(The Gist of PIB) 24th Meeting of Western Zonal Council
(The Gist of PIB) 24th Meeting of Western Zonal Council [SEPTEMBER-2019]
24th Meeting of Western Zonal Council
Union Home Minister, Amit Shah chaired the 24th meeting of the Western Zonal Council at Panaji (Goa). The meeting was also attended by Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Administrator of the UTs of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Five Zonal Councils:
The five Zonal Councils – Western, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Central – were set up under the States Reorganization Act, 1956 to foster Inter-State co-operation and co-ordination among the States.
The Zonal Councils are mandated to discuss and make recommendations on any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning, border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport etc.
Organisational Structure Of Zonal Councils:
Chairman – The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
Vice Chairman – The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
Members- Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
Committees of Zonal Councils:
Each Zonal Council has set up a Standing Committee consisting of Chief Secretaries of the member States of their respective Zonal Councils.
These Standing Committees meet from time to time to resolve the issues or to do necessary groundwork for further meetings of the Zonal Councils.
The Council among others focused on the following issues:
Action on the Master Plan submitted by Maharashtra Government for utilization of surplus Salt Pan Land for rehabilitation of slum dwellers was discussed at length. State Government will send a detailed proposal in two months suggesting broad contours of a transparent financial model for involvement of slum dwellers (and utilization of remaining land as per high FSI in keeping with provisions of a scheme to be formulated as per Slum Rehabilitation Act) on a competitive basis for rehabilitation of slum dwellers and transfer of land/monetization for Government of India.
Coverage of all villages which have hitherto remained without any banking facilities within 5 km radial distance by a Bank/India Post Payments Service. This data derived from GIS platform of NIC will be further corroborated by the States using road distance on the ground. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) should also be done through IPPBs also everywhere as these are covered by Core Banking Solution. Shri Shah underlined the need for systemic reforms instead of merely chasing the statistics.
Enhancement of DBT Portal to include scheme/village-wise details by collecting real time information from respective portals of beneficiary-oriented schemes to give village level DBT fund transfer and benefits.
Innovative solution of encrypted QR Code on Aadhaar card for verifying antecedents of marine fishermen. States to get the print-outs taken or cards made within a month at Government initiative, so that everyone has Aadhaar card with latest QR Code and foreign national don’t enter Indian territory unauthorizedly through fishing boats.
Detailed monitoring mechanism to ensure that investigation and trial of sexual offences/rape against girls below 12 years of age are completed within two months (POCSO Act and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018] each. Chief Secretary must personally monitor periodically adherence to legal provisions of completing investigation and trial within two months.