New Delhi: Government attaches paramount importance to safeguarding the interest of farmers and families affected by land acquisition, President Pranab Mukherjee declared today seeking cooperation of MPs in smooth conduct of Parliament where Opposition plans to corner it on the land ordinance.
Delivering his address to the joint sitting of Parliament, whose budget session commenced today, he said the government will constantly endeavour for smooth conduct of legislative business and enactment of progressive laws in the Parliament.
Giving no indication of any changes in the Ordinance, which the Opposition parties are opposed to, Mukherjee said “My government attaches paramount importance to safeguard the interest of farmers and families affected by land acquisition.
“While taking utmost care to protect the interest of farmers, including their compensation entitlements, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act has been suitably refined to minimise certain procedural difficulties in acquisition of Land inevitably required for critical public projects of infrastructure and for creation of basic amenities like rural housing, schools and hospitals, particularly in remote areas.”
The address, which is mandatory at the commencement of the first session every year, lists the steps the government has taken in the nine months it has been in power for financial inclusion, cleanliness campaign and measures to unearth black money both internally and outside.
Terrorism and Left Wing Extremism posed a grave challenge to the internal security of the nation, the President said and asserted that the government was firmly committed to dealing with these challenges in cohesive collaboration with the affected people and state governments in a holistic manner.
Mukherjee said while the government has reinvigorated relations with neighbours, especially its policy towards South Asian neighbours, he made it clear that “we speak clearly about our interests and are fully prepared to defend our borders and secure our people”.
With clouds of storm hovering over Parliament's budget session as government prepares to enact various ordinances into law, Mukherjee said Parliament is the sanctum sanctorum of Democracy and the people of have reposed unflinching faith in this institution for fulfilment of their hopes and expectations.
“My Government will constantly endeavour for smooth conduct of legislative business and enactment of progressive laws in the Parliament which reflects the will and aspirations of the people.
“I urge all Members of the Parliament to discharge their solemn responsibility in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accommodation.
“By channelising the patriotic energies of every citizen, we all collectively must work towards building a strong and modern India. Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat (One India, Best India). Jai Hind,” he said winding up his speech that was heard with rapt attention with occasional thumping of desks.
On economy, the President said India has emerged as the fastest growing large economy with an estimated 7.4 per cent growth rate in 2014-15 and added the government is taking “decisive measures” to ensure a better future for the people.
“A promising future awaits us,” he added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his ministerial colleagues, Opposition leaders in both the Houses, former Prime Minister Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda, Sonia Gandhi and L K Advani were among those seated in the front benches at the Central Hall of Parliament.