Amritsar, Sep 26: Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah Tuesday said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the central government had successfully cracked down on narcotics and terrorism.
An official spokesman in a statement issued to Press Information Bureau said that chairing the 31st meeting of the Northern Zonal Council at Amritsar in Punjab, the union home minister said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has been successful in cracking down on narcotics and terrorism.”
He said that the Modi government was committed to strengthening the security system on the border and soon anti-drone system would be deployed on the country’s borders.
Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, Lt Governors of Delhi, J&K, and Ladakh, Administrator of Chandigarh, senior ministers from member states, Union Home Secretary, Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat, Chief Secretaries from the member states in the Northern Zone and other senior officers from the states and union territories and central ministries and departments participated in the meeting.
Shah requested all the member states of the Northern Zonal Council to resolve their disputes related to water sharing with an open mind and mutual discussion.
He said that in the last 5 years, under the leadership of PM Modi, the role of zonal councils had changed from advisory nature to action platforms.
The union home minister said that the Northern Zonal Council had an important place from the point of view of development and security of the country, with 21 percent of the country’s land and 13 percent of the population, more than 35 percent of the food grains were produced in the northern region.
He said that the majority of personnel in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Army, guarding the country’s borders come from the states and UTs in the Northern Zonal Council.
Shah asked all the member states to pay special attention to issues like cooperation movement in the country, the dropout rate of school children, and malnutrition, terming them as collective priority.
He said that not even a single child should remain malnourished in the country as it was the responsibility of everyone to reduce the school dropout rate, and, giving impetus to the cooperative movement would help in taking more than 60 crore people of the country towards prosperity.
The union home minister urged all member states to adopt natural and organic farming, as it would be hugely beneficial for the farmers of the country.
He assured all possible help from the Centre to the Himachal Pradesh government to deal with the floods situation in the state and said that the entire country was standing by Himachal in this hour of crisis.
On the call of the union home minister, the Northern Zonal Council welcomed the spectacular success of Chandrayaan-3, the worldwide appreciation of India’s leadership and global welfare at the G20 Summit, and the historic Women’s Reservation Bill passed by the Parliament.
While appreciating the role of the Zonal Councils, he mentioned that though the Zonal Councils were advisory in character, over the years, they had proved to be a significant factor in promoting healthy bonds of mutual understanding and cooperation in various spheres.
The Zonal Councils provide the opportunity for personal interaction at the highest level amongst the members and serve as a useful forum for resolving issues of a difficult and complex nature in an atmosphere of amity and goodwill.
Through discussion and exchange of views, the Zonal Councils help in developing a coordinated approach among the States on important issues of socio and economic development.
The Zonal Councils also discuss and make recommendations on issues of common interest of the states.
The union home minister said that the meetings of the 5 Zonal Councils were now being convened regularly by the Inter-State Council Secretariat of the Ministry of Home Affairs with the cooperation of the state governments.
He said that there had been a substantial increase in the number of meetings of the Zonal Councils and its Standing Committees.
“Since June 2014, in the last 10 years, a total of 54 meetings of Zonal Council and its Standing Committee have been held making the frequency more than double in comparison to the meetings held during the 10 years from the year 2004 to May 2014,” Shah said.
The Northern Zonal Council in the 31st meeting at Amritsar discussed over total of 28 issues.
Some crucial issues concerning the member states in particular and the country as a whole were issues related to sharing of inter-state river waters, coverage of villages by bank branches, postal banking facilities, effective implementation of direct benefit transfer for social sector schemes, issues relating to Punjab University, road connectivity under PMGSY, prevention of cyber-crimes, Jal Jeevan Mission, resumption of flights under UDAN scheme, speedy investigation of cases of sexual offense and rape against women and children, implementation of the scheme of Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) for expeditious disposal of rape and POCSO Act cases, strengthening of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), the law of purchase of agriculture land.
Good practices adopted by member states and union territories were also shared in the meeting.