Shringla Holds First Inter-Ministerial Group Meet To Push ‘Neighbourhood First’

| Updated: 13 April, 2022 1:10 am IST
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla (file photo)


NEW DELHI: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday convened the first secretary-level meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group (IMCG), a mechanism set up for mainstreaming India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy in line with PM Narendra Modi’s vision.

Secretaries of ministries/departments of Home, Commerce, Finance, Fisheries, representatives from ministries/departments of Defence, Railways, Economic Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Information & Broadcasting and from Cabinet Secretariat, National Security Council Secretariat, as well as other relevant agencies along with heads of border guarding forces, participated in the meeting.

“The meeting deliberated upon and took important decisions on various aspects of India’s bilateral relationship with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the areas of trade and investment, connectivity, border infrastructure, immigration, development cooperation, border security, etc,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

In addition to the IMCG mechanism, ministries and departments have been requested to accord priority to India’s neighbours in their international activities, programmes and projects.

The IMCG is supported by Inter-Ministerial Joint Task Forces (JTF) convened by the concerned joint secretaries in the MEA.

In a release, the MEA said that the government of India makes efforts to deliver benefits like greater connectivity, stronger inter-linkages and greater people-to-people connections under India’s Neighbourhood First policy through a whole-of-government approach with coordination involving various ministries, departments and agencies and state governments.

The group aims to further improve institutional coordination across government and provide comprehensive direction to the whole-of-government approach to India’s relations with its neighbouring countries, the MEA stated.

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