Home Minister Amit Shah to chair 24th meeting of Western Zonal Council in Goa on 22 & 23 August

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah will chair the 24th meeting of Western Zonal Council that will be convened in Panaji, Goa on upcoming Thursday and Friday. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant confirmed the news.

The meeting will see the participation of Chief ministers of Gujarat- Vijay Rupani, Maharashtra- Devendra Fadnavis, and Goa- Pramod Sawant. Administrators of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and Andaman & Nicobar will also be present in the meeting. Goa Chief Minister is serving as the Vice-Chairman of Western Zonal Council for now. The body is completely advisory in nature with no binding principles.

The previous meeting of the western zonal council was held at Gandhinagar on April 26, 2018. It was chaired by the former Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The meeting will serve a platform for western states and Centre to chalk out ideas and experiences on various policy-related issues such as infrastructure, health, security, and welfare measures, etc.

Pramod Sawant, speaking to the media told that the meeting will likely see the discussion on mining matters in the state. Other issues pertaining to the regional development of infrastructure and providing biometric identity cards to fishermen may be taken up too.

Statutory provisions of Zonal Councils-

Zonal councils were set up under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 with an aim to provide a forum for effective cooperation among the states and between the Centre and the states. The Act established 5 Zonal Councils- Western, Northern, Central, Eastern, Southern.

The zonal councils are mandated to take up any matter of public interest in the area of economic and social planning. As per the rules, Union Home Minister is the Chairman of the Council, while the respective state’s Chief Minister serves as Vice-Chairman on a rotation basis.

However, North-eastern states got their own Zonal council after the passage of the North-Eastern Council Act of 1971. The Act came to life in 1972. N-E council includes all the 8 North-eastern states of the country.

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