Mukherjee, in his address said: "Indian democracy has been an oasis of stability in the region troubled by unrest. A healthy democracy calls for conformity to the values of tolerance, patience and respect for others."
"We have to work harder to keep at bay dark forces of terrorism; these forces have to be dealt with firmly and decisively," Mukherjee said. Speaking on demonetisation, the President said demonetisation, while immobilising black money may have led to temporary slowdown of economic activity.
"As more and more transactions become cashless, it will improve the transparency of the economy," he added.Mukherjee lamented that one-fifth of the country's people remain below the poverty line. "Our economy is yet to grow at over 10 percent for an extended period of time to make a significant dent on poverty. Gandhiji's mission to wipe every tear from every eye still remains unfulfilled," he said.
"The competitiveness of the domestic industry has to be improved by focusing on quality, productivity and efficiency," Mukherjee said stressing on the need for creating world-class manufacturing and services sectors.
"We have to work harder to change our consumption pattern which has resulted in environmental and ecological de-gradation. We have to appease nature to prevent it from unleashing its fury in the form of floods, landslides and droughts," he said.
"We have to work harder to provide safety and security to our women and children.
"We have to work harder because our pluralistic culture and tolerance are still being put to test by vested interests. Reason and moderation should be our guide in dealing with such situations," said Mukherjee.
"We have to work harder to ensure the well-being of our soldiers and security personnel who protect us from internal and external threats," he added.
(With IANS inputs)