Rajnath Singh to Chair the 27th Meeting of Northern Zonal Council 24-April, 2015 .

Rajnath Singh to Chair the 27th Meeting of Northern Zonal Council

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh will Chair the 27th Meeting of the Northern Zonal Council comprising of the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan, NCT of Delhi and UT of Chandigarh to be held here tomorrow. The Meeting will be attended by Chief Ministers, Ministers, Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and senior officers from Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and NCT of Delhi and senior officers from Central Ministries/Departments.

The Zonal Councils meet every year and discuss, and make recommendations with regard to any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning; any matter concerning border disputes to the member States, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport; and any matter connected with, or arising out of, the State Re-organisation Act, 1956.

As per 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 scrutinized and prioritized. Prior to the convening of this meeting of the Northern Zonal Council, its Standing Committee met twice, the first in May 2013 at Jaipur and the second in November 2014 at New Delhi.

The flurry of activity leading to the convening of the meetings of the Zonal Councils and their Standing Committees reflects the resolve of the present Central Government to revitalize the Inter-State Council and the Zonal Councils, as a part of its overall strategy to strengthen and promote cooperative and competitive federalism in the country. The Inter-State Council Secretariat has risen to the occasion by displaying alacrity in organizing the meetings of the Standing Committees of all the five Zonal Councils within a short span of less than three months. It has been followed by two Zonal Council Meetings, one each of the Eastern Zonal Council and the Central Zonal Council, in January this year. The meeting of the Northern Zonal Council to be held tomorrow is a timely step in the direction of reactivating all the Zonal Councils.

The Issues flagged by the Standing Committee for discussion and decision in the Northern Zonal Council meeting include procurement of agri-produce on Minimum Support Price, Interlinking of Rivers, Eco Sensitive Zone, Air Pollution in Delhi and setting up Homes for the intellectually impaired/mentally challenged in all Northern States etc. Some other important issues of Centre-State and Inter-State relations are also likely to be raised by the Chief Ministers of the member States in the meeting.