Parliament reflects the supreme will of the people, President Pranab Mukherjee said in a strong criticism of disruption and obstruction and called upon all MPs to discharge their responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation.
In his customary address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament outlining government’s agenda in the coming financial year, he also declared that the government will constantly strive for smooth and constructive conduct of Parliamentary business.
“My government is placed in making this goal possible through financial inclusion and social security,” he added. Mukherjee was addressing the parliamentarians of both the houses — Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha — in a joint sitting ahead of the commencement of the budget session. He said: “The development philosophy of the government was ‘Sabka saath, Sabka vikas’. My government in particular is focussed on ‘Garibon Ki Unnati’, ‘Kisano Ki Samridhi’ and ‘Yuvaon Ka Rozgar”.
“My government will constantly strive for smooth and constructive conduct of Parliamentary business. I urge all Members of Parliament to discharge their solemn responsibilities in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation. Let us all collectively endeavour to build a flourishing and prosperous India,” he said.
The President’s remarks assume significance in the context of repeated disruption of business on various issues, loss of time of Parliament and the stalling of legislative business in Rajya Sabha where the government lacks majority.
The 20-page speech was heard in rapt attention by members in the central hall of Parliament whenever he spoke of the government achievements and new announcements.
“Let noble thoughts come from all directions, should be the spirit behind the debate in this temple of democracy. Being a member of this great institution bestows great honour as well as important responsibilities,” Mukherjee said.
Asserting that the government is fully committed to firmly dealing with all challenges concerning the security of the country, the President said terrorism is a global threat and strong counter-terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it completely.
“Let me congratulate the security forces in successfully foiling the recent attack at the Pathankot air base by terrorists. Firm and effective steps will be taken to deal with any situation arising out of cross-border terrorism,” he said.
“My government is committed to forging a mutually respectful relationship with Pakistan and in creating an environment of cooperation in combating cross border terrorism,” Mukherjee said while referring to the government’s foreign policy.
He said the government believes in a secure and prosperous future for the neighbourhood while committing itself to the principle of ‘the world is one family’.
Elaborating on the focus of the government ‘development for all’ beyond just the economic advancements that dominate headlines, the President said the country must ensure that the poor and deprived were truly empowered to take advantage of opportunities to improve their lives.
“Development for all means that backward sections of society are equally valued and are genuine stakeholders in the country’s progress. Development for all implies that we tackle the pollution, traffic, and garbage problems that plague our cities,” he said.
Mukherjee said ‘development for all’ also meant development of the entire world which was why India has to be a responsible member of the global comity of nations helping humanity solve major challenges such as terrorism, climate change and financial instability.