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HM Amit Shah to chair Eastern Zonal Council meet in Patna today

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NEW DELHI, Dec 9: Union home minister Amit Shah will chair a meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council to be held in Patna on Sunday where a host of issues like minimum price for a number of minor millets, creation of infrastructure, water sharing are expected to be discussed.

Eastern Zonal Council comprises the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand from where chief ministers along with two senior ministers and officials are expected to attend the day-long meeting, according to an official statement.

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The home minister will chair the 26th meeting of the eastern zonal council in Patna on Sunday, it said.

In council meetings many important decisions such as the minimum support price of Kodo, Kutki and other minor millet crops at par with Ragi and, the release of the National Framework for Sediment Management in 2022 among others are expected to be discussed.

The zonal councils discuss a wide range of issues including mining, central financial assistance on certain items, creation of infrastructure, land acquisition and land transfer, water sharing, implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme (DBT), state reorganisation and other matters of common interest at the regional level.

Zonal councils believes that strong states create a strong nation and provide a platform and systematic mechanism for regular dialogue and discussion on issues affecting two or more states or the Centre and the states, the statement said.

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Five zonal councils were established in 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Reorganization Act, 1956. The home minister is the chairman of these five zonal councils, while the chief ministers of the states and the administrator, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territories from the respective zonal council are its members, one of whom is the vice-chairman by rotation every year.

Two more ministers from each state are nominated by the governor as members of the council. Each zonal council has also constituted a standing committee at the level of chief secretaries. Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar is the vice-chairman of the 26th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council.

Over the last nine years, since 2014, a total of 55 meetings of various zonal councils have been held including 29 meetings of standing committees and 26 meetings of zonal councils, the statement said.

The zonal councils play an advisory role, but over the years these councils have emerged as an important mechanism for promoting mutual understanding and cooperation in various fields, it said. (PTI)

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