Several media reports gave an account of a meeting taken/chaired by the Home Minister with the Finance Minister, External Affairs Minister, Commerce and Industry Minister, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister and CEO, Niti Ayog in regard to petroleum and gas issues – imports and investments overseas by India.
The most important signal is that the Home Minister convened and chaired this meeting, ensuring cross-Ministry coordination, communication and consultation. This will expedite decision making and cut across turf issues which often plague inter-Ministry matters.
Hopefully, the Home Minister will continue to play this role going forward on a number of other cross-cutting issues which concern India, especially Trade Policy which is the domain of several Ministries and sectors. India, today, is seen to be defensive and negative in trade negotiations which it need not be.
National Interest must always be the primary concern but trade negotiations can be from a position of strength and strategic.