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Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Chair 26th Eastern Zonal Council Meeting in Patna

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Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah is set to preside over the 26th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council in Patna, Bihar, on Sunday, December 10, 2023. The council, consisting of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand, will convene to address regional issues and promote cooperative federalism.

Eastern Zonal Council Meeting Details:

The 26th meeting is organized by the Inter-State Council Secretariat under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, in collaboration with the Government of Bihar. Attendees include Chief Ministers, two senior ministers from each state, Chief Secretaries, and senior officers from both state and central governments.

Background on Zonal Councils:

Established in 1957 under the States Reorganization Act, Zonal Councils serve as a platform for dialogue and discussion on issues affecting two or more states or the Center and the States. The Union Home Minister Amit Shah chairs these councils, with Chief Ministers and Administrator/Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories as members. The Vice-Chairman rotates annually among council members.

Role of Zonal Councils:

Zonal Councils play an advisory role but have become crucial in promoting mutual understanding and cooperation. Over the last nine years, 55 meetings, including 29 Standing Committee meetings and 26 Zonal Council meetings, have taken place. These councils address a wide range of issues, contributing to decisions such as minimum support prices, sediment management policies, and the inclusion of lac cultivation in the Kisan Credit Card.

Promoting Cooperative Federalism:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasizes leveraging cooperative and competitive federalism for holistic development. Zonal Councils contribute to this vision, fostering systematic dialogue on matters of common interest. Decisions made in these councils impact regional development, covering areas like mining, infrastructure creation, water sharing, and the implementation of national schemes.

National Importance and Achievements:

Zonal Council meetings discuss issues of national importance, including the establishment of Fast Track Special Courts for rape cases, banking facilities in rural areas, and initiatives like Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. The councils have proven to be instrumental in addressing challenges and enhancing collaboration among states.

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