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Union Home Minister to be NEC Chairman

A CORRESPONDENT
NEW DELHI, June 13: In an attempt to strongly monitor and implement the central projects in the landlocked north-eastern States, the union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for the nomination of the Union Home Minister as ex-officio Chairman of North Eastern Council (NEC).
The proposal was put up from the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

Approving the proposal, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the repositioning of the (NEC) – a statutory body with Governors and Chief Ministers of all the eight north-eastern States as its Members. The Cabinet also approved that the DoNER minister would serve as the Vice Chairman of the Council.

The NEC implements various projects through the State and Central agencies. Under the new arrangement with Union Home Minister as Chairman and Minister of DoNER as Vice Chairman,and all the Governors and Chief Ministers of North Eastern States as Members, the NEC would provide a forum for discussing inter-state matters more comprehensively and also consider common approaches to be taken in future.

NEC can now also perform the tasks undertaken by the various Zonal Councils to discuss such inter-State issues as drug trafficking, smuggling of arms and ammunition, boundary disputes etc.

This repositioning of NEC will help it to become a more effective body for the north-eastern region.

The Council shall, from time to time, review the implementation of the projects and various schemes included in the project; recommend effective measures for coordination among the state Governments for these projects etc. The Council shall have such powers as may be delegated to it by the Central Government.

The NEC was established under the North Eastern Council Act, 1971 as an apex level body for securing balanced and coordinated development and facilitating coordination with the States. Subsequent to the Amendment of 2002, NEC has been mandated to function as a regional planning body for the north eastern area and while formulating a regional plan for this area, shall give priority to the schemes and projects benefiting two or more States provided that in the case of Sikkim, the Council shall formulate specific projects and schemes for that State.

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Ankur Kalita