New Delhi: The central government has decided to merge the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) almost 12 years after the former was set up to improve engagement with the Indian diaspora.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who also holds the charge for MOIA, said that the proposal has been cleared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“As Minister for External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, I realised that substantial work of MOIA is done through our missions abroad. Therefore, I proposed to Prime Minister that MOIA should be merged with Ministry of External Affairs.”
“Prime Minister has kindly accepted my proposal. So MOIA will now be part of Ministry of External Affairs," Swaraj tweeted.
MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the decision to merge the MOIA with MEA was taken in line with government's "overall objective of minimising government and maximising governance.”
He said that the process of merger has already begun and the exercise is being personally supervised by Swaraj.
Since creation of MOIA in 2004, there have been two separate ministers in charge of the two ministries. However, since 2014 Swaraj and Minister of State in MEA V K Singh were handling both the ministries, said Swarup.
The primary task of the MOIA was to connect the Indian diaspora with its motherland.