New Delhi. The Standing Committee of the Inter-State Council (ISC) headed by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at a meeting in New Delhi May 25 completed the onerous task of deliberations on all the 273 recommendations of the Punchhi Commission.
Today’s meeting was the 13th meeting of the Standing Committee of the ISC.
In his opening remarks while welcoming the members and participants, Mr Singh recalled that during the previous two meetings of the Standing Committee of the ISC held last year thorough deliberations were held on the recommendations contained in Volumes II to V of the Punchhi Commission’s Report. He informed the meeting that today’s discussions will focus on the remaining two volumes i.e. VI & VII, that contained a total of 88 recommendations.
In today’s meeting, the Standing Committee examined in detail various recommendations of the Punchhi Commission contained in these two volumes. The recommendations in Volume VI of the Punchhi Commission report are related to Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure and cover the subjects on (a) Environment; (b) Water; (c) Forests; (d) Minerals and (e) Infrastructure.
The recommendations in Volume VII related to Socio-economic Development, Public Policy and Good Governance and cover the subjects on (a) Public Policy, Constitutional Governance and Public Administration; (b) Socio-political Developments and its Impact on Governance; (c) Basic Needs of People, Directive Principles and State Accountability, Centrally Sponsored Development Schemes and Federal Relations; (d) Migration, Human Development and Challenges to Constitutional Governance; and (e) Good Governance and Delivery of Public Services.
It may be noted that the Punchhi Commission notified in 2005 submitted its report in 2010. The recommendations of the Punchhi Commission, which are contained in seven Volumes pertain to History of Centre-State Relations in India; Constitutional Governance and Management of Centre-State Relations; Centre-State Financial Relations and Planning; Local Self-Governments and Decentralized Governance; Internal Security, Criminal Justice and Centre-State Cooperation; Environment, Natural Resources & Infrastructure; and Socio-Economic Development, Public Policy and Good Governance. The issues have been analysed in the Inter-State Council Secretariat.
The 67 recommendations in Volume II on ‘Constitutional Governance and the Management of Centre-State Relations’ of the report were considered by the Standing Committee in its 11th meeting held on 9.4.2017. 118 recommendations contained in Volumes III, IV & V of the Punchhi Commission’s Report were considered by the Standing Committee in its 12th meeting held on 25.11.2017.
Today’s meeting concluded successfully after over two hours of deliberations. In his concluding remarks, the Home Minister expressed satisfaction that the Standing Committee of the ISC, over a series of meetings since 2017, has completed deliberations on all the 273 recommendations of the Punchhi Commission Report.
These recommendations of the Standing Committee finalized in the earlier two meetings as well as in today’s meeting will be placed before the Inter-State Council for decision. Shri Rajnath Singh expressed gratitude to his Cabinet colleagues as well as the Ministers from the States for their active participation and cooperation in the successful conclusion of the deliberations. With this, the work on Punchhi Commission Report, that had been pending for the last eight years, has been completed. It may be noted that the ISC meeting in 2016 was held after a gap of 10 years. Under the chairmanship of Shri Rajnath Singh, the institutions of ISC Standing Committee as well as Zonal Councils were rejuvenated and regular meetings held to promote harmonious Centre-State relations.
Today’s meeting was attended by the Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot; Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad; Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs and Railway and Coal, Piyush Goyal; and Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, being members of the Standing Committee of the ISC.
The Chief Minister of Tripura, Shri Biplab Kumar Deb also attended the meeting. Ministers from the States of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Punjab and Rajasthan represented their States at the meeting. Senior officers from the Union Ministries/Departments and from the State Governments also assisted the members of the Standing Committee in the discussion along with the officers from the Inter-State Council Secretariat.