NEW DELHI, Feb 23 - Stressing that the Centre is fully committed to firmly deal with all the challenges concerning the security of the country, President Pranab Mukherjee today said that there has been significant improvement in the overall security situation in the North-Eastern States and Left wing extremism-affected States.
Addressing the joint session of Parliament today, which marks the beginning of the Budget session, the President said that terrorism is a global threat and strong counter-terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it completely.
�Let me congratulate the security forces in successfully foiling the recent attack at the Pathankot air base by terrorists. Firm and effective steps will be taken to deal with any situation arising out of cross-border terrorism,� he said.
The 20-page speech spanning across 81 paragraphs mentioned about the Government�s initiatives in the North-East, including poll-bound Assam.
However, the President recalled the initiative taken to sign the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh.
Last year, the Centre adopted the historic land boundary agreement with Bangladesh, leading to the peaceful exchange of disputed territories between our two countries. The signing of the Motor Vehicles Agreement between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal will provide seamless connectivity and further strengthen ties, the President said.
�My Government has recently dedicated to the nation the Assam Gas Cracker Project at an estimated cost of more than Rupees nine thousand nine hundred crore. The project is expected to generate employment for about one lakh persons, both direct and indirect,� the President said.
Stating that to fully harness the agricultural potential of the eastern States, the Government is taking several steps to usher in the second Green Revolution in the region. Mukherjee said the Central Government has taken steps for strengthening agricultural higher education, setting up 109 new KVKs and three new Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes.
About the flood and drought situation, he said that the country had to face severe drought and floods in some States. An amount of more than Rs 13,000 crore has been released under the State and National Disaster Response Fund.
The President also hailed the successful hosting of the South Asian Games (SAG). �My Government successfully hosted the 12th South Asian Games at Guwahati and Shillong, in which more than 3,500 sportspersons from all the SAARC countries participated. The games were the biggest-ever sporting event in North East India,� Mukherjee said.