BUDGET SESSION: Parliament starts Budget session with address by President Ramnath Kovind

NEW DELHI: Parliament started its Budget Session here on Friday, with an inaugural address by President Ram Nath Kovind, followed by presentation of the Economic Survey for fiscal 2019-20 by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Budget will be presented in Parliament on Saturday, February 1.
President Kovind said this decade is key to India’s economic growth. “We must make a strong foundation for a strong India,” he said and spoke against violent protests apparently in the context of the anti-CAA campaign by pro-Muslim entities. The Opposition led by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi led a protest before the start of the session in the morning, denouncing the government’s steps like CAA, NRC, NPA. MPs of the Opposition held placards like Save India, No to CAA, NRC.
President Kovind said, “My government is clearly of the view that mutual discussions and debates further strengthen democracy. At the same time, any kind of violence in the name of protest weakens the society and the country.”
While the Budget session will conclude on April 3 as per schedule, it will have recess from February 11 to March 2.
The President said his government is striving to give farmers at least 1.5 times the cost of production by way of remunerative prices. The regular hike in Minimum Sale Price of Kharif crops, he said, was a step in this direction.
The Economic Survey will present the state of the nation’s economy during the present fiscal which will have only two more months left for completion by March end, for the nation to enter the next financial year. It also gives hints about the government’s plan to give a boost to the economy, which is currently growing at 5plus per cent rate down from the 9plus per cent seven years ago. The downfall had begun during the UPA II’s last phase itself. –IHN-NN

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