Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday advocated for completion of a probe into all cases of a sexual offence against children within two months.
At the 22nd meeting of the central zonal council, Amit Shah exhorted the state governments to expeditiously resolve the issues relating to forest clearance and provide "brick-and-mortar" banking facility within five km radius in each village - particularly in Naxal-hit areas.
The home minister called upon the states to adhere to the timeline of two months for completion of investigation of heinous offences under POCSO Act, which deals with cases related to sexual violence against children.
Amit Shah suggested that there should be in-depth scrutiny of issues related to Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana, especially in Left Wing Extremism affected areas.
Amit Shah visualised that this would be a fruitful meeting where all the issues having Centre-State and inter-state ramifications will be resolved with consensus.
He emphasised on the need for regular meetings of the zonal council and assured all chief ministers that the issues raised by them would be suitably addressed by the central government within the Constitutional framework and administrative feasibility.
He also reminded the states to send suggestions for comprehensive amendments of CrPC and IPC, for which he has already written to all the chief ministers.
He further called for prompt payment to farmers and assured the states in the region that their issues relating to the procurement of grains and their disposal would be resolved quickly and informed that a high-level committee was already seized of the matter.
The meeting was also attended by the chief ministers of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and various ministers from these states.
The council deliberated upon various issues including acceptance of procured coarse grain under Price Support Scheme (PSS) and revision of "state cap" fixed for the implementation of NSAP (Pension) Scheme.
Issues like holding inter-state coordination meeting to take prompt action against criminals, Amendment in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) guidelines, amendment in Section 78 of the Information Technology Act and declaration of certain castes and tribes as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were also discussed.
The council takes up issues concerning the centre and member-states of the zone. The zonal councils are thus an effective platform for the resolution of inter-state disputes as well as irritants between the centre and member-states.
The zonal councils discuss a broad range of issues which include boundary-related disputes, security, infrastructure-related matters like roads, transport, water, industries and power etc.
The states have been divided into five zones and each zone has its council comprising the chief minister, two ministers and the chief secretary of each state.
The zonal councils are headed by the Union home minister and each zone nominates one chief minister as its vice-chairman on a rotation basis.