Bhubaneswar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday said that the eastern region needs more focus to fast track its development as he chaired the 24th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council here.
The meeting was attended by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as Vice Chairman and host, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Jharkhand Finance Minister Ramesh Oraon and senior officers from the Central and state governments.
Shah hoped that the meeting would be a fruitful meeting where all the issues having Centre-state and inter-state ramifications will be resolved with consensus.
He stressed that according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, after due deliberations, decisions taken by consensus should be implemented to further strengthen the federal structure of the country.
The Home Minister also expressed his satisfaction at usefulness of Zonal Council mechanism and informed that more than 70 per cent issues have been resolved based on the recent meetings of the Zonal Councils and remaining issues are also under resolution.
While Patnaik raised the issue of increase in royalty on coal, Banerjee raised the issue of delay in payments of GST proceeds and devolution of funds.
Nitish Kumar sought formulation of a National Silt Management Policy to take care of floods in Ganga river.
The council also discussed the issues related Phulbari Dam under the agreement of 1978 signed by Bihar and West Bengal on Upper Mahananda Water Scheme, the extension of Nuapada-Gunupur-Therubali Rail Link Project in northern Odisha, determination of pension liability between Bihar and Jharkhand, use of state government land by coal companies, land transfer by CPSUs for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), and speedy investigation of cases of sexual offence/rape against women and children.
Prevention of cattle smuggling/illegal transportation of cattle to the Indo-Bangladesh border, lack of telecom and bank connectivity in Odisha, illegal cultivation and trading of hemp/cannabis in Odisha, and inadequate funding and delayed land-related issues of petroleum projects were discussed.
Out of the 48 items discussed, 40 were resolved in the meeting.