NEW DELHI, June 13 - In a significant development, the Centre today upgraded the North Eastern Council (NEC) bringing it under the direct control of the Union Home Ministry and appointed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh as its chairman, while DoNER Minister will function as the vice chairman.The decision was taken by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approving the proposal of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) for the nomination of the Union Home Minister as ex-officio chairman of the NEC – a statutory body with Governors and Chief Ministers of all the eight northeastern states as its members.
The Cabinet also approved that Minister of State for DoNER would serve as vice chairman of the council, Union Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal announced, briefing newsmen here today.
The NEC, envisaged as a regional planning body, implements various projects through the state and Central agencies. Under the new arrangement with the Home Minister as chairman and Minister of DoNER as vice chairman, the NEC and all the Governors and Chief Ministers of the northeastern states as members would provide a forum for discussing inter-state matters more comprehensively and also consider common approaches to be taken in future.
Initially, the Governors of the northeastern states used to be the chairman of the NEC on rotation. Later the NEC Act was amended to appoint Minister for DoNER as the chairman of the planning body. This repositioning of the NEC will help it to become a more effective body for the northeastern region, Goyal said.