Their argument is that much of todays diplomacy is to do with economic affairsa process started by Rajiv Gandhi when he was the PM, when diplomats with economic backgrounds were posted in strategic foreign capitals to promote trade with India. They also ask who is going to foot the bill for the additional space required for these desks as well as the accommodation for the officers in the foreign countries. The background to the proposal is Modis stint as Gujarat chief ministerhe has maintained since then that the state could have benefited from a presence abroad and could have spurred foreign investments. There is some merit in his thinking but the fear is that state bureaucrats will prefer to be posted in favoured capitals, mainly in the West. We have the examples of India tourism offices abroad which did precious little, and many of them had to be shut down. The real misgiving within MEA is that such representatives will be stepping on the ministry manadarins toes and invading what they consider sacred territory.