Rajnath to chair NEC meet in Shillong on July 9

Shillong: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will chair here from July 9 the 67th plenary of the North Eastern Council (NEC), a regional planning body of eight northeastern states, an official said on Monday.

Governors and Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura — who are also members of newly reconstituted NEC — will attend.

On June 13, the Union Cabinet brought the NEC under the direct control of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Union Home Minister is the ex-officio chairperson of the council.

Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Minister Jitender Singh will be its Vice Chairman.

The first session of the NEC meeting will include tabling of an action-taken report on the 64th plenary and approval of the draft annual plan of NEC for 2018-19 by the council.

Other topics to be discussed include infrastructure and connectivity in the region, in which officials from ministries of road transport and highways, railways, water resources, civil aviation, power, tourism and human resource development will participate.

NEC officials said that the repositioning of the council will provide a forum for more comprehensive discussions on inter-state matters.

Under the new arrangement, the NEC will now also perform the tasks undertaken by various zonal councils pertaining to inter-state issues like drug trafficking, smuggling of arms and ammunition, and boundary disputes.

The NEC has been instrumental in setting in motion a new economic endeavour aimed at removing roadblocks to development of the northeastern region.