The Home Minister said that a number of steps have been taken in recent years by the Central Government to promote cooperative federalism, and pointed out that meetings of the Standing Committee of the Inter-State Council are being periodically convened since July, 2016 after a gap of 10 years.
The meeting will lend speed and purpose to the process of harmonizing Center-State relations, he said.
Expressing satisfaction over the fact that the meetings of the Zonal Councils have now become regular and periodical, Singh also asked all to see that at least one meeting of all the Zonal Councils is convened annually.
He mentioned that a number of important State-to-State and Centre-State issues that are raised at these meetings find resolution.
In 2015, 82 such issues were resolved while in 2016, 140 issues were resolved.
Singh expressed satisfaction over the Inter State Council and the Standing Committee having been rejuvenated.
He emphasised on promoting the spirit of cooperation with greater zest and zeal and expressed satisfaction over the deliberations held today in harmonious and congenial atmosphere for arriving at consensus on some complex issues that have been covered in the agenda notes.
The Home Minister said that Volumes-I and II were discussed during the eleventh meeting of the Standing Committee in April this year and Volumes-VI and VII will be discussed during the next meeting of the Standing Committee and added that recommendations of the Standing Committee on Punchhi Commission's report will then be placed before the Inter-State Council, headed by the Prime Minister.
Several subjects were discussed at the meeting, such as matters related to financial transfers from the Centre to the States, Goods and Services Tax (GST), structure and devolution of functions to local bodies, district planning, special provisions for Fifth and Sixth Scheduled areas, maintenance of communal harmony, deployment of central forces, migration issues; police reforms; criminal justice system and other internal security issues. (ANI)