The government on Friday withdrew from the Rajya Sabha a bill to further amend the North Eastern Council Act, 1971 and may introduce a new bill in its place soon.
The North-Eastern Council (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on March 11, 2013 by the previous Congress regime. The Upper House gave its nod to Minister of State for Development of North Eastern region (DONER) Jitendra Singh for withdrawing the bill, but did not introduce another one in its place.
The Act sets up the North-Eastern Council (NEC) to ensure balanced and coordinated development among the north eastern states. The NEC comprises Governors and Chief Ministers of the constituent states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
The bill also seeks amendment to the Act to reflect the change in the Department of Development of North-Eastern Region, which was formed within the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2001, and has been upgraded to full-fledged Ministry in 2004. The Act redefines the functions of the NEC as a regional planning body for the north eastern region, include Sikkim as a member state of the NEC and provide for three members and the Chairman of the Council to be nominated by the President.
Meanwhile, a number of private member’s bills were introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, which included one seeking to amend the Constitution to provide adequate housing to all citizens in the country.
Another bill seeks to protect individual liberty, right of association, movement and bodily integrity and the right of adults to choose their own partners in marriage and to prevent victimisation by prohibiting unlawful assemblies and other conducts interfering with matrimonial alliances in the name of honour and tradition.
Another bill seeks to provide for removal of hunger and malnutrition and prevention of starvation deaths while another sought to prohibit growing of water intensive crops and setting up of thermal power plants and other water-instensive industries in water scarce regions of Marathwada, Vidharba, Bundelkhand and other such regions.