President Ram Nath Kovind while addressing the joint sitting of both the Houses of the Parliament today announced the pension for small shopkeepers and retail traders along with other developments in Banking and Financial sector.
He also presented the road map for the Government of India in the coming years while also highlighting the tasks which have already been done.
The session was attended by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, newly-elected Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla and other Members of both houses of Parliament (MPs).
Key takeaways from the President’s speech in Parliament included:
- For the first time, a Government has taken note of the economic security of small shopkeepers. In the very first meeting of the Cabinet, a separate ‘Pension Scheme’ has been approved for small shopkeepers and retail traders. About 3 crore small shopkeepers in the country will benefit from this scheme.
- Today India has joined the league of countries with the most number of start-ups in the world. To improve the start-up ecosystem, the Government is simplifying the rules. This campaign will be further expedited. Our goal is to establish 50,000 start-ups in the country by 2024.
- Economic development plays the most vital role in improving the lives of our countrymen. Today India is among the fastest growing economies in the world. Inflation is low, the fiscal deficit is under control, foreign exchange reserves are growing and the impact of Make In India is clearly visible.
- India is now on the way to become the world’s 5thlargest economy in terms of GDP. To maintain the high growth rate, the reform process will continue. It is our objective to make India a 5-trillion dollar economy by 2024.
- Work is underway in full earnest to transform India into a Global Manufacturing Hub. Keeping in view Industry 4.0, a New Industrial Policy will be announced shortly. In ‘Ease of Doing Business’, India has leap-frogged 65 positions during the past 5 years, from a ranking of 142 in 2014 to 77. Now our goal is to be among the top 50 countries in the world. In order to achieve this, the process of simplification of rules will be further expedited in collaboration with the States. In this sequence, necessary amendments are also being brought in the Companies Law.
- The taxationregime plays an important role in accelerating economic development. Along with continuous reform, the simplification of the taxation system is also being emphasised. Exemption to persons earning up to Rs. 5 lakh from payment of income tax is an important step in this direction.
- Similarly, the indirect tax system is also being made simple and effective. With the implementation of GST, the concept of ‘One country, One tax, One market’ has become a reality. Efforts to further simplify the GST will continue.
- Keeping in view the interests of small traders, my Government has launched a New Pension Scheme for them. ‘National Traders Welfare Board’ will be constituted shortly, and ‘National Retail Trade Policy’ will be formulated to promote retail business. Accident insurance of up to Rs. 10 lakh will also be provided to all traders registered under GST.
- The MSME sector provides a strong foundation for the country’s economy and plays a critical role in employment generation. Several steps have been taken to ensure smooth cash flow to enterprises run by small entrepreneurs. In order to ensure that entrepreneurs associated with the MSME sector do not face any problem in accessing credit, the credit guarantee coverage is being enhanced to Rs.1 lakh crore.
- ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code’ is among the biggest and most impactful economic reforms undertaken in the country. With the coming into force of this Code, banks and other financial institutions have been able to settle directly or indirectly an amount of more than Rs.3 lakh 50 thousand crore. This Code has also curbed the tendency of wilfully defaulting on loans taken from banks and other financial institutions.