New commerce minister gets going on Day 1
New Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu went into briefings from officials on pressing issues, separately from the department of commerce and from the department of industrial policy and promotion.
A senior commerce department official said further sessions with the minister had been scheduled. Prabhu then went to the Prime Minister’s Office for a meeting and also to his earlier charge at the railway ministry, to attend an event.
It is unclear whether he will embark on a three-day visit to Russia’s port city of Vladivostok. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would be there from Tuesday, for the third Eastern Economic Forum meet.
Prabhu will have to get a handle on the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy, earlier set to be issued this month. Officials say this might now be postponed till early October.
He will also get only three months to acquaint himself with pending issues at the World Trade Organization before the ministerial conference in December. India is hard pressed against the richer nations, led by the United States and European Union, against its farm subsidy programmes. It is also fighting on proposed rules regarding global e-commerce and a trade facilitation agreement on investments.