dated December 23, 1955: PM's proposal under study

The Government of India are actively pursuing the suggestion made by Prime Minister Nehru in the Lok Sabha for the creation of zonal councils for groups of States. The Home Ministry is calling for a note from the Law Ministry after examining all the implications. Sources said Mr. Nehru's suggestion might be compared to the proposal made by Sir Stafford Cripps to group the States of undivided India into zones, with this important difference that while Sir Stafford had envisaged a weak centre, Mr. Nehru's proposal would in no way reduce the existing powers of the Centre. Further, while the former's aim was to meet the fears expressed by the Muslim League about the dominance of the majority community, Mr. Nehru's scheme is aimed at furthering the economic development of India. The zonal councils will be able, for instance, to avoid unhealthy inter-State rivalry in the zones for priority in regard to projects and to ensure better utilisation of natural resources for the benefit of the people of the whole area.

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