National

Amit Shah To Chair Eastern Zonal Council Meet In Kolkata

The regional councils provide a forum for discussion in a structured manner on issues affecting one or more states or issues between the Centre and the states. In the last eight years under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the number of meetings of the zonal councils and its standing committees have increased by three times, the official said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah
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Union Home Minister Amit Shah will chair a meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council in Kolkata on Saturday where issues like security along the inter-state borders, smuggling along the India-Bangladesh border, and connectivity will be discussed, officials said. The Eastern Zonal Council comprises West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha.

It will be attended by chief ministers, ministers, chief secretaries, principal secretaries, and senior officers of the member states and senior officers of central government, a home ministry official said. The meeting of the council is also expected to discuss power and other issues of common interests, the official said.

As per the established procedure and practice, the zonal council meeting is preceded by a standing committee of the council, in which the agenda items to be placed before the council are scrutinised and listed in order of priority. The Modi government has been regularly holding meetings of the zonal councils as a part of its strategy to strengthen and promote cooperative and competitive federalism in the country, another official said.

The regional councils provide a forum for discussion in a structured manner on issues affecting one or more states or issues between the Centre and the states. In the last eight years under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the number of meetings of the zonal councils and its standing committees have increased by three times, the official said.

Regional councils help in developing a coordinated approach through discussion and exchange of views between states.  The zonal councils take up issues involving Centre and states and one or many states falling in the zone. The zonal councils, thus, provide a forum for resolving disputes and irritants between the Centre and the states and among many states in the zone.  The meetings of the zonal councils are used by the states and Union Territories to share their best practices.

The councils also discuss broad range of issues such as boundary related disputes, security, infrastructure related matters such as road transport, industries, water, and power, matters pertaining to forests and environment, housing, education, food security, tourism and transport etc. There are five zonal councils in the country which were set up in 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.

The Union home minister is the chairman of each of these five zonal councils and chief ministers of the host state (to be chosen by rotation every year) is the vice-chairman. Two more ministers from each state are nominated as members by the governor. 

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