New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday (January 31) reminded the country about his government's commitment to giving importance to women's participation in the development of India and eradicating certain social evils.
In his Presidential Address to the joint sitting of Parliament marking the beginning of the Budget session, he said that by bringing in law against Triple Talaq, the Centre has abolished a social evil prevalent in
Muslim society. Moreover, he said Muslim women would no longer need to be accompanied by a blood-relative (Mehram) to go for Haj pilgrimage.
"Women participation in the development of the rural economy is increasing. In the year 2021-22, 28 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) were given financial support of Rs 65,000 crore by the banks," the President said.
President said this figure is four times higher than the 2014-15 financial year. He further informed that the Centre has trained thousands of such groups and helped them participate as 'Banking Sakhi'. He also said that the success of Ujjwala Yojna has been witnessed by all, and with the help of schemes like Mudra Yojna, over 15 crore people have been benefited, and around four crore people have started their own businesses.
He also mentioned the 'Beti Bachao, Beti padhao' campaign, adding that it yielded positive results as the number of girls taking admission in schools has increased significantly.
"Soch nayi ho toh….":
"Soch nayi ho to purane sansadhano se bhi naye raste banaye jaa sakte hai (If we think in an innovative manner, we can work wonders even with old resources," the President said. This was in the context of various reforms strategy adopted in the agrarian sector.
Despite the Covid pandemic, he said Indian farmers produced more than 30 crore tonnes of food grains, and 33 crore tonnes of horticulture produce in 2020-21.
For its part, the government also made record procurement to match the record production.
"I would like to give maximum credit to the small farmers of the country for this consistent success and strengthening the agriculture sector," President Kovind said.
"My government is working continuously to empower the farmers and the rural economy of the country. The government procured 433 lakh metric tonnes of wheat during the Rabi season benefiting about 50 lakh farmers. A record quantity of about 900 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was procured during Kharif season, benefiting one crore 30 lakh farmers," he said.
Stating that agriculture exports have also reached a record level due to the efforts of the government, he said, "Agricultural exports registered a growth of more than 25 per cent in the year 2020-21, and have reached nearly Rs three lakh crore." Because of the incentives provided to honey production, domestic production of honey reached 1,25,000 metric tonnes in 2020-21, said President Kovind.