Engagement with neighbours ‘unprecedented’: Minister

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on February 19, 2018 Published on February 19, 2018

M J Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, at an event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata on Monday.   -  Debasish Bhaduri

India’s engagement with its neighbours has been “unprecedented” and the successful outcome of that is there for everyone to see, said M.J. Akbar, MoS, Ministry of 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 the recent picking up of share in Abu Dhabi’s oil production after agreeing to pay $600 million for a tenth of one of the emirate’s biggest offshore deposits. “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 PNB scam

When questioned on the Rs 11,500-crore Punjab National Bank scam, Akbar claimed that the Centre has been “quick in 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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