ISC finishes discussion on Punchhi panel report

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) The Standing Committee of the Inter-State Council (ISC) on Friday completed deliberations on all the 273 recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on Centre-state relations, national security, communal harmony and planning in India, a Home Ministry statement said.

The mandate of the commission was to examine what could be the role, responsibility and jurisdiction of the Central government during major and prolonged outbreaks of communal violence, caste violence or any other social conflicts and to review other aspects of Centre-states relations, including taxes and linking of rivers.

It also examined whether there was a need to set up a central law enforcement agency to take up suo motu investigation of crimes having inter-state or international ramifications with serious implications on national security, role of a governor among others.

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With this 13th Standing Committee meeting headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the work on Punchhi Commission report that has been pending for the last eight years has been completed, said the statement, adding the recommendations would be submitted before the next meeting of the ISC headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the meeting, the deliberations on 88 recommendations, contained in Volume VI and VII, of the Punchhi Commission was completed. A total of 185 recommendations of commission report contained in Volume II, III, IV and V were considered in two separate meetings of the Standing Committee last year.

The recommendations in the Volume VI and VII are related to environment, natural resources and infrastructure, socio-economic development, and public policy and good governance.

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They also cover subjects like water, forests minerals, constitutional governance and public administration, socio-political developments and its impact on governance, basic needs of people, directive principles and state accountability, centrally-sponsored development schemes and federal relations, migration, human development and challenges to constitutional governance.

A three-member commission, headed by former Chief Justice of India M.M. Punchhi, was set up by the previous UPA government to take a fresh look at relative roles and responsibilities of various levels of government and their inter-relations.

The commission, notified in 2005, had submitted its report — contained in seven volumes — in 2010 to then Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

In his concluding remarks, Rajnath Singh expressed satisfaction that the Standing Committee, over a series of meetings since 2017, had completed deliberations on all the 273 recommendations of the commission report.

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