Economy, poverty, and social development key for India

Indian president addresses parliament after formation of new government

Indian president addresses parliament after formation of new government

NEW DELHI – The need for economic revival, poverty alleviation and women's empowerment in India was stressed by India's President Pranab Mukherjee during a speech to parliament on Monday. 

Outlining the roadmap for the new federal government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mukherjee also emphasized assurances for minorities and people from lower castes, zero-tolerance for terrorism and active engagement with key foreign diplomacy players. 

“The electorate transcended the boundaries of caste, creed, region and religion to come together and vote decisively in favor of development through good governance,” Mukherjee said.

The Indian President is constitutionally-bound to address both houses of the parliament after the formation of a new government.

“They have voted for a united, strong, and modern India…My government will work to fulfill these aspirations; with the involvement of all the 125 crore (1.25 billion) people of this great country,” he said. “My government will not be satisfied with mere poverty alleviation; and commits itself to the goal of poverty elimination.”

Mukherjee assured India’s minorities and weaker sections of society that they will be an “equal partner” in India’s progress.

“It is unfortunate that even after several decades of independence, sections of minority community continues to suffer from poverty, and benefits of government schemes do not reach them,” he said adding measures will be initiated to promote modern technical education among minority communities. “The government will have a policy of zero tolerance for violence against women, and will strengthen the criminal justice system for its effective implementation.”

Mukherjee, a former finance minister, also emphasized the need for stronger economic growth.

“Putting the Indian economy back on track is paramount for my government. We will work together to usher our economy into a high growth path, rein in inflation, reignite the investment cycle, accelerate job creation and restore the confidence of the domestic as well as international community in our economy,” he said, adding that foreign investment would be allowed into sectors that help create jobs and assets.

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