Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla ji, my Cabinet colleagues Shri Prahlad Joshi ji, Shri Hardeep Puri ji, chairman of this committee Shri C.R. Patil ji, parliamentarians, ladies and gentlemen!! Many many congratulations to all of you for this new housing facility for public representatives in Delhi. There is also a pleasing coincidence today. Today is also the birthday of our committed and soft-spoken Speaker Shri Om Birla ji. Many many best wishes to Om ji. I pray to God that you remain healthy, live long and continue to serve the country.
The houses for MPs were readied in North Avenue last year. And these three towers at B.D. Road are ready for allotment. I wish that the confluence of these three towers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati – keep the public representatives living here healthy, engaged and content. These flats have been provided with all the facilities which will help the MPs in discharging their duty. MPs will find it much easier since it is close to Parliament House.
Accommodation for the Members of Parliament in Delhi has been a long standing problem. As Birla ji was saying just now that the MPs have to put up in hotels for a long time. It also leads to economic burden. They also did not enjoy this, but were under compulsion. But serious efforts to overcome this problem began especially after 2014. The decades-old problems can be resolved by finding solutions to them and not by avoiding. Not only the accommodation for MPs, there were several projects in Delhi which had been lying incomplete for many years, and were in limbo. Construction of several buildings began during this government itself and was completed in the stipulated time, even before the scheduled time. When there was the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, discussion began on the Ambedkar National Memorial. It took several years for its construction and it was completed only after the formation of this government. The Doctor Ambedkar International Centre was built by this government after a long wait of 23 years. The new building of the Central Information Commission was completed by this government. The country was, for decades, discussing a proposal of the War Memorial. The brave soldiers of our country were expecting and demanding this for a long time. Our government also had the privilege of constructing a war memorial near India Gate in memory of the country's martyrs. Thousands of policemen in our country have sacrificed their lives to maintain law and order. Thousands of policemen have been martyred. The National Police Memorial in their memory was also built by this government. The inauguration of the new houses for MPs today is also an urgent and important step in the same series.I am glad that a long wait of our MPs is now going to be over. Environment has been taken care of while building these flats. Energy conservation measures, solar plants, sewage treatment plants, these concepts of green buildings make these flats more modern.
I congratulate everybody, including the Lok Sabha Speaker, Lok Sabha Secretariat, the Urban Development Ministry and other departments involved in its construction that they have made this good facility possible in such a short time. And we all are very aware that our Lok Sabha Speaker believes in quality and savings. In the Parliament, he ensures saving of time and quality of debates. All those things have been meticulously implemented in its construction. We all remember when we saw a glimpse of the working style of the Speaker in the monsoon session also. The Parliament session happened amid a slew of precautions and new arrangements during the Corona period. All the colleagues in the ruling and opposition parties made good use of each and every moment. Everyone cooperated whether the alternate work by both the Houses and even holding proceedings on Saturdays and Sundays. All parties cooperated.
There is another major reason behind the energy that has soared in our Parliament. It has also started from 2014 in a way. The country wanted to move towards a new direction then, wanted change and therefore more than 300 first time MPs were elected in the country’s Parliament, and I was also one among those who were elected for the first time. In this 17th Lok Sabha also, there are 260 MPs who have been elected for the first time. That is, there are more than 400 MPs who have either come for the first time or have reached Parliament for the second time this time. Not only this, the 17th Lok Sabha has also registered a record by electing the highest number of woman MPs. This young mindset of the country, this new mood is also reflected in the proceedings of Parliament. This is the reason that today one finds a new mindset and a new approach in the working style and governance of the country. This is the reason that today the country’s Parliament is taking a new step for a new India and is taking fast decisions. The last 16th Lok Sabha passed 15 percent more bills compared than before. In the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, 135 percent work was done in the stipulated time. The Rajya Sabha also worked 100 percent. This is the highest performance in the last two decades. In the last winters, the productivity of Lok Sabha was more than 110 percent.
All the MPs have taken care of both the products and the process in the productivity of Parliament. The MPs of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have attained a new height in this direction. And indeed there is also the contribution of those MPs who are no longer with the Parliament. You see, how much we have attained. So much new has been done together. If we only talk about the last one and one-and-a-half years, the country has worked to liberate farmers from the clutches of middlemen. The country has undertaken historic labour reforms and has ensured protection of workers. The country has also worked to connect the people of Jammu and Kashmir with the mainstream of development and many laws. For the first time, such laws against corruption have been made in Jammu Kashmir.
The country has also given freedom to women from social evils like triple talaq.
In the meantime, the death penalty has also been provided for those who rape innocent girls. Several important decisions like GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code have been taken for the modern economy. Similarly, we have together passed the Citizenship Amendment Act by fulfilling the commitment of India’s sensitive identity. If these works, these successes are products then the process to implement them has been equally brilliant. Perhaps, not many people may have taken note of it, but there has been on an average 2-3 hours debate to pass 60 percent bills in the 16th Lok Sabha. We passed more bills than the previous Lok Sabha, but still we have debated more than ever.
It shows that we have also focused on the product and also improved the process. And all this has been done by all of you honourable MPs. It has happened because of you. I publicly congratulate all the Members of Parliament for this.
In general, it is said that the age of 16-17-18 for the youths, when they are in 10th-12th class, is very important. This age of 16-17-18 is also equally important for any young democracy. You see, now, with the 2019 elections, we have completed the term of the 16th Lok Sabha. This period has been very historic for the development and progress of the country. The term of 17th Lok Sabha has started after 2019. This Lok Sabha has also made history with the decisions and steps taken in the country during this period. There will be 18th Lok Sabha after this. I am sure the next Lok Sabha will also play a very important role to take the country forward in the new decade. Therefore, I have presented before you the importance of this 16-17-18. There are so many things before the country which we have to achieve during this period. We have to achieve all these, whether it is Atmanirbhar Bharat mission, goals related to economy and similar other resolutions, during this period. Therefore, this period encompassing the 16th, 17th and 18th Lok Sabha is very important for our young country. We are fortunate to become part of this important period for the country. And, therefore, it is our collective responsibility to see that whenever there is study of different terms of Lok Sabha in the history, this period should be remembered as a golden chapter for the development of the country.
It is said here -- “क्रियासिद्धि: सत्वेभवति महताम् नोपकरणे”
It means that we can attain karma through our true resolutions and our intentions.
Today, we have resources and also firm determination. The more hard work we put in for our resolutions, the sooner and bigger the accomplishment. I am sure that we will all together fulfil the dreams of 130 crore countrymen, will meet the goal of self-reliant India. With these good wishes, once again, congratulations to all of you.
Many many thanks!