New Delhi: Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah chaired the 22nd meeting of the Central Zonal Council held at Nava Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
The Home Minister visualised that this would be a fruitful meeting where all the issues having Centre-State and inter-State ramifications will be resolved with consensus. He emphasized on the need of regular meetings of the Zonal Council. He assured all the Chief Ministers that the issues raised by them would be suitably addressed by the Central Government within the Constitutional framework and administrative feasibility.
During the meeting, Amit Shah exhorted the members to expeditiously resolve the issues relating to forest clearance and provide brick-and-mortar banking facility within 5 kms radius in each village – particularly in Naxal areas. He called upon the States to adhere to the timeline of 2 months for completion of investigation of offences under POCSO Act. The Home Minister reminded the States to send suggestions for comprehensive amendments of CrPC and IPC, for which he has already written to all the Chief Ministers. Shah further called for prompt payment to farmers and assured the States in the region that their issues relating to procurement of grains and their disposal would be resolved quickly and informed that a high level committee was already seized of the matter.
The meeting was also attended by the Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and various Ministers from these States. While welcoming the participants, the Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh expressed hope that the spirit of cooperative federalism as envisaged in the Constitution will be strengthened.
Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretaries and senior officers of the four States and senior officers from the Central Government attended the meeting where detailed discussion was held in congenial atmosphere. Sanjeev Gupta, Secretary, Inter State Council Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs made an elaborate presentation on the agenda items.
The Council deliberated upon various issues including acceptance of procured coarse grain under Price Support Scheme, revision of “State Cap” fixed for the implementation of NSAP (Pension) Scheme, holding Inter State coordination meeting to take prompt action against criminals, Amendment in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle guidelines, amendment in Section 78 of the Information Technology Act and declaration of certain castes and tribes as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Detailed discussion was held on issues relating to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana – particularly in LWE affected areas. Other major issues discussed were:
Land acquisition for development of Bilaspur Airport in Chhattisgarh
Granting permission for tree cutting and land acquisition for Railway Projects.
Equation of norms between Central and State agencies regarding compensatory afforestation
Appointment of Controlling Authorities under Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005
Public Financial Management System (PFMS).
Besides participating in the discussions on the agenda items, the Chief Ministers raised certain additional points, to which the Home Minister assured that the matter will be examined as per the extant administrative norms and sincere efforts will be made to resolve such issues.