President Ram Nath Kovind’s cavalcade arrived at the Parliament as the budget session commenced today.

“I bow down to the lakhs of freedom fighters who prioritised their duties and helped India get its rights. I also respectfully remember the personalities who contributed to the development journey of India in the 75 years of independence,” President Ram Nath Kovind said, while addressing both the House of the Parliament.

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“Starting this year, the Government has begun the Republic Day celebrations from January 23 – Netaji’s birth anniversary. My Govt believes that remembering the past and learning from it is very important for the safe future of the country,” President Kovind said. 

The President further said that India’s capability in fight against COVID-19 was evident in vaccination program. “In less than a year, we made a record of administering over 150 crore doses of vaccine. Today, we are one of the leading nations of the world in terms of administering the maximum number of doses,” President added.

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“Ayushman Bharat card benefitted the poor. Availability of medicines at low prices at Jan Aushadi Kendra was also a great move,” President Ram Nath Kovind further said.

“To ensure that no one returns home hungry, my government distributes free ration to the poor every month as part of PM Gareeb Kalyan Yojana. Today, India is running world’s largest food distribution program; it has been extended till March 2022,” President Kovind said.

“My government is also running PM Svanidhi Yojana to benefit the street vendors. So far 28 lakh street vendors have received monetary support worth over Rs 2900 crores. The government is now connecting these vendors with online companies,” President Ram Nath Kovind said.

“Local languages are being promoted as part of National Education Policy; emphasis being laid on conducting important entrance examinations in Indian languages. 19 engineering colleges across 10 states to teach in 6 Indian languages this year,” he added.

There will be no Zero Hour and Question Hour in both Houses of Parliament during the first two days of the Budget Session.

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Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that elections keep happening but Parliament’s Budget session is very important and urged all MPs to make it fruitful.

Addressing the media ahead of the start of the Budget Session, PM Modi said that in today’s global situation, there are a lot of opportunities for India and asserted that a confidence is being instilled in the world for India for its economic progress, vaccination programme and Made in India vaccines.

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“True that polls affect sessions and debates. But I request all MPs that elections will go on but Budget Session draws a blueprint for an entire year and therefore, it is very important,” PM Modi said.

“The more fruitful we make this session, the better opportunity there would be in the coming year to take the country to new economic heights,” he said.

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The session comes ahead of assembly polls in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Goa.