J&K Thursday hosted the 17th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC) at SKICC here with Chief Secretary, B R Sharma in Chair.Free and frank discussion was held with regard to areas of mutual interest between the officials ofthe northern member States of J&K, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, NCT of Delhi and UT of Chandigarh.The Standing Committee besides resolving certain issues at its level also prioritized the agenda of NZC for its forthcoming meeting.
The Standing Committee reviewed the progress of implementation on the recommendations made in the 27th meeting of NZC, held under the Chairmanship of Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh at New Delhi on 25th April 2015.
The Standing Committee deliberated upon various inter- State and Centre-State issues like need for fiscal and infrastructural harmony in northern States, joint efforts for export of fruits, flowers, Saffron and vegetables, sharing of water and power resources, sharing of information and taking concerted action against inter-State criminals, preventing human trafficking and smuggling of drugs and illicit firearms.Also during the meeting, Chief Secretary J&K, BR Sharma sought cooperation of the respective State governments in ensuring safety and security of Kashmiri youth and businessmen travelling to various parts of the country in pursuit of higher studies, employment and economic opportunities. “States besides putting in place all necessary measures to ensure secure environment, are requested to nominate nodal officers as has been done by NCT of Delhi to prevent and efficiently deal with incidents of alleged harassment of J&K
residents”, Sharma said.J&K also informed the Standing Committee that the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood & Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2016’ has been drafted and is presently under submission for finalisation.Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat (ISCS), Naini Jayaseelan, Additional Secretary & Advisor, ISCS, R Buhril, Chief Secretary of Haryana, D S Dhesi, Chief Secretary of NCT of Delhi, K K Sharma, Financial Commissioner, Planning & Monitoring Department, B B Vyas and other senior officers of the member States and Central Ministries participated in the meeting.
The NZC besides forging a common understanding to address issues of mutual interest also provides an excellent regional forum to address
inter-State irritants through discussions and consultations amongst the northern
The Standing Committee prior to the meeting of the NZC, meets twice a year to discuss and finalize the agenda items to be placed before it, following which the NZC meets under the Chairmanship of Union Home Minister, and Chief Ministers of member States also participate to resolve the various inter-State issues.