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Modi To Chair State CM's Meet Today; GST, Internal Security On Agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will meet the chief ministers on the occasion of 11th Inter-State Council meet, a conference that will be taking place after a gap of 10 years.

The meeting will deliberate on issues of internal security, economic and social planning, GST and inter-state relations among other issues. Chief Ministers of all the states along with 17 Union Ministers are expected to participate in the 11th meeting of the council. The meeting will also discuss issues concerning school education, direct benefit transfer scheme, Aadhaar card, good governance and atrocities against members of SC and ST communities.

The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Council in which Chief Ministers of all states and Union Territories are members. Six Union Ministers, Rajnath Singh (Home), Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs), Arun Jaitley (Finance), M Venkaiah Naidu (Urban Development), Nitin Gadkari (Road Transport) and Manohar Parrikar (Defence) are nominated members of the council. Eleven other Union Ministers are permanent invitees to the Council.

The meeting comes amidst the ongoing turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir, where almost 40 people lost their lives following violent protests after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter. The last meeting of the Inter-State Council was held in 2006. The UPA government had convened just two meetings in its 10-year tenure.

The Modi government has revived the Inter-State Council structure after assuming office in May 2014. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had chaired meetings of all the five zonal councils over the last one year in various parts of the country in which chief ministers of states of the respective zones took part. The Inter-State Council was established under Article 263 of the Constitution through a Presidential Order dated May 28, 1990.

It is a recommendatory body with duties to investigate and discuss the subjects of common interest between the Union and state(s) or among the states, making recommendations particularly for better coordination of policy and action on these subjects and deliberating upon such other matters of general interest to the states which may be referred to it by its chairman.

The Council also deliberates upon such other matters of general interest to the states as may be referred by the chairman to the Council. A Standing Committee of the Inter-State Council has been constituted for continuous consultation and processing of matters for the consideration of the Council. The Standing Committee comprises Union Home Minister as the Chairman and five Union ministers of Cabinet rank and nine chief ministers as members nominated by the Chairman of the Inter-State Council.

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