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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 08.01.2016

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee called upon all Governors/Lt. Governors to use power of persuasion and astute leadership to contribute to success of flagship policies and programmes. This call was given in a New Year Message to the Governors/Lt. Governors delivered through Video Conferencing from Rashtrapati Bhavan today (January 8, 2016).

The President said there are several important initiatives that have been taken by the Government of India to accelerate the progress of the nation and for enhancing the standard of living of the people. Prominent among them are Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission, Digital India, Make in India, Skilling India, and the Start-up India initiatives. Each of these programmes has a specific role in the making of a new India where there would be greater opportunities for its citizens especially the youth. Though these flagship policies and programmes are to be primarily implemented by the executive under the leadership of the Chief Ministers, astute leadership, power of persuasion and balancing influence of Governors can help in this transformative process.

The President said in our parliamentary democracy, the Governors are the constitutional heads of their respective states. They must perform their duties and obligations within the framework of the Constitution. They must play their assigned role while respecting the distinct authority and responsibility vested in each of the three organs of the state, that is, the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. With their wisdom, experience and moral authority, they must help create a harmonious relationship between the Centre and the states. This will be in the best interest of the state and its people.

The President said our economy, which grew at 7.2 percent in the first half of 2015-16, is on its way to recovery. Despite a dull trade performance, our external sector is stable. Current account deficit is a manageable 1.4 percent of GDP in the first half of the current financial year. Foreign exchange reserves are comfortable at over 350 billion US dollars. A worrisome feature is the agriculture sector which has been impacted by a deficient monsoon. Devastating floods occurred in different parts of the country, particularly Tamil Nadu and Assam, while several states reeled under severe drought conditions. To overcome these testing times, the Union and the State Governments have to work together.

The President said as Visitors or Chancellors of several universities in their states, Governors could use this association to help promote academic excellence. These institutions can become the nucleus for inclusive development in their regions.

The President said Raj Bhavans could be opened for public viewing like Rashtrapati Bhavan. Raj Bhavans can be also converted into Smart Raj Bhavans. The President’s Estate is being turned into a smart township by rationalizing energy and water usage and waste management. The integrated approach through a command and control system will optimize the use of resources and provide efficient delivery of services to the residents. Governors too can initiate similar smart township programmes at their respective Raj Bhavans.

The President called upon everyone to give their best to make 2016 a year of growth and transformation.

This release issued at 1710 hrs.