BHUBANESWAR: The State Government will raise a host of issues, including revision of coal royalty and internet connectivity in rural areas for financial inclusion, at the Eastern Zonal Council (EZC) meeting to be held here on Friday. The State will also take up inter-state issues like unified transmission tariff for power transmission, irrigation projects, operationalisation of coals mines, land and forest clearance of rail projects and timely release of Central grants, official sources said.
The meeting to be held at the newly constructed convention centre in Lok Seva Bhawan will be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Odisha being the host State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is the vice-chairman of the council. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha and Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra will attend the meeting along with Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy and other senior officers.
Chief Ministers of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal will also attend the 24th meeting of the EZC. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already reached here on Wednesday. Secretaries, Additional Secretaries and other senior officers of the Central Government will attend the meeting.Last meeting of the council was held in Kolkata on October 1, 2018. Altogether, the EZC will deliberate upon nearly four dozen issues which inter-alia include investigation of heinous offenses, cattle smuggling across country’s borders, lack of telecom and banking infrastructure in remote areas, petroleum projects and sharing pattern on centrally collected revenues.
With such senior level participation of political leadership and officers, a large number of issues are likely to get resolved by consensus in the meeting, the sources said. The zonal councils discuss broad range of issues, which include boundary related disputes, security, infrastructure-related matters like road, transport, industries, water, power and matters pertaining to forests and environment, housing, education, food security, tourism and transport.