Section 16 (1) of the States Reorganisation Act 1956 provides that the Zonal Councils shall consist of the following members:
(a) A Union Minister to be nominated by the President.
(b) the Chief Minister of each of the States included in the zone and two other Ministers of each such State to be nominated by the Governor and if there is no Council of Ministers in any such State, three members from that State to be nominated by the President;
(c) where any Union Territory is included in the zone, not more than two members from each such territory to be nominated by the President;
2) The Union Minister nominated under clause (a) of sub-section (1) to a Zonal Council shall be its Chairman. The President has nominated Union Home Minister to be the Chairman of all the Zonal Councils.
3) The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone shall act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
Provided that if during that period there is no Council of Ministers in the State concerned, such member from that State as the President may nominate in this behalf shall act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council.
4) The Zonal Council for each zone shall have the following persons as Advisers to assist the Council in the performance of its duties, namely :
(a) one person nominated by the Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog);
(b) the Chief Secretary to the Government of each of the States included in the Zone; and
(c) the Development Commissioner or any other officer nominated by the Government of each of the States included in the Zone.