‘India’s engagement with neighbours is unprecedented’

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on February 19, 2018 Published on February 19, 2018

Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar at an event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata   -  Debasish Bhaduri

India’s engagement with its neighbours has been “unprecedented” and its success is there for everyone to see, said MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, on Monday.

According to him, the present-day needs call for India to improve its “reach” with its neighbours and not just merely for trade and commerce.

And the success has come with India getting access to strategic resources, Akbar said, referring to a consortium of Indian companies led by state-owned ONGC’s overseas arm, ONGC Videsh Ltd, buying a 10 per cent stake in UAE’s offshore oil and gas field Zakum.

“We are getting strategic resources in place and securing our energy needs. The time has come when neighbourhood means reach. India’s level of engagement with its neighbourhood is unprecedented,” Akbar said during an event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

On the ₹11,400-crore Punjab National Bank scam, Akbar claimed that the Centre has been “quick with follow-up action”. Raids have been taking place and FIRs are being filed.

In fact, the Minister pointed out that questions should also be put out to those who had opened showrooms for the accused. “The government is following-up on the issue. Action has been extraordinary. In fact, instead of asking the government, you should ask those people who opened showrooms for them (the accused),” he added.

Published on February 19, 2018
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