24 Jul 2017 12:24 IST

Ordinance is always the last resort: Pranab

Addresses MPs on his last day as President of India

In his last speech as 13th President of India, President Pranab Mukherjee suggested that Ordinance route should be used only in compelling circumstances and there should be no recourse to Ordinances on monetary matters.

Ordinance route should not be taken on matters which are being considered or have been introduced in the House or a committee of the House, Mukherjee said at the Central Hall of Parliament at a farewell function on the eve of his demitting office as 13th President of India.

"If a matter is deemed urgent, the concerned committee should be made aware of the situation and should be mandated to present its report within the stipulated time", he suggested. Mukherjee, who became slightly emotional at the end of his speech, paid rich tributes to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for mentoring his career as a Parliamentarian. He also said that his years in Parliament were enriched by the Wisdom of PV Narasimha Rao, oration of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, cryptic one liners of Madhu Limaye and Dr Nath Pai, wit and humour of Piloo Modi, poetic discourse of Hiren Mukherjee, razor sharp repartee of Indrajit Gupta, calming presence of Dr Manmohan Singh, mature advice of LK Advani and passionate support of Sonia Gandhi on social legislations.

Mukherjee, whose Parliamentary life as Member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha spanned 37 years, served five terms as Member of Rajya Sabha and two terms in the Lok Sabha.

In his address yesterday, Mukherjee also described as "unfortunate" that the Parliamentary time devoted to legislation had been declining.

"With the heightened complexity of administration, legislation must be preceded by scrutiny and adequate discussion. Scrutiny in committee is no substitute to open discussion on the floor of the House. When the Parliament fails to discharge its law making role or enacts laws without discussion, it breaches the trust reposed in it by the people", Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee also in his address said that he experienced the joy of the enactment of pro-poor and pro-farmer legislations. On goods and services tax (GST), he said that the recent passage of GST and its launch on July 1 is a shining example of co-operative federalism and speaks volumes for the maturity of Indian Parliament.

Pat for Modi

Mukherjee also said that as President he strived to preserve, protect and defend the Indian constitution, not just in word but also in spirit. "In this task, I greatly benefited from the advice and co-operation extended by Prime Minister Modi at every step.With passion and energy, he is driving transformational changes in the country", he said.