President praises move on Article 370 on I-Day eve speech

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi-led government’s decision to withdraw special status to Jammu & Kashmir and divide the state into two Union Territories came in for praise from President Ram Nath Kovind during his address to the nation on the eve of India’s 73rd Independence Day on Wednesday.

“I believe, the recent changes carried out in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will be immensely beneficial for the citizens of the region,” Kovind said.

Kovind also praised political parties cutting across party lines for the recent extended Budget session of the Parliament which enabled the passage of several key bills.

“Happy to note that the recently concluded session of Parliament saw lengthy and productive sittings of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Many important Bills were passed in a spirit of cross-party co-operation and constructive debate. I am confident this is only an indicator of what the coming five years have in store,” he said.

The President praised the citizens of the country for coming out in large numbers during the Lok Sabah elections held earlier this year and for exercising their franchises diligently.

“Aspirations of the people are clearly visible in the manner in which they exercised their franchise. The government is trying to provide better basic services to the citizens of the country for fulfilling their aspirations,” he said.

Kovind also stressed upon the need for better infrastructure to improve the economic scenario of India during the course of his speech.

“Rural roads and better connectivity have meaning only if farmers use them to reach bigger markets and get better prices for their produce,” he said.

The need for creation of imaginative enterprises that will result in sustainable jobs was one of the hallmarks of the President’s speech. “Fiscal reforms and easier regulations for business have meaning only if our entrepreneurs, whether small startups or big industrialists, use these to build honest and imaginative enterprises and create sustainable jobs,” he said

Kovind further added that universal availability of toilets and household water have meaning only if they empower the women of India to enhance their dignity and become a catalyst for them to go out into the world and achieve their ambitions.