation. The current visit imparts a strong impetus towards taking the relationship to newer heights.

The President said that India-Monaco ties are doing well. However, there is scope to do a lot more together. On issues such as renewable energy, climate change and the environment, there is a strong meeting of minds between us. We must prioritise these areas for bilateral cooperation. The President said India is the fastest growing major economy in the world. Monaco’s technology and investment companies can significantly benefit from the Indian growth story.

Later, the President hosted a lunch for the Prince and his accompanying delegation.




Read more: Prince Albert II of Monaco calls on the President

Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal presented the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today. The Government has taken several measures to strengthen the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs).  Highlights of the Union Budget 2018 for the Ministry of MSME are as under:

  1. An all-time high allocation of Rs.7011.29 crore has been made in the Budget of 2019-20.
  2. The flagship scheme for employment generation of the Ministry, namely Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) got an all-time high allocation of Rs.2327 crore. This reiterates Government’s focus on creation of sustainable employment in the non-farm micro enterprise sector.
  3. For ensuring seamless credit guarantee to Micro and Small enterprises, Rs.597 crore has been provided under the Credit Support Programme.
  4. To provide funding for the 2% interest rebate on incremental loan up to Rs.1 Crore for GST-registered MSME units, Rs. 350 crore has been provided under ‘Interest Subvention Scheme for Incremental Credit to MSMEs’.
  5. Under the recent announcements made on 2nd November 2018, encompassing multiple initiatives and interventions for the MSME sector, 20 large and 100 small Technology Centres are going to be set up with a support of Rs.6000 Crore. This Budget has made allocation for this initiative.
  6. For setting up clusters in the manufacturing and artisan sectors, Rs.450 crore has been allocated. Allocation under National SCST-Hub has been increased substantially.
  7. Mission Solar Charkha has been launched in the current financial year, for which Rs.143 crore has been allocated under the BE 2019-20. The scheme envisages setting up production clusters, each employing 2000 youth in the rural area, at least 50% of which would be women.



Read more: MSME Ministry allocated Rs.7011 Crore in Budget...


            Interim Budget 2019-20 was presented in Parliament today by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal. Besides having a major Scheme for the farmers, it provides tax sops and sets the Developmental Agenda for the years to come. 


A New Deal for 12 Crore Small and Marginal farmers with direct income support, a path breaking Pension initiative for 10 Crore unorganized sector workers, exempting income up to Rs 5 lakhs from Income Tax, reforms in stamp duty, highest ever budgetary allocation of Rs 3 lakh crore for Defence, record allocation of funds at Rs 58,166 crore for North Eastern Areas, a new AIIMS for Haryana, single window clearance for Indian film makers at par with foreigners and higher budgetary allocations for Education, Health, Infrastructure and for the welfare of weaker sections including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, a Separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fisherman are some of the major highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20.


Major Schemes

New Scheme- namely “Pradhan Mantri KIsan SAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)” to extend direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year to farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares is announced.


While presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20, the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said that “our Government is launching a historic programme PM-KISAN with an outlay of Rs.75,000 crore for the FY 2019-20 and Rs.20,000 crore in the Revised Estimates of FY 2018-19”.


            Under this Government of India funded Scheme, Rs.2,000 each will be transferred to the bank accounts of around 12 crore Small and Marginal farmer families, in three equal installments. This programme would be made effective from 1st December 2018 and the first installment for the period upto31st March 2019 would be paid during this year itself, Shri Piyush Goyal said.




To provide sustained and focused attention towards development of Fisheries, the  Government has decided to create a separate Department of Fisheries. Finance Minister said that through the measure, the Government wants to promote further growth over 7% to promote livelihood of about 1.45 crore people dependent on the sector.


The Finance Minister announced 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing the activities of animal husbandry and fisheries, who avail loan through Kisan Credit Card. Further, in case of timely repayment of loan, they will also get an additional 3% interest subvention.



Allocation of Rs.750 crore for Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been announced for the current year itself. Setting up of "Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog" to upscale sustainable genetic upgradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows has also been announced. The Aayog will also look after effective implementation of laws and welfare schemes for cow.



To provide pensionary benefits to at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector a new Scheme called 'Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan' is announced.  The Finance Minister said that within next five years it would be one of the largest pension schemes of the world. A sum of Rs.500 crore has been allocated for the Scheme. Additional funds will be provided as needed, Shri Goyal added. The scheme will also be implemented from the current year, he said.




Tax Benefits


 Individual taxpayers having taxable annual income up to Rs.5 lakhs will not be required to pay any income tax. The Finance Minister said that persons having gross income up to Rs. 6.50 lakhs are not required to pay any income tax if they make investments in provident funds, specified savings and insurance etc. Additional deductions such as interest on home loan up to Rs. 2 lakh, interest on education loans, National Pension Scheme contributions, medical insurance and medical expenditure on senior citizens etc, are also provided for in the Interim Budget 2019-20. Thus tax benefit of Rs. 18,500 crore is proposed to be provided to an estimated 3 crore middle class and small taxpayers comprising self employed, small business, small traders, salary earners, pensioners and senior citizens.


For salaried persons, Standard Deduction is being raised from the current Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000. This will provide additional tax benefit of Rs. 4,700 crore to more than 3 crore salary earners and pensioners.


Exemption on levy of income tax on notional rent on a second self-occupied house is also now proposed. Currently, income tax on notional rent is payable if one has more than one self-occupied house.


TDS threshold on interest earned on bank/post office deposits is being raised from Rs.

10,000 to Rs.40,000.


TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent is proposed to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs.2,40,000 for providing relief to small taxpayers.






The Finance Minister says that the Government wants the GST burden on home buyers to be reduced and accordingly the GST Council was moved to appoint a Group of Ministers to examine and make recommendations in this regard at the earliest.


Shri Goyal said that soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers will be allowed to file quarterly return.



            The Finance Minister said that the Government has been successful in bringing down average inflation to 4.6% over last five years, which is lower than the inflation during the tenure of any other Government. In fact Inflation in December 2018 was down to 2.19% only. Shri Goyal said if we had not controlled inflation, our families would have been spending around 35-40% more today on basic necessities such as food, travel, consumer durables, housing etc. The average rate of inflation during previous five years 2009-2014 was a backbreaking 10.1%, he pointed out.



Fiscal Deficit

            The fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from the high of almost 6% seven years ago, the Finance Minister mentioned.  He said, the Current Account Deficit (CAD), against a high of 5.6% six years ago, is likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year. “We contained the fiscal deficit notwithstanding the Finance Commission's recommendations increasing the share of the States from 32% to 42% in central taxes, which we accepted in the true spirit of cooperative federalism, thereby transferring significantly higher amounts to the States”, Shri Goyal said.


Growth and FDI

The Finance Minister Shri Piyush Goyal stated that a stage for high growth in decades to come, has now been set, after a wave of next generation path breaking structural reforms over the last five years, including introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other taxation reforms.


The country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during the last five years. “We are the fastest growing major economy in the world with an annual average GDP growth during last five years higher than the growth achieved by any Government since economic reforms began in 1991. From being the 11th largest economy in the world in 2013-14, we are today the 6th largest in the world”, the Finance Minister asserted in his Opening Remarks  of his Budget speech.


Shri Goyal said that due to such a stable and predictable regulatory regime, growing economy and strong fundamentals, India could attract massive amount of as much as $239 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the last 5 years, when most of the FDI was allowed to come in through the automatic route.


Enhanced allocations for major Schemes

            Announcing an allocation of Rs.60,000 crores for MGNREGA for Budget Estimates 2019-20,  the Finance Minister said that additional allocations will be made, if required.


Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is being allocated Rs.19,000 crore in BE 2019-20 as against Rs.15,500 crore in RE 2018-19. During the period 2014-18, a total number of 1.53 crore houses have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, he announced.


By March, 2019, all households will be provided with electricity connection.  Till now, 143 crore LED bulbs have been provided in a mission mode which has resulted in saving of Rs.50,000 crore for the poor and middle class.


He said through the world’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, to provide medical treatment to nearly 50 crore people in the country,  around 10 lakh patients have already benefited through free treatment for medical treatment which would have otherwise cost them Rs. 3,000 crore. Lakhs of poor and middle class people are also benefiting from reduction in the prices of essential medicines, cardiac stents and knee implants, and availability of medicines at affordable prices through Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras, the Finance Minister added.


Shri Goyal also said that 14 of the 21 AIIMS operating or being established in the country presently have been announced since 2014. He also announced setting up of a new - the 22nd AIIMS in Haryana.




Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is being increased from Rs.23,357 crore in RE 2018-19 to Rs.27,584 crore in BE 2019-20.


A substantial increase is proposed in the allocation for welfare of the Scheduled Castes  and Scheduled Tribes. The allocation of  Rs.56,619 crore  made in BE of 2018-19 for Scheduled Caste, further increased to Rs.62,474 crore in RE is proposed to be enhanced to Rs.76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20, an increase of 35.6% over BE of 2018-19. For the Scheduled Tribes also, proposed allocation in 2019-20 BE is Rs.50,086 crore as against Rs.39,135 crore in BE 2018-19, an increase of 28%.


The Finance Minister said that a Welfare Development Board to frame special strategies for the benefit of the  hard-to-reach De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities will be set up under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. He said that a Committee under NITI Aayog will also be set up to complete the task of identifying De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic communities not yet formally classified.


Reaching out to the most deprived.jpg



Shri Goyal said under the Ujjwala Yojana aiming delivery  of 8 crore free LPG connections, more than 6 crore connections have already been given and the remaining will get free gas connections by next year.





The Finance Minister announced that a National Artificial Intelligence Portal will also be developed soon as a part of the National Programme on 'Artificial Intelligence'.




The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will now be renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal Trade.


The Finance Minister stated that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), created by the present Government two years ago, resulted in average savings of 25-28% and the platform will now be extended to all CPSEs. Transactions of over Rs. 17,500 crore have taken place so far.


The Finance Minister announced that for the first time, the country’s Defence Budget will be of over Rs.3 lakh crore.   


The Finance Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal pointed-out that domestic air traffic passengers have doubled during the last five years, leading to large number of jobs also being created. The number of operational airports has crossed 100 with the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim.  Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India’s rail map for the first time.




Capital support from the budget for Indian Railways is proposed at Rs.64,587 crore in 2019-20 (BE). The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs. 1,58,658 crore. The Finance Minister, who is also holding the portfolio of Railway Ministry, announced that the Operating Ratio is expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18 to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and further to 95% in 2019-20 (BE).





India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years. Stating this, Shri Goyal said that “our commitment to promote renewable energy is reflected in setting up the International Solar Alliance, the first treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs, he added.


The Finance Minister announced that in Entertainment industry, which is a major employment generator, regulatory provisions will now rely more on self-declarations. To promote entertainment industry, the Single window clearance for ease of shooting films, now available only to foreigners, will also be made available to Indian filmmakers. “We will also introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control the menace of piracy”, he said.

Saying that “We are poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years and aspire to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter”, Shri Piyush Goyal said that there has been a Growth of 18% in Direct Tax Collections in 2017-18 and increase in tax base by as many as 1.06 crore people filing income tax returns for the first time in FY 2017-18, mainly on account of demonetization.


Shri Goyal said that he is proposing, through the Finance Bill, necessary amendments to levy Stamp duties on one instrument relating to one transaction and get collected at one place through the Stock Exchanges. The duty so collected will be shared with the State Governments seamlessly on the basis of domicile of buying client, he said.


In all the total expenditure is to increase from Rs.24,57,235 crore in 2018-19 RE to Rs.27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE.  A rise of Rs.3,26,965 crore or approximately 13.30%. This reflects a high increase considering low inflation. The fiscal deficit of year 2019-20 is estimated to be 3.4% of GDP.




The Finance Minister pointed out that after completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme, the Government would now focus on Debt consolidation. He said “We have maintained the glide path towards our target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21. India’s Debt to GDP ratio was 46.5% in year 2017-18. The FRBM Act prescribes that the Debt to GDP ratio of the Government of India should be brought down to 40% by 2024-25. “Along with completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme, we will now focus on Debt consolidation”, he added.





National Salt Satyagraha Memorial in Dandi, Gujarat dedicated to the nation by PM

Dandi memorial encapsulates the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi’s Agrah, Swatchagrah and Satyagraha, says the PM. Gramuday to Bharatuday is the mission and idea:PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Navsari district, Gujarat to the nation today on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary.

At the memorial site, he also unveiled statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930 to make salt from sea water against the British law. The memorial also has 24-narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March. Solar trees are installed to meet the energy requirements of the memorial complex. The PM took a round through the memorial.

Addressing a public meeting, the PM congratulated everyone who has worked for the memorial. PM said “this memorial reminds us of the great sacrifices of the people of our country for the cause of freedom”. The PM added, the Dandi memorial encapsulates the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi-  Agrah for Swadeshi, Swatchagrah and Satyagraha and it will be a major  attraction for the tourists in the coming days.

The PM said, “ In an effort to carry forward the legacy of Gandhiji, our government has modernised around 2000 institutions related to khadi. It has benefitted lakhs of craftsmen and workers. Khadi is now not only a fashion statement but a symbol of women empowerment as well”. Swadeshi played an immensely important role in freedom struggle, likewise, handlooms will be instrumental in overcoming poverty. The government has declared 7th of August to be celebrated as Handlooms Day, every year to promote handlooms, the PM added.

Underlining the importance laid by Gandhi jee for Swachchata, PM said  we have imbibed those values fro a clean India. The impact of Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan is that the  cleanliness in rural area  has increased from just 38 per cent in 2014 to 98 per cent now  with the NDA Government in  power. 

Reiterating his endeavour  to bring basic amenities to the villages from clean cooking fuel to electricity and healthcare to financial services, PM said it is in line with our mission and the idea of ‘Gramuday to Bharatuday’.

The PM is on a day-long visit to Gujarat. Earlier in the day, PM laid the  foundation stone for extension of Terminal Building of Surat Airport and inaugurated various developmental projects in Surat. He has also dedicated state of the art Rasilaben Sevantilal Venus Hospital, Surat to the nation. PM also addressed  New India Youth Conclave in Surat.




Read more: National Salt Satyagraha Memorial in Dandi,...

Power Minister calls the Budget as historic, people friendly and forward looking

Finance Minister thanks tax payers saying “Your tax pays for the electricity connections to the poor” Consumers saving Rs 50,000 crore per year in electricity bills with LED bulbs

“Interim Budget 2019-20 is historic, it’s people friendly and forward looking. It provides assistance to all sectors which need assistance at the same time maintaining fiscal prudence”, said Shri RK Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy here today. He expressed hope that the Budget would be able to bring smile to every face.


India’s electrification success found a special mention in Finance Minster’s Budget speech. He said, “Till the year 2014, about 2.5 crore families were forced to live the life of 18th centuary without electricity. Under 'Saubhagya Yojna', we provided free electricity connection to almost every household. By March, 2019, all willing families will get electricity connection.”


He also thanked the taxpayers saying, “Your tax pays for the electricity connections to the poor who lived in darkness for generations”.


Commenting on UJALA scheme, the Finance Minister said that 143 crore LED bulbs have been sold with the combined efforts of the Government and private sector and this has resulted into a savings of approximately Rs. 50,000 crore per year in electricity bills of poor and middle class families.


He also stressed upon Electric Vehicles and Renewables to make India a pollution free nation. Citing the International Solar Alliance as example for India’s commitment towards clean energy, the Finance Minister said that, “India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs.”




Read more: Power Minister calls the Budget as historic,...

PETROTECH-2019, the 13th International Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition, being organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, is all set to be inaugurated on February 10, 2019.

India’s flagship hydrocarbon international conference is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister of India. Over 95 Energy Ministers from partner countries have been invited by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas to participate in the Conference. Thethree-day mega event will showcase the recent market and investor friendly developments that have taken place in the India’s oil and gas sector. It is expected to see participation of over 86 eminent speakers and 7000 delegates from around 70 countries, including technologists, scientists, planners, policy-makers, management experts, entrepreneurs, service-providers and vendors. 

Along with the Conference, the event will have a concurrent Exhibition spread over 20,000 square meters at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.The PETROTECH 2019 exhibition will focus on development in technologies for exploration & production, process control, refining and pipeline and services, systems, products, oil field hardware, software, analytical instruments, Renewable, R&D, HSE, training and publications of technical literature. Exhibition will remain open to visitors from 1000 hrs to 1800 hrs on 10th & 11th February, and up to 1400 hrs on 12 February 2019.

The Conference will host two Ministerial sessions and a CEOs’ Conclave with participation from overseas ministerial delegations, heads of international organizations and top CEOs of oil and gas companies. Besides, the Conference will also feature three Plenary Sessions and five Theme Sessions, which will be addressed by eminent speakers and technical experts and witness the participation of the Who’s Who of the global oil and gas industry.

The Technical Sessions, running parallel, will see presentation of papers by over 300 speakers in both oral and poster sessions (seven Digital Poster Sessions) on petroleum technology, exploration, drilling, production and processing, refining and other related issues.

The PETROTECH-2019 Exhibition will see participation of over 13 country pavilions and about 750 exhibitors from over 40 countries, with exclusive areas on the Make in India and Renewable Energy theme. Several StartUp companies will also be exhibiting their technology and development during PETROTECH.


Read more: PETROTECH-2019, the 13th International Oil & Gas...

Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the report “The Future of Rail” of International Energy Agency (IEA) at an event here today. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA), Dr. Fatih Birol, Director General, International Union of Railways, Shri Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Members of Railway Board and other Dignitaries from Ministry of Railways and IEA were present on the occasion.


Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal said, today is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi Ji and Railways played a very important role in the his life, and his journey from Mohan to Mahatma was captured in a tableau during the Republic Day Parade this year. He added that, what Mahatma Gandhi Ji said is still relevant for the entire world. One of his writings quotes: "The Day the Power of Love overrules the Love of Power, the World will know Peace" continues to guide us even today.


He said that this Government led by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is committed to providing a better future for the country's youth by combatting climate change and bringing down our emission levels. The huge investment Railways has achieved in the last 5 years has helped us improve safety, complete long-delayed projects and introduce modern & unprecedented technology in services.


Shri Goyal further said that the indigenously produced Vande Bharat Express is an engineering marvel that will change our approach to train manufacturing as well as revolutionise train travel in India. He also highlighted Indian Railway’s successful effort to convert diesel locomotives to electric locomotives as truly innovative and added that it will be a game-changer in the way forward as we move towards 100% electrification for the Indian Railways. He informed that 5 years ago, Railways had electrified about 600 km of tracks across the country. Last year alone, we electrified over 4,000 km, and in the coming year we aim to electrify over 6,000 Km. He reiterated that there is a rising demand for better quality, safer, more comfortable, efficient, reliable and cheap transport and added that no other form of transport can provide this other than railways.


In his introductory remarks, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav said that Railways can play an important role in the sustainable development of the world economy. He added that rail transport is superior to any other form of transport in terms of energy efficiency and being environment friendly. He highlighted the focus on capacity augmentation and infrastructural development by Indian Railways in recent years to make it an engine of growth for the nation.


“The Future of Rail” the first-of-a-kind report analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications. The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail, and explores the key policies that could help to realise an enhanced future rail.


This first ever global report has a focus on India, elaborating on the unique social and economic role of rail in India, together with its great enduring potential, to show how India can extend and update its networks to harness rail at a scope and scale that is unparalleled.



The IEA is an inter-governmental organisation that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and 8 association countries. Its mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.


India and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have benefited from a long, on-going bilateral relationship and cooperation in a broad range of area including energy security, statistics, energy efficiency, market analysis for oil, gas, electricity, renewables, system integration and implementation agreements for enhanced technologies.


India has been the focus of many recent IEA analyses and reports for instance through the special focus chapter on the Indian Power sector of the Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) publication and the World Energy Outlook (WEO). High level policy dialogues have been further intensified over the last few years including a statement of intent on data and research cooperation, and a memorandum of understanding on clean energy research and development tracking. IEA has also held workshops and training programmes in India on energy data training, energy efficiency, strategic petroleum reserves, and the integration of renewables into the grid.



Read more: Shri Piyush Goyal launches the IEA’s Report “The...

The key highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20 presented by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal in Parliament today are as follows:


New Announcements

  1. Farmers
  • 12 crore small and marginal farmers to be provided with assured yearly income of Rs. 6000 per annum under PM-KISAN
    • Outlay of Rs. 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20 with additional Rs. 20,000 crore in RE 2018-19
  • Outlay for Rashtriya Gokul mission increased to Rs 750 crore
  • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog  to be setup for sustainable genetic up-gradation of the Cow resources
  • New separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fishermen
  • 2% interest subvention to Farmers for Animal husbandry and Fisheries activities; additional 3% in case of timely repayment.
  • Interest subvention of 2% during disaster will now be provided for the entire period of reschedulement of loan
  1. Labour
  • Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme to ensure fixed monthly pension to 10 crore unorganized sector workers
    • Rs 3000 per month after 60 years of age with an affordable contribution of only Rs 100/55 per month


  1. Health
  • 22nd AIIMS to be setup in Haryana


  • Rs. 60, 000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20
  1. Direct Tax proposals

· Income upto Rs. 5 lakh exempted from Income Tax

· More than Rs. 23,000 crore tax relief to 3 crore middle class taxpayers

· Standard Deduction to be raised to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 40,000

· TDS threshold to be raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 40,000 on interest earned on bank/post office deposits

· Existing rates of income tax to continue

· Tax exempted on notional rent on a second self-occupied house

· Housing and real estate sector to get boost-

  • TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,40,000
  • Benefit of rollover of capital gains increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for capital gains up to Rs. 2 crore.
  • Tax benefits for affordable housing extended till 31st March, 2020 under Section 80-IBA of Income Tax Act
  • Tax exemption period on notional rent, on unsold inventories, extended from one year to two years
  1. Fiscal Programme
  • Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.4% of GDP for 2019-20
  • Target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21.
  • Fiscal deficit brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from almost 6% seven years ago

· Total expenditure increased by over 13% to Rs.27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE

· Capital Expenditure for 2019-20 BE estimated at Rs. 3,36,292 crore

· Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) allocation increased to Rs. 3,27,679 crore in BE 2019-20

· National Education Mission allocation increased by about 20% to Rs. 38,572 crore in BE 2019-20

· Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) increased by over 18% to Rs. 27,584 crore in BE 2019-20

· Substantial increase in allocation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes -

  • Allocation for SCs increased by 35.6% - from Rs. 56,619 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20
  • Allocation for the STs increased by 28% - from 39,135 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 50,086 crore in 2019-20 BE

· Government confident of achieving the disinvestment target of 80,000 crore

  • Focus now on debt consolidation along with fiscal deficit consolidation programme


  1. Poor and Backward Classes
  • “First right on the resources of country is that of the poor”: FM
  • 25% additional seats in educational institutions to meet the 10% reservation for the poor
  • Targeted expenditure to bridge urban-rural divide & to improve quality of life in villages
  • All willing households to be provided electricity connections by March 2019


  1. North East
  • Allocation to be increased by 21% to Rs. 58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE
  • Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently
  • Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram came on India’s rail map for the first time
  • Container cargo movement through improved navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra


  1. Vulnerable sections
  • A new committee under NITI Ayog to identify all the remaining De-notified nomadic and semi-Nomadic tribes.
  • New Welfare development Board under Ministry of social justice and empowerment for development and welfare of De-notified nomadic and semi nomadic tribes
  1. Defence
  • Defence budget to cross Rs 3,00,000 crore for the first time ever


  1. Railways
  • Capital support of Rs.64,587 crore proposed in 2019-20 (BE) from the budget
  • Overall capital expenditure programme to be of Rs. 1,58,658 crore
  • Operating Ratio expected to improve from 98.4% in 2017-18

                                                                             to 96.2% in 2018-19 (RE) and

                                                                             to 95% in 2019- 20 (BE)

  1. Entertainment Industry
  • Indian filmmakers  to get access to Single window clearance as well for ease of shooting films
  • Regulatory provisions to rely more on self-declaration
  • To introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control piracy
  1. MSME and Traders
  • 2% interest subvention on an incremental loan of  Rs 1 crore for GST registered SMEs
  • Atleast 3% of the 25% sourcing for the Government undertakings will be from women owned SMEs
  • Renewed Focus on Internal trade ; DIPP renamed to Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal trade


  1. Digital Villages
  • The Government to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years


  1. Other Announcement(s)
  • New National Artificial Intelligence portal to support National Program on Artificial Intelligence

Achievements during 2014-19

  1. State of the Economy
  • India universally recognized as a bright spot of the global economy during last five years
  • “Country witnessed its best phase of macro-economic stability during 2014-19”, says FM
  • India is now the 6th largest economy in the world from being the 11thlargest in 2013-14
  • Annual average GDP growth during 2014-19 higher than any government since 1991
  • Government has broken inflation’s back from backbreaking inflation during 2009-14: FM
  • Average inflation down to 4.6%, lower than during any other Government
  • Inflation in December 2018 down to 2.19% only
  • Fiscal deficit down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from the high of almost 6% seven years ago
  • CAD likely to be only 2.5% of GDP this year against a high of 5.6% six years ago
  • India attracted massive amount of FDI, worth $239 billion, during the last 5 years
  •  “India is solidly back on track and marching towards growth and prosperity”, says FM
  • India becomes the fastest growing major economy in the world
  • Double-digit inflation contained and fiscal balance restored
  • Liberalization of FDI policy, allowing most FDI to come through the automatic route


  1. Farmers
  • Assured MSP of minimum 50% to all 22 crops
  • Interest subvention doubled in last 5 years
  • Soil Health card, Neem coated Urea game changer in farm sector


  1. Labor
  • Employment opportunities expanded ; EPFO membership increased by 2 crore
  • Minimum income for every category of workers increased by 42% in last 5 years


  1. Poor and Backward Classes
  • 10% reservation for the poor  in educational institutions and government jobs
  • Free electricity connection to every household under Saubhagya Yojana
  • World’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, for nearly 50 crore people
  • Aspirational Districts Programme for development in 115 most backward districts
  • Rs. 1,70,000 crore spent during 2018-19 for cheaper food grains to poor and middle class
  • 143 crore LED bulbs provided in mission mode with the cooperation of private sector
  • Poor & middle class are saving Rs. 50, 000 crore p.a. in electricity bills due to LED bulbs
  • 10 lakh patients benefited from free treatment under Ayushman Bharat
  • Jan Aushadhi Kendras providing medicines at affordable prices to poor and middle class
  • 14 out of 21 AIIIMS operating presently have been announced since 2014
  • Government tripled rural roads’ construction under the PMGSY
  • 15.80 lakh habitations out of 17.84 lakh connected with pucca roads
  • Rs. 19,000 crore for PMGSY in BE 2019-20 against Rs. 15,500 crore in RE 2018-19
  • 1.53 crore houses built under PM Awas Yojana during the 2014-18



  1. Women development to women led development
  • 6 crore free LPG gas connections provided under Ujjwala Yojna ; All 8 crore by next year
  • 70% of MUDRA Loan availed by Women
  • Maternity leave extended to 26 weeks
  • Financial support for pregnant women under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana


  1. Youth
  • Over one crore youth trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana
  • Self-employment boost through MUDRA, STAND-UP and START-UP India


  1. MSME and Traders
  • Up-to Rs 1 crore loans can be availed in less than an hour
  • 25%-28% is the average savings due to GeM (Government e-Market place)


v Income Tax

  • Tax collections nearly doubled in five years- from Rs. 6.38 Lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs. 12 lakh crore this year
  • 80% growth in tax base- from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore in five years
  • Tax administration streamlined- Last year, 99.54% of the income-tax returns accepted as were filed
  • Technology intensive project approved to improve assessee friendliness –In two years, returns to be processed in 24 hours and refunds issued simultaneously
  • Earlier benefits given to middle class-
  • Basic exemption limit increased from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh
  • Tax rate reduced from 10% to 5% for the tax slab of Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh
  • Standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 introduced for the salaried class
  • Deduction of savings under section 80C increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh
  • Deduction of interest for self-occupied house property raised from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh
  • Special benefits and incentives already given to small businesses and startups-
  • Overall compliance processes simplified.
  • Threshold for presumptive taxation of business raised from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore
  • Benefit of presumptive taxation extended for the first time to small professionals fixing threshold limit at Rs. 50 lakh
  • Presumptive profit rate reduced from 8% to 6% to promote a less cash economy
  • Tax rate for about 99% companies reduced to 25%


  1. GST
  • GST made India a common market
  • GST led to increased tax base, higher collections and ease of trade
  • Inter-state movements now faster, more efficient, and hassle free
  • Responsive and sensitive reduction of tax rates - Most items of daily use now in the 0% or 5% tax slab
  • Relieving the businesses and service providers-
  • Exemptions from GST for small businesses doubled from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 40 lakh
  • Small businesses having turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore pay only 1% flat rate and file one annual return only
  • Small service providers with turnover upto Rs.50 lakhs can opt for composition scheme and pay GST at 6% instead of 18%
  • Soon, businesses comprising over 90% of GST payers to be allowed to file quarterly return
  • Encouraging GST revenue trends - The average monthly tax collection in the current year is Rs. 97,100 crore per month as compared to Rs. 89,700 crore per month in the first year


  1. Infrastructure
  • Civil Aviation – UDAN Scheme
    • Number of Operational Airports crossed 100
    • Latest: Pakyong airport in Sikkim
    • Domestic Passenger traffic doubled in last 5 years


  • Roads
    • India is the fastest highway developer in the world
    • 27 kms of highways built each day
    • Stuck projects completed - Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi

                                                  - Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh


  • Waterways
    • Flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas
    • For first time, container freight movement started on Kolkata to Varanasi inland waterways


  • Railways
    • ‘Safest year’ for railways in its history
    • All Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network eliminated.
    • Semi high-speed "Vande Bharat Express" introduced - first indigenously developed and manufactured


  1. Climate Change
  • International Solar Alliance
    • To promote renewable energy
    • First treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India
    • Installed solar generation capacity grown over ten times in last five years
    • Now creating lakhs of new age jobs


  1. Digital India Revolution
  • More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) exist to deliver services to the citizens
  • India now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data
  • Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years
  • Under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities


  1. Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer
  • In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts opened
  • Aadhaar now near universally implemented
  • Ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen


  1. Customs and trading across borders
  • Customs duties on 36 capital goods abolished
  • Digitization of import and export transactions
  • RFID technology to improve logistics


  1. Steps against corruption
  • Government walked the talk on corruption and ushered in a new era of transparency: FM
  • RERA and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act have brought transparency in real estate
  • The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 to help confiscate economic offenders
  • Government conducted transparent auction of natural resources such as coal & spectrum


  1. Drive against Black money
  • Undisclosed income of about Rs 1,30,000 crore brought under tax through initiatives like Black money Law,  Fugitive Criminal offenders Act, Demonetisation etc.
  • Benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore have been attached
  • 18% growth in Direct tax


  1. Banking Reforms and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)
  • The IBC has institutionalized a resolution-friendly mechanism
  • Government has stopped the culture of “phone banking”: FM
  • Government adopted 4Rs approach of recognition, resolution, re-capitalization & reforms
  • Government has implemented measures to ensure ‘Clean Banking’
  • Government has already recovered Rs. 3 lakh crore in favor of banks and creditors
  • Government has invested Rs. 2.6 lakh crore for recapitalization of public sector banks


  1. Cleanliness
  • Government launched Swachh Bharat Mission as a tribute to 150 years of Gandhi Ji
  • FM thanks 130 crore Indians for translating Swachh Bharat into a national revolution
  • India has achieved 98% rural sanitation coverage
  1. 5.45 lakh villages have been declared "Open Defecation Free”
  2. Defence
  • OROP under implementation in full spirit with Rs 35,000 crore already disbursed
  • Military pay service hiked
  1. Other achievements
  • Government put a stop to questionable practices of hiding high NPAs
  • Swachh Bharat Mission as the world’s largest behavioral change movement


Key message in the Interim Budget 2019-20

  • Moving towards realizing a ‘New India’ by 2022 -
    • Clean and healthy India with universal access to toilets, water and electricity to all
    • An India where Farmers’ income would have doubled
    • Ample opportunities to youth and women to fulfil their dreams
    • An India free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism


Vision for the next Decade


  • Foundation for India’s growth and development laid in the past 5 years
  • Poised to become a Five Trillion Dollar Economy in the next five years
  • Aspire to become a Ten Trillion Dollar Economy in the next 8 years thereafter


Ten dimensions of Vision for India of 2030


India would be a modern, technology driven, high growth, equitable and transparent society


  1. To build physical as well as social infrastructure and to provide ease of living
  2. To create a Digital India, digitize government processes with leaders from youth
  3. Making India pollution free by leading transport revolution with Electric Vehicles and focus on Renewables
  4. Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment
  5. Clean Rivers, safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water through micro-irrigation
  6. Besides scaling up of Sagarmala, Coastline and Ocean waters powering India’s development and growth
  7. Aim at our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022
  8. Making India self-sufficient in food, exporting to the world to meet their food needs and producing food in the most organic way
  9. A healthy India via Ayushman Bharat with women having equal rights and concern for their safety and empowerment
  10. Transforming India into a Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation with pro-active and responsible bureaucracy



Read more: Highlights Of Interim Budget 2019-20

Honourable Members,

         It gives me immense pleasure to address the Joint Sitting of the Two Houses of Parliament.

  1. In the annals of our democracy, 2019 is an important milestone. We the people of India, are celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation this year. 13th April this year will also mark 100 years of the tragic massacre
    at Jallianwala Bagh. On behalf of the entire nation, I bow to pay tribute to all those martyrs who sacrificed their lives for a bright future for us.


  1. This year, our country will also celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Constitution Day. It is in this historic Central Hall, that the illustrious architects of our Constitution had sculpted the Constitution of India. This year, we are also celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, who taught us to lead our lives with the spirit of service and goodwill.


  1. I am glad that our country is following the dreams of Gandhiji to build an inclusive society based on ethics and principles. Our nation is moving ahead guided by the ideals of social and economic justice as enshrined in the Constitution by Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. The efforts of my Government clearly reflect a belief in an egalitarian society as espoused by Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, the torch bearer of public conscience against the politics of exploitation.


Honourable Members,

  1. Prior to the 2014 General Election, the country was passing through a phase of uncertainty. After the elections, my Government assumed charge and vowed to build a new India. A new India with no place for imperfect, corrupt and inertia ridden systems. From day one, the mission of my Government based on transparency was to improve the lives of our citizens, to eradicate their difficulties owing to poor governance, and to make sure that the benefit of public services reach the lowest strata of the society.


  1. The targets of my Government were determined by countless and helpless faces such as - that poor mother  who cooked in a smoke filled kitchen; that helpless sister who was compelled to postpone her own treatment due to financial worries despite serious illness; that daughter who had to wait the whole day until the cover of darkness for going to the toilet;  that child who was compelled to wait for day light to study because there was no electricity; that farmer who was caught in the anxiety of repaying his loan while watching his crops damaged by hail storm;  that youth  who was unable to earn his livelihood because no bank would lend to him. These very thoughts have shaped the schemes of my Government. These ideals of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s Antyodaya have been the touchstone of my Government’s work.


  1. In the last four and a half years, My Government has infused new hope and confidence among the people of the country, enhanced the country’s image and has effectively brought in social and economic change. As a result, my Government has been able to win immeasurable affection and trust of the people. The main goal of my Government is to improve the life of every Indian.


Honourable Members,

  1. For an inclusive and modern development of our country, it needs to be ensured that not a single family is deprived of fundamental needs.  My Government which is sensitive to the needs of the common people and understands their pain, has prioritised provision of basic amenities, addressed health concerns of the people and implemented the Government schemes at an unprecedented pace after restructuring them.


          Espousing universal compassion towards all, Lord Basavanna said:

दयवे धर्मद मूल वय्या

 (Dayave dharmad mool vayyaa)

          That is “Kindness is the basis of all faiths”. Every human being must possess affection and kindness in his heart for all living beings.


  1. Lack of toilets had forced crores of Indians, especially our daughters and daughters-in-law to lead an undignified and unhealthy life. Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, more than 9 crore toilets have been constructed. It is the outcome of this mass movement that coverage of rural sanitation that was less than 40 percent in 2014, has increased to 98 percent. According to an assessment, because of the toilets built, numerous poor persons have been spared of various kind of diseases and more than 3 lakh lives have been saved. In the year of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, we must remember that we have resolved in his memory to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2nd October.


Honourable Members,

  1. Many of our mothers, sisters and daughters used to suffer from various illnesses because of smoke filled kitchens, which also affected health of the entire family; and much of their effort and time were spent in collecting firewood. My Government has provided more than 6 crore cooking gas connections to such sisters and daughters under the Ujjwala Yojana. Even after decades of efforts, there were only 12 crore gas connections in the country in 2014. In a short period of last four and a half years, 13 crore families have been provided gas connections.


  1. We are fully aware that the burden of expenditure on medical treatment further impoverishes the poor families. My Government which empathizes with this pain has launched the “Ayushman Bharat Yojana” last year. Under the world’s biggest health care scheme, ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Abhiyan’, 50 crore poor are eligible for availing treatment up to Rs 5 lakh per year per family in case of a serious illness. In a short period of four months, more than 10 lakh poor have already availed free treatment from hospitals under this scheme.


  1. The endeavour of my Government has also been on reducing the burden of out of pocket expenses on medical care for the poor and the middle class. Under ‘Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana’, 4,900 Jan Aushadhi Centres have already been opened in more than 600 districts. More than 700 different medicines are being dispensed at low cost in these Centres. Similarly, reduction in the cost of cardiac stents has resulted in an annual saving of about Rs. 4,600 crore to the poor and middle class. Reduction in cost of knee replacement has led to an annual saving of about Rs. 1,500 crore. My Government has provided the facility of dialysis free of cost to those suffering from kidney diseases. This has resulted in a saving of more than Rs 2,000 per session for these people.


  1. In addition, for a premium of just one rupee a month under ‘Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana’ and 90 paise a day under ‘Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana’, as many as 21 crore poor brothers and sisters have been provided with insurance coverage. An assistance of Rs 2 lakh in the event of an untoward incident is made available to them under both the schemes. By disbursing more than Rs. 3,100 crore under these schemes till now, my Government has supported the people in their times of difficulty.


  1. My Government is also striving hard to alleviate the challenge of malnutrition among poor women and children. My Government has launched the National Nutrition Mission for persons suffering from malnutrition and to eliminate the factors responsible for malnutrition. ‘Mission Indradhanush’ has been launched by the Government to provide immunization facilities to children and pregnant women living in remote and tribal areas. As a result, the country has moved rapidly towards the target of “Universal Immunization”.


  1. Be it cities or villages, the Government is working at a fast pace to strengthen the healthcare related infrastructure. New medical colleges are being set up by the Government, district hospitals are being upgraded and Wellness Centres are being established in all major Panchayats of the country. From Madurai in Tamil Nadu to Pulwama in Jammu-Kashmir; and from Rajkot in Gujarat to Kamrup in Assam, new ‘AIIMS’ are being established. Government is setting up new Ayurveda Science Institutes and encouraging yoga for physical and mental well being. To address the shortage of doctors in rural areas, 31 thousand new seats have been added in medical education in the last four years.


Honourable Members,

  1. When my Government set a target that by 2022 when the nation celebrates 75th anniversary of its independence, no family would remain homeless, many wondered how this would be possible. While completing the houses under the earlier scheme, the Government has also fast-tracked the construction of houses across cities and villages under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, in an unprecedented manner.


  1. In the last four-and-a-half years, 1 crore and 30 lakh homes have been constructed under the rural housing schemes of the Government, whereas in the five years preceding 2014, only 25 lakh houses had been constructed. This five-fold increase in the speed of construction of houses and handing over the house keys to the poor is rapidly transforming the destiny of the poor and the rural landscape.


  1. Similarly, buying or building a house in the cities has become easier for the common person. The dream of building one’s own home had become difficult for a normal family to achieve due to black money and rising costs. By enacting RERA law, my Government has ensured that construction of houses is completed and they are handed over to the buyers as scheduled so that the hard earned money of buyers does not get stuck. After enactment of this law, about 35 thousand ‘Real Estate Projects’ have been registered where lakhs of houses are being constructed and handed over to families.


  1. Under ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’, the Government is also giving interest subsidy of 6 and a half per cent to the persons belonging to low income group. According to an estimate, an individual taking a home loan of Rs 20 lakh for 20 years, would get a benefit of about Rs 6 lakh.


  1. By providing electricity connection to every household, my Government is illuminating the life of each person. In 2014, there were more than 18 thousand villages which had no electricity connection. Today every village has been electrified. Under ‘Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana’, 2 crore and 47 lakh homes have been provided electricity connection. Now India is rapidly moving on the path where every home is electrified and no poor household will be forced to live in darkness.


  1. My Government is working hard towards realization of the dreams and aspirations of all the sections. By decreasing the burden of income tax and keeping rate of inflation under control, Government has created new opportunities for expanding the savings of the middle class. The effort of the Government is to increase the income of the hard working middle class and provide avenues for investment to further augment their incomes.


Honourable Members,

  1. When the nation was fortunate to have a visionary and compassionate Prime Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who also understood the pain of the poor; several new Departments and Ministries were created and new programmes were launched. A separate Ministry for the North East, a Ministry for welfare of the Tribals,  Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and connecting the nation through Golden Quadrilateral were  singular contributions of Atalji. He undertook a grand initiative to eliminate the widespread disparities prevailing in the country. The programmes and Ministries conceived by Atalji played a vital role in eliminating the social imbalances during the initial years of 21st Century.  But unfortunately these initiatives did not get the desired momentum and continuity in subsequent years.


  1. We are all aware that if our Divyang brothers and sisters are provided assistance to ameliorate their physical difficulties, they can achieve new heights on their own. With this in mind, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment established by Atalji had started the tradition of organizing camps to assist the Divyangjans.  But the situation was so dismal that up to 2014 only 56 such camps could be organized.


  1. After formation of my Government in 2014, following the vision of Atalji, efforts were made with full sensitivity to solve the problems of Divyangjans. In the past four-and-a-half years my Government has been organising 140 camps on an average every month where Divyangjans are receiving assistive equipments.  During this period, assistive equipments worth Rs 700 crore have been distributed to about 12 lakh Divyangjans in a fully transparent manner.


  1. We are all familiar with the ordeals faced by Divyangjans at railway stations and bus stands while commuting. My Government under the ‘Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan’ has made about 1,000 Government buildings and more than 650 railway stations fully accessible to Divyangjans.


  1. Children using sign language in one State had to face considerable difficulty due to different types of sign languages while visiting other States. In many instances multiple sign languages were being used within a State. Taking note of their difficulty, my Government started working on a uniform sign language for Divyangjan applicable throughout the country. A dictionary for the Divyangjan with 3,000 words has already been published by the Delhi-based Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre and the work on another dictionary with 3,000 new words is in progress. In addition, the Central Government has made about 100 websites compliant to the needs of Divyangjan. Through the enactment of ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016’, my Government has provided them with equal opportunity in education, social security and employment.


Honourable Members,

  1. Tragic accidents at unmanned railway crossings have for years been a subject of discussion in our country. This subject has also been raised many times in the Parliament. In 2014, unmanned crossings in the country numbered 8,300. My Government undertook a mission to eliminate unmanned railway crossings, which have now almost been done away with.


  1. Our citizens have to frequently deal with natural calamity of one kind or the other. Every year, there are floods in some districts and drought in some others. My Government is fully focussed on the management of natural disasters, and the financial assistance has been more than doubled so that relief work can be performed with full capacity. Be it the cyclonic storms in southern States or the floods in eastern India, my Government has exhibited promptness and sensitivity in relief and rehabilitation works.


Honourable Members,

  1. Mindful of the prevalence of injustice and deprivation in the society, my Government has been working towards reforming the legal system so as to ensure social and economic justice.  The Citizenship Amendment Bill will help in the securing of Indian citizenship by those victims who were persecuted and were compelled to seek refuge in India. These people cannot be blamed since they were victims of circumstances.


  1. My Government has made a provision for capital punishment in case of heinous crimes like rape of minors. In many States, capital punishment has been awarded after expeditiously completing the hearing which has sent out a strong message to persons with such perverted thinking.


  1. With a view to liberate our Muslim daughters from a life of fear and anxiety and to provide them with equal right to lead their lives at par with other daughters, my Government is striving hard to get the Triple Talaq Bill passed by the Parliament.


  1. Similarly, grant of Constitutional status to the ’Other Backward Classes Commission’ demonstrates my Government’s commitment towards social justice.


  1. A historic decision has been taken in the last Winter Session of Parliament to pass the 103rd Amendment to the Constitution to extend the benefit of reservation to the poor belonging to the general category. This is an effort to provide justice and equal opportunity to those poor young men and women who felt left out because of poverty. To ensure that this new dispensation has no impact on the existing reservation, the number of seats in educational institutions are being increased proportionately.


Honourable Members,

  1. Youth are the greatest strength of our nation. India has the largest number of young people in the world, and the policy decisions of my Government have been inspired by the aspirations and dreams of the young Indians of 21st century.


  1. Keeping in mind the desire of the youth to be self-reliant, the Kaushal Vikas Abhiyan was launched. Under this Abhiyan, in the last four years, on an average one crore youth have been trained every year in different skills. In the coming days, more than 15,000 ITIs, more than 10,000 Kaushal Vikas Kendras and more than 600 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Kendras, will play a critical role in developing the skill-set of the country’s youth.


  1. Under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana’, which facilitates credit for professional and business requirements, loans worth more than Rs. 7 lakh crore have been disbursed to the youth without any guarantee. More than 15 crore people have benefitted and over 4 crore 26 lakh first time borrowers have started their business under this scheme.


  1. Under ‘Start Up India’ and ‘Stand Up India’, my Government has provided financial assistance to make the youth self-reliant. As a result, in the world of start ups, India now figures as a frontline country.


  1. The Government has linked creation of jobs with tax incentives under ‘Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana’. Under this scheme, when a young person gets a new job, the EPS and EPF contribution of 12 per cent payable by the employer is being paid by the Government for the first three years. More than 1 crore youth have already benefitted from this scheme.


Honourable Members,

  1. Every parent aspires for a good education for their sons and daughters so that they can succeed in life. Government is establishing new educational institutions to provide increased opportunities for professional education of the highest standard.  7 IITs, 7 IIMs, 14 IIITs, 1 NIT and 4 NIDs are being established. It has been decided to enhance the amount of scholarship and fellowship by more than 25 percent to encourage research activities in the country. In addition, efforts are being made to further strengthen the foundation of the education system by opening 103 Kendriya Vidyalayas, Eklavya Model Awasiya Vidyalayas in all talukas having a majority tribal population and 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas.


  1. To improve the standard of education, Government is following a multi-dimensional approach. To secure the future of the country, it is imperative that children still studying in schools get full opportunity to transform their flight of imagination into concrete reality. The Government is setting up more than 5,000 ‘Atal Tinkering Labs’ for taking ideas to innovation.


  1. With changing times and evolving technology, methods and processes of employment and business are also changing. My Government is constantly working to ensure the preparedness of youth of our country for such changes.


  1. My Government is making efforts to identify talented sportspersons from different corners of this country under the youth centric ‘Khelo India’ programme. Transparency in selection process has boosted the morale of our sportspersons. The result is reflected in the number of medals won by us at national and international levels.


Honourable Members,

  1. Our daughters are making remarkable contribution in every field today and have brought laurels to the country. It is for the first time since independence that the policies and programmes of the Government have created numerous new opportunities for enterprise for women and led to their empowerment and economic mainstreaming.


  1. Under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana’, the maximum benefit has been availed by women. Out of the 15 crore Mudra loans provided so far throughout the country, 73 percent have been disbursed to women entrepreneurs. Under the ‘Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana’, about 6 crore women have become members of Self Help Groups. My Government has provided loans worth more than Rs 75 thousand crore to such Self Help Groups. This amount is two and a half times more than the loans given in the four years preceding 2014.


  1. In order to ensure the participation of women entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises, it has been made mandatory for the major Government companies to purchase at least 3 percent of their material from the enterprises owned by women entrepreneurs.


  1. My Government is also making efforts to address the problem of gender-based discrimination faced by women in different spheres. Last year, a decision was taken whereby women officers recruited under the Short Service Commission in the armed forces would be considered for permanent commission through a transparent selection process just like their male counterparts. Women, who had been deprived of employment opportunities in the underground mining sector even after so many years of independence, will now be given equal opportunity to work in this sector.


  1. To enable working women to devote more time towards the upbringing of their new born children during their crucial formative years, the Government has enhanced maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.


Honourable Members,

  1. Despite the scorching sun, heavy downpour, snow fall, or any other challenge; the hard working farmers of our country have toiled day and night to produce record food grain harvest. There has also been an increase in dairy and fish production, as also in other areas. Many of you have witnessed village life and the struggles of the farmers from very close quarters. Our farmer brothers and sisters are not only the foundation of our economy, but they also keep our traditions alive.


  1. On behalf of this august House, I compliment our annadata farmers. My Government is striving day and night to attain the goal of doubling farmers income. Understanding the needs of farmers, the Government is seeking to find permanent solutions to their problems. It is the priority of the Government to provide better facilities and assistance to farmers for the entire spectrum of agriculture activities from purchase of equipments and seeds to transportation of produce and its sale.


  1. Work is being carried out with a new approach for reducing the cost of farming, providing the farmers with fair price for their crops, providing access to new markets and helping them with additional sources of income. My Government has taken the historic decision of fixing the Minimum Support Price - MSP of 22 crops at one and a half times higher than the production cost of the crop.


  1. In addition, it is being ensured that good quality seeds are made available to the farmers. The number of Krishi Vigyan Kendras is being increased across the country to assist the farmers with scientific methods of farming. More than 17 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed to inform the farmers about the health of the soil. 100 percent Neem coating of urea has been done to facilitate its availability and to prevent its misuse.


  1. My Government is completing 99 incomplete old irrigation projects so that farmers do not face any hurdle in irrigation. 71 of these projects will be completed by the next few months. Micro-irrigation is also being promoted by the Government to ensure full utilization of every drop of water.


  1. Crop insurance is being provided to farmers at low premium under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ to safeguard them from potential crisis due to crop damage. A campaign has been launched to link online, more than 1,500 Agricultural Mandis to facilitate market access to farmers. Cold storage capacities are being increased at a fast pace to minimise crop damage from the field to the market and to ensure proper storage. The ‘Waste to Wealth’ campaign is being implemented to ensure that farmers generate additional income out of the crop residue from their field.


  1. Under the Blue Revolution scheme, my Government is providing training to fishermen in deep sea fishing and financial assistance for buying modern fishing trawlers.


  1. These comprehensive interventions will trigger a permanent transformation in our 70-year old agriculture system, empower our Annadata farmers, pull them out of their problems; and do justice to their potential.


Honourable Members,

  1. By lending momentum to schemes linked with the Digital India programme, my Government is trying to provide full advantage of e-governance to people living in rural areas. In 2014, only 59 village panchayats in the country had digital connectivity. Today, 1 lakh 16 thousand village panchayats are connected with optical fibre and about 40 thousand village panchayats have been provided with wi-fi hotspots.


  1. Establishment of Common Service Centres has been accelerated to ensure that various benefits and services are easily available to brothers and sisters in rural areas.  In these Centres, facilities like banking, insurance, pension and scholarship etc are being made available online to the village folk. In 2014 there were only 84 thousand Common Service Centres. Today, their number has increased to more than 3 lakhs. Of these, 2 lakh and 12 thousand centres have been set up in village panchayats.


  1. In this era of information technology, easy availability of data at low cost is a big facility as well as means for development for our people. The cost of one GB data which was about Rs. 250 in 2014 has now reduced to only Rs. 10 to 12. Similarly, the mobile talk time charges have now been reduced to less than half.


  1. Earlier, it was almost impossible for ordinary entrepreneurs to supply their products to Government Departments. The Government has now developed an online platform called GeM i.e. Government e-Marketplace for public procurement. This platform has helped in bringing transparency in public procurement and at the same time has provided an opportunity to entrepreneurs in big and small cities as well as villages to sell their products without any difficulty to the Government.


  1. Recently, in order to simplify the processes, the Government has started a scheme wherein loans of amounts up to Rs.1 crore are approved within 59 minutes.


Honourable Members,

60.   The great Saint Thiruvalluvar has said:

इयट्रलुम् ईट्टलुम् कात्तलुम् कात्त,

वगुत्तलुम् वल्लद अरसु

 (Iyattralum eettalum kaattalum kaatta,

Vaguttalum vallad arasu)


          That is, a well governed State is one where there is adequate growth in assets and services, where assets are well distributed and protected, and all citizens get their fair share.


  1. We are all aware of the dismal state of banking facilities for the poor, that existed even 45 years after nationalisation of banks. The Jan Dhan Yojana of my Government is an excellent example of how to lay the foundation of major economic transformation. This scheme is not merely for opening new bank accounts; its objectives are far wider. This scheme is not only ushering in economic inclusion of the poor, it is also increasing their self-confidence.


  1. 34 crore bank accounts have been opened in the country because of ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’ and almost every family is now connected to the banking system. According to an international agency, of all the bank accounts opened in the world from 2014 to 2017, 55 percent were opened in India alone. Beyond these numbers, it is important to appreciate the positive impact of this initiative on the nation’s economy.


63.   Our mothers and sisters always used to save some money for difficult times. But often these savings were spent on daily needs. Today, Rs 88 thousand crore deposited in Jan Dhan accounts is a testimony to the changing saving habits. It is only because of the Jan Dhan scheme that wages from MGNREGA, benefits from different   insurance schemes, scholarships, pensions and most other Government benefits are being credited directly into the bank accounts of the poor through DBT. Jan Dhan accounts have succeeded in eliminating the middlemen between the Government and the poor.


64.   Jan Dhan Yojana is playing an important role in facilitating cost effective digital transactions in the country through more than 60 crore Rupay debit cards and   BHIM App. Similarly Government is bringing banking services closer to the people through the ‘India Post Payments Bank’ set up in the post offices. As a result, the whole world has taken note of this step towards financial inclusion in India. 


Honourable Members,

65.   Whereas many social welfare programmes were in existence for the past several decades, they had failed to produce the desired impact. The alertness, action-oriented approach and good intention displayed by my Government towards the aspirations and difficulties of citizens have made it possible to bring about large scale visible changes.


66.   While giving a clear majority to my Government in 2014, the people of the country had also given a clear mandate to take strict action against corruption and black money. My Government has come down heavily on corruption in the past four-and-a-half years. Being sensitive to   public sentiment, my Government has waged a war on corruption and black money from day one, and approved constitution of a Special Investigation Team- SIT on black money in the very first meeting of the Cabinet. Thereafter, Government enacted a new and strict law on black money. My Government also carried out a campaign against illegally acquired assets in foreign countries. New agreements were signed with several countries known as tax havens, and several others were signed with many other countries to rectify deficiencies in existing agreements.


67.   While preventing the flow of black money abroad, my Government also launched a major campaign against black money within the country. New laws were enacted for sectors thriving on black money, and those were brought under the ambit of taxation. Amid these actions, Government also provided an opportunity to voluntarily disclose unaccounted income and wealth.


68.   Demonetisation was a defining moment in the Government’s war on corruption and black money. This decision struck at the very root of the parallel economy thriving on black money; and the money outside the formal system was brought within the ambit of nation’s economy.


69.  This action of the Government broke the back of the forces destabilising the country; and the systems sustaining the flow of black money. The registration of 3 lakh 38 thousand dubious shell companies responsible for flow of black money have been annulled by the Government. The directors of these companies have also been prohibited from holding such offices again.


70.   Assets worth more than Rs 50 thousand crore are being confiscated under the Benami Property Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the law against fugitive economic offenders. As a result of the policies of my Government, black money in real estate sector has declined substantially, the prices of houses have come down and the dream of a normal middle class family for possessing their own house is being realised.


Honourable Members,

71.   I am pleased that on account of these policies of my Government, people’s trust in the Government has increased, and there has been a sharp increase in the number of persons paying income tax. Whereas prior to 2014, 3.8 crore people had filed their return, this number has increased and more than 6.8 crore people have come forward to file their returns. Today, the tax payer is confident that each paisa contributed by him or her is being spent honestly on nation building.


72.   My Government believes that corruption and black money constitute a grave injustice towards the honest taxpayer of the country. Corruption always infringes on the rights of some poor or middle class person. The Government is relying on application of modern technology to address this situation.


73.   As a result of the expansion in Direct Benefit Transfer in the last four and a half years, more than Rs 6 lakh 5 thousand crore have been directly transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.  Because of this, about Rs. 1 lakh 10 thousand crore have been saved from falling into wrong hands. Government has removed about 8 crore fictitious names which were being used by middlemen to misappropriate the rightful benefits of genuine beneficiaries.


Honourable Members,

74.   In order to build a strong nation, it is imperative that we develop our economy in such a manner that will help our fellow citizens to progress with transparency and honesty.


75.   Prior to 2014, auction of coal mines used to be a subject of discussion due to lack of transparency. My Government developed a transparent system for auction of coal mines and has protected this national resource. Banks and creditors have directly or indirectly dealt with Rs 3 lakh crore after the new Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code has come into effect. The tendency to avail large loans and misappropriate them with an intent to default has been curbed.


76.   While Sardar Patel with his extraordinary abilities had accomplished the challenging objective of geographic and political integration of the nation, the task of economic integration remained incomplete. Our traders and entrepreneurs always faced difficulties in sale and purchase of their goods and in complying with different tax regimes prevalent in different States. Now with the implementation of a comprehensive tax reform like the GST, the concept of ‘One Nation-One Tax-One Market’ has been realised. GST is proving instrumental in establishing an honest and transparent system of trade and commerce which is also benefitting the country’s youth. This system, while reducing the difficulties faced by traders, has enhanced their ease of doing business across the country. I congratulate my compatriots for wholeheartedly embracing the new system in a short span of time in the interest of a better future for the country, in spite of the initial bottlenecks. My Government is continuously improving the GST regime keeping in view the suggestions being received from the business community.


77.   The primary focus of my Government has been to enable our youth to earn their livelihood with dignity, while also creating employment opportunities for others. In order to facilitate self-employment, my Government has introduced wide ranging reforms, which are being appreciated globally. As a result of these reforms, India’s position has improved by 65 places in the Ease of Doing Business ranking, from 142 in 2014 to 77 now. This is an extraordinary achievement.


Honourable Members,

78.   During the last four and a half years, the economy of the country has been growing at a rate of 7.3 percent on an average. India is playing a significant role in international trade. While India’s contribution to the world GDP was 2.6 percent in 2014, it has increased to 3.3 percent in 2017 as per the latest reports. India has emerged as the 6th largest economy in the world.  This is an opportune moment for the country to play a decisive role in the 4th industrial revolution and my Government is committed to ensure that our citizens take full benefit of this opportunity.


79.   As a result of the ‘Make in India’ initiative effective outcomes in the field of industrial development and employment generation are clearly visible. Now India is the 2nd largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world. Recently, the milestone of converting diesel locomotives into 10 thousand horsepower electric engines has also been established by India. As a part of Make in India initiative, Asia’s largest MedTech Zone is being established in Andhra Pradesh. Defence Corridors are being established in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which will not only strengthen our security through establishment of production facilities for defence equipment, but also provide employment to the youth. Soon, the passengers will also be able to avail the ultra-modern facilities of our fastest train till date – ‘Vande Bharat Express’.


80.   I also want to congratulate the scientists and engineers of our country who are tirelessly working for recognition of India’s prowess in this era of modern technology. The scientists and engineers from ISRO in particular are proving their pre-eminent position in the world by setting new records in launching satellites. I, on behalf of the nation, convey our best wishes to our scientists and engineers for ‘Mission Gaganyaan’.


Honourable Members,

81.   The focus of my Government on timely completion of tasks, with accountability, has resulted in increasing the confidence of the people in Government functioning and has also enhanced the pace of development. My Government has established a reputation for time bound completion of projects.


82.   Many projects where delays in completion had become synonymous with injustice to common people of this country such as India’s longest Bogibeel railroad bridge in Assam, Western Peripheral Expressway near Delhi, Kollam Bypass in Kerala have been fast tracked and completed. By completing these projects, my Government has done justice to the resources of the nation and aspirations of the people.


Honourable Members,

83.   Developing modern infrastructure for economic development as per the needs of 21st century, is the aspiration of every Indian, especially the middle class. Sensitive to their aspirations, my Government is completing new projects at a fast pace.


84.   The airport terminal constructed at Prayagraj in a record period of 11 months is an evident example. Last year, the country’s first container vessel sailed along the national waterway from Kolkata and reached Varanasi. Eastern Peripheral Expressway, started in November 2015, has also been dedicated to the nation last year.


85.   My Government believes that eastern part of India comprising east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and the States of North- East, has the potential to become a new ‘Growth Engine’. Therefore, my Government is relentlessly striving to strengthen the infrastructure related to railways, highways, waterways and airways in Eastern India.


86.   Under the Udan Yojana, 19 new airports are being built in Eastern India and of these 5 are coming up in the North East. The construction of Pakyong airport in Sikkim and Veer Surendra Sai Airport at Jharsuguda in Odisha has been completed.


87.   The work of reconstruction of fertilizers plants at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Barauni in Bihar and Sindri in Jharkhand, which were closed for several years, is progressing rapidly. The ‘Urja Ganga Pariyojana’ started with an approximate outlay of Rs.13 thousand crores will help expand the industries based on gas pipeline in several cities of Eastern India.


88.   My Government is setting up new AIIMS and new Indian Agriculture Research Institutes in Eastern India. The Government has also established a Central University at East Champaran-Motihari, the ‘Karma-bhumi’ of Mahatma Gandhi.


89.   Similarly, the work on the ‘Gas Cracker Project’ which is important for Assam and Paradip Oil Refinery in Odisha has also been expedited. The Dhola Sadiya Bridge named after Bhupen Hazarika, linking Assam and Arunachal Pradesh has already been dedicated to the nation. Out of the 18 thousand villages electrified by the Government, about 13 thousand villages are in Eastern India and out of these 5 thousand villages are in the remote areas of the North-East.


90.   My Government is working towards bringing about a transformation through transport and tourism in order to make the lives of the people of North-East easier. Almost all the railway lines of the North-East have been converted to broadgauge. Efforts are underway to provide rail connectivity to the capital cities of all the 8 States. For this, the work on 15 new rail lines is under progress at a cost of approximately Rs.50 thousand crores.


Honourable Members,

91.   Be it the country’s fastest train, the highest bridge, the longest sea-link, the longest tunnel, construction of highways at double the speed or gauge conversion of railway tracks, modern facelift of railway stations or metro projects in cities, air connectivity among small towns or construction of a new waterway, my Government is rapidly developing modern infrastructure in all these areas. Keeping environment conservation in mind, my Government is moving forward on the electric mobility front.


92.   In order to make the latest technology-based systems available in our cities so that they can become growth engines of the economy, modern facilities are being developed in 100 cities under the Smart City Mission.


93.   The nation is moving at a fast pace in the civil aviation sector also. This sector has seen a double digit growth during the last four years. More than 12 crore and 30 lakh people travelled by air during 2017-18 and this number is increasing constantly. This transformation, offers a glimpse of an India on the move. Under the ‘Udan scheme’, 12 lakh seats have been made available to people at lower tariffs. This has provided the common person with an opportunity of air travel.


94.   In addition, in the last four and a half years Government has established more than 300 new Passport Sewa Kendras in the country. Prior to 2014, there were 77 Passport Sewa Kendras, which have now increased to more than 400. People are no longer required to repeatedly visit big cities for getting their passports.


Honourable Members,

95.   In the all-round development of the country, a pivotal role is played by our labourer brothers and sisters, small and medium entrepreneurs, engineers, auditors, doctors, teachers, scientists and every professional. All these responsible citizens have lived up to this saying of Sant Ravidas that work is the best form of worship.


श्रम कउ ईसर जानि कै, जऊ पूजहि दिन रैन।

रैदास तिन्हहिं संसार मह, सदा मिलहि सुख चैन।।

 (Shram kau Isar jaani kai, jau poojahi din rain,

‘Raidas’ tinahin sansaar mah, sadaa milahi sukh chain)


          That is, those who deem work as God, and worship it day and night, are blessed with all the worldly joys and contentment.


96.   Our hardworking professionals whether linked directly or indirectly with the Government, are watchful of the process of nation building. When their hopes and aspirations are combined with the willpower of Government employees, the result is unprecedented, as witnessed by the nation today. My Government is also supporting the employees in their hour of need. By implementing the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, my Government has strived to improve their living standards.


97.   My Government has worked continuously to strengthen the spirit of Cooperative Federalism enshrined in the Constitution. It has been the endeavour of the Government to enable the State Governments to undertake development work in their respective States in a more effective manner. In line with this objective, my Government took the decision to provide the States with 10 percent additional share in taxes as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission.


Honourable Members,

98.   At this time, the whole world is talking about Kumbh, underway at Prayagraj. For this colossal event, world-class infrastructure and other facilities on a permanent basis have been developed at a fast pace. The confluence of Ganga-Yamuna-Saraswati is setting an impressive example of cleanliness and modern management.


99.   Ganga is not just a river for us but, is like a mother to us, a living symbol of our culture and faith. To keep Ganga clean is our sacred duty. Under the ‘Namami Gange Mission’, projects worth
Rs 25,500 crore have been approved so far. My Government is engaged with the task of cleaning up of the river Ganga by diverting dozens of major drains, stopping flow of industrial effluents and by setting up several Sewage Treatment Plants in the cities.


Honourable Members,

100.   Every citizen and the Government are duty bound to honour the contribution of National heroes. Carrying forward the tradition of honouring the builders of modern India, my Government has dedicated to the nation the ‘National Salt Satyagraha Memorial’ at Dandi on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Kranti Mandir, a museum in Delhi dedicated to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose has been opened to public this month.  The Government has also instituted Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Disaster Management Award in his honour. The Government has developed 5 sacred places associated with Baba Saheb Ambedkar as “Panchteerth”. The nation has paid tribute to the Iron Man of India Sardar Patel, by building the ‘Statue of Unity’, which is the tallest statue in the world. My Government is setting up museums in various States in the memory of the country’s tribal freedom fighters.


101.   My Government has conferred the Bharat Ratna on Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2015. This year it has been decided to confer Bharat Ratna on Nanaji Deshmukh, Bhupen Hazarika and Pranab Mukherjee.


102.   By conferring national awards on the basis of merit and without any discrimination to those citizens, who have worked selflessly for the welfare of the people, my Government has demonstrated country’s commitment towards the ideals of sacrifice and service. 


103.   In our tradition, the Saints and Gurus occupy the highest position. This month, to commemorate the Prakash Parv of Guru Govind Singhji, the Government has released a special coin. It is a matter of immense pleasure for all of us that my Government has taken the historic decision to construct the Kartarpur corridor.


Honourable Members

104.   In the International   context, while India is a staunch supporter of  friendly ties with  all countries, there is also a need to constantly strengthen our capabilities  to tackle any challenges. Through the surgical strike on cross border terror posts, India has shown its new policy and strategy.  Last year India joined the handful of countries that possess the Nuclear Triad capability.


105.   Our defence forces and their morale symbolise the prowess of the India of the 21st century. Not only has my Government fulfilled the demand for One Rank One Pension that had been pending for 4 decades, but it has also disbursed arrears amounting to more than Rs 10,700 crore to 20 lakh ex-servicemen.


106.   My Government believes that neglecting the country’s defence needs even for a moment is detrimental to the  present as well as future of the country. The new agreements relating to defence sector signed last year, purchase of new defence equipment  and  indigenous production  within the country under the Make in India initiative have  all helped in boosting  the morale of the defence forces and  increasing  the country’s military self-reliance. After a gap of many decades, the Indian Air Force is preparing  to welcome, in the coming months, its new generation ultra-modern fighter aircraft Rafale and strengthen its strike capability.


107.   On this occasion, I would also like to congratulate the country’s security forces that are constantly striving to strengthen the country’s internal security. Their concerted efforts have played a crucial role in reducing terrorism and violence. In the last few years, a record number of youngsters in the Maoist areas have come forward to join the mainstream. The Police Memorial, which was dedicated to the nation last year seeks to honour their sacrifice and also preserves the memories of their sacrifice for the future generations.


Honourable Members,

108.   My Government is committed to the equitable development of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir. As a result of the efforts of my Government, an environment favourable to development has been created in the State. Recently, in Jammu and Kashmir, elections to Urban Local Bodies after an interval of 13 years and in Panchayats after 7 years have been conducted peacefully with more than 70 per cent voters participating enthusiastically.  Committed to the development of Jammu and Kashmir, my Government announced a package of Rs.80 thousand crores. Under the package, projects related to infrastructure, health and education sectors worth more than Rs.66 thousand crores have been approved so far.


109.   It is a measure of my Government’s diplomatic success that today India’s voice is heard with respect at international fora. Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas organized recently in Varanasi has reinforced this fact. At the initiative of India, 21st June was declared as International Yoga Day by the United Nations and is now being celebrated with great enthusiasm across the world. Yoga is rapidly gaining in popularity at the global level. India is proud to have gifted the outstanding discipline of Yoga to the world community.


110.   My Government has not only enhanced the credibility and prestige of the passports held by the Indian diaspora but has also stood by them in their hour of need. During the last four years, more than 2 Lakh 26 thousand Indians stranded abroad have been rescued and brought back to the country.


111.   The United Nations Award for India’s efforts in the field of environment conservation has made every Indian proud. It is a matter of pride for all of us that India is providing leadership to the global solar revolution and last year the first summit of the International Solar Alliance was successfully organized in Delhi.


112.   In 2022, India will host the G-20 Summit. Hosting the summit in the year marking the 75th anniversary celebration of our independence will further enhance India’s global influence.


Honourable Members,

113.   This year our nation will provide a decisive impetus to our march towards a powerful, self-reliant and prosperous 21st century new India. The biggest festival of democracy will be celebrated this year in the form of General Election. Through this august House, I convey my best wishes to the young voters who will cast their votes for first time in this century. As citizens of India, they will exercise their right to vote, and determine the direction of the nation’s policies and decisions.


114.  My Government’s efforts are ushering in change for the betterment of the country and this process will continue. With the blessings and support of 130 crore Indians, my Government has commenced its journey towards building a New India.


          —      A New India, where every person has access to basic amenities.

          —      A New India, where every person is healthy, secure and educated

          —      A New India, where every person gets an opportunity to nurture his or her talent, and has equal opportunities of advancement.

          —      A New India, where every child progresses in life without any deprivation, and every daughter feels safe.

          —      A New India, where every person gets justice with dignity.

          —      A New India, which commands the respect of the entire world. 


Honourable Members,

115.  Let us all come together to pave the way for a New India and take India to glorious new heights in the 21st Century.


Jai Hind!





Read more: Address by the President of India Shri Ram Nath...

Shri R K Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India laid the foundation stone of Regional testing laboratory of Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) at Nashik, Maharashtra today.


Manufacturers in the western region will be greatly benefited as they can test their products close to their manufacturing units. This would reduce the turnaround time and overhead cost. This shall help the power utilities in the country to install reliable and quality equipment in the power system network.  


Electrical Equipment plays a vital role in the Power System Network right from Generation, Transmission & Distribution. Such electrical equipment needs to be tested and certified as per the national and international standards.


Electricity demand in the country has increased rapidly and is expected to rise further in the years to come. In order to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the country, massive addition to the installed generating capacity is required. This leads to growth of electrical industries and development of indigenous products. Keeping this in view, Government of India has sanctioned establishing Research and Testing facilities in the western region at Nashik at an outlay of Rs 115.3 Cr.


The proposed new unit of CPRI at Nashik is being established on the Land allotted by Government of Maharashtra at Shilapur, Nashik. The unit at Nashik will have On Line Short Circuit test facilities for Transformers, miniature circuit breakers, contactors, switch fuse unit, panels, busducts and Current Transformers. In addition state of the art facilities are being established for Energy Meter (Both Smart Meter & Conventional Meter) and Transformer Oil.


The occasion was graced by Shri Chandrashekhar Krishnarao Bawankule, Minister for Energy, New & Renewable Energy and State Excise, Govt. of Maharashtra, and the people’s representatives from the area.


About CPRI :

To cater to the testing needs, CPRI, Autonomous body under Ministry of Power, Govt of India serves as an Independent third party testing laboratory. CPRI has been serving for the past five decades in the field of Testing and Certification, Research, Consultancy, Third Party Inspection services, Training & Vendor Analysis.




Read more: Power Minister Shri RK Singh lays the foundation...

In the Interim Budget 2019-20, the Railways has been allocated Rs.64,587 crore.  The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme is of Rs.1,58,658 crore.  This was stated by the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal, while presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today.


Shri Piyush Goyal said  - “Indian Railways has experienced the safest year in its history as all Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network have been eliminated”


Vande Bharat Express:


            Introduction of the first indigenously developed and manufactured semi high-speed "Vande Bharat Express" will give the Indian passengers world class experience with speed, service and safety. This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs.


The Finance Minister stated that “infrastructure is the backbone of any nation’s development and quality of life.  Whether it is highways or railways or airways or even digi-ways, we have gone beyond incremental growth to attain transformative achievements.”




Infra in North East Region:


            The number of operational airports has crossed 100 with the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim. Domestic passenger traffic has doubled during the last five years leading to large number of jobs being created also. Today, India is the fastest highway developer in the world with 27 kms of highways built each day. Projects stuck for decades like the Eastern Peripheral Highway around Delhi or the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have been completed. The flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas of the country will develop ports for faster handling of import and export cargo. For the first time, container freight movement has started on inland waterways from Kolkata to Varanasi. Our Government will introduce container cargo movement to the North East as well, by improving the navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra river.


The Finance Minister announced that the people of North East have received significant benefits of infrastructure development in this Interim Budget. Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently and Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have come on India’s rail map for the first time. Allocation for the North Eastern Areas is being proposed to be increased by 21% to ` Rs.58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE.


Boost to Renewable Energy:


The Finance Minister “while presenting the Interim Budget stated that India provided leadership to the global effort to address the problem of climate change. Our commitment to promote renewable energy is reflected in setting-up the International Solar Alliance, the first treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs.”


            India's import dependence on crude oil and natural gas has been a source of big concern to our Government. While we have taken a large number of measures to moderate the increasing demand through usage of bio fuel and alternate technologies, urgent action is needed to increase hydrocarbon production to reduce imports. A high level Inter-Ministerial Committee, constituted by our Government, has made several specific recommendations, including transforming the system of bidding for exploration, changing from revenue sharing to exploration programme for Category II and III basins. The Government is in the process of implementing these recommendations, the Minister said.




Read more: Government allocates Rs.64,587 Crore for...

The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design formally presented the fourth annual Carnot Prize to Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal and former Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Shri Goyal had previously been unable to accept the award in the United States of America, due to to the unfortunate train tragedy that took place in Amritsar.

The award recognises the pathbreaking transformations in India’s energy sector under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The efforts of Hon’ble Ministers Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, and Shri R.K. Singh, Minister for Power, and New and Renewable Energy will further bolster India’s commitment towards mitigating climate change and provide energy security to the 125 crore people of the nation.

Shri Piyush Goyal had stated that “it is both a personal honour as well as a tribute to the efforts of all involved in this great work throughout India to be recognised with the Carnot Prize by the University of Pennsylvania”.

Additionally, he has decided that the award money, which he will receive as part of the 2018 Carnot Prize, will be donated to the International Solar Alliance to institute the Diwakar Award. The Diwakar award will recognise, every year, an outstanding organisation that has been working for special children and maximising the use of solar energy.

The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice. The most prestigious award in the energy sector, Carnot Prize is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot who recognised that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development. The Carnot Prize is intended to honour those leading revolutions in energy policy to further progress and prosperity. Previous winners include: Dr. Daniel Yergin, Vice chairman of IHS, Dr. Fatih Birol, Director of International Energy Agency, Gina McCarthy is a career public servant in fields of energy and environment.

The 2018 Carnot Prize is a recognition of India’s efforts towards eliminating energy poverty with sustainable energy solutions. The rural electrification drive helped in achieving ‘24x7 Affordable, Environment Friendly Power for all’,  as India eliminated decades of darkness in more than 19,000 villages on 28th April, 2018.  With the Saubhagya Programme, the last-mile connectivity to every household in the villages is being fast tracked. Mark Alan Hughes, founding faculty director, Kleinman Center, commended India’s electrification drive - “Providing power to the world’s energy poor turns on the lights—and also empowers education, sanitation, and health care. It closes the gap between the haves and have nots.”

Hon’ble Prime Minister has called climate conservation an article of faith for India. The massive thrust to green energy is reflected in India’s 175 GW target by 2022, which is the world’s largest renewable expansion programme. The Carnot Prize recognises India’s “solid footing to reach a 40% renewable mix by 2030” (Kleinman Center for Energy Policy). Hon’ble Prime Minister gave the vision of “one world, one sun, one grid” while addressing the member nations of the International Solar Alliance, and India is playing its role as a committed solar leader through steady progress on all green energy goals.

In the last four years, energy efficiency has become a people’s movement in India, making the Government’s UJALA scheme the world’s largest LED distribution programme. Along with private sector participation, 143 crore LED bulbs have been provided.



Read more: Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Surat today. He laid the foundation stone for extension of Terminal Building of Surat Airport which will lead to enhanced connectivity and prosperity in Surat and the Southern Gujarat region.

Addressing a gathering on this occasion, PM said, “For Ease of Doing Business, the infrastructure of this country must improve and extension of Surat airport is an effort in this direction.” The Surat Airport Terminal building is being extended with a construction cost of Rs.354 crore with an area of over 25,500 square metres. It will be an eco-friendly sustainable building, using solar energy and LED lighting. When the work of the new terminal is over, it will be able to handle 26 lakh passengers in a year in place of 4 lakhs now. PM added that Air India Express flight will soon connect Surat to Sharjah. There will be two flights per week initially which will be doubled to four per week, later.

PM said that under the Udan scheme, more number of airports are being added to give a boost to air connectivity and now people can access it not far from their respective places. He added, “We want to make air travel accessible to everybody. UDAN has immensely helped to boost air connectivity in India. UDAN has added 40 Airports on the air map of India.  The government is planning to develop more such airports across the country

Highlighting the development works undertaken by the Government, he said that a Government with total majority can take bold decisions and work freely for the development of the nation. He asserted, “Because you have given us majority that is why we are able to take tough decisions” and that the NDA government has worked for the middle class unlike the previous governments.

Comparing the performance of his Government vis a vis UPA, Mr. Modi said that “In four years of our rule, we constructed 1.30 crore houses while in UPA rule they built 25 lakh houses.” He also added that “Now we have more than 400 passport offices compared to only 80 in 2014.”

PM also distributed keys to some beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in Surat. He said the Government is working on a mission mode with focussed approach for ease of living of the poor and middle class of the country, More than 13 lakh houses have been built for the poor living in cities in the past four years by the government and construction of 37 lakh homes is underway.” 

Recalling the role of Surat in freedom movement, Mr. Modi expressed hope that the city will emerge as one of the fastest developing cities across the globe in a decade with a surge in the investments in the city. 

Later in the day, PM inaugurated a state of the art super speciality, Rasilaben Sevantilal Shah Venus Hospital in Surat. He inspected facilities in the hospital. Addressing a public gathering, he underlined how Ayushman Bharat has played a key role in providing affordable health care services to the people. He said that more number of generic medicines are now available for the people which will not only reduce the cost of health care but also save many precious lives.

Later this evening, PM will address New India Youth Conclave at Surat Indoor Stadium after his return from Dandi where he unveiled the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial. The memorial has statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March to make salt from sea water against the British rule 24 narrative murals here depict various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March. It has been a landmark event in the history of India’s freedom struggle.



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