QUESTION : India faces several challenges in attracting relocating supply chains in trade and give some suggested measures to deal with these challenges.” Elaborate
SHIFTING SANDS FOR ASIAN ECONOMIES
India’s challenges in maintaining its viability against competitive economies
WHY IN NEWS ?
The article deals with the challenges India faces in attracting the relocating supply chains in the wake of the pandemic.
IS CHINA LOSING ITS APPEAL ?
- Some labour-intensive industries, such as textiles and apparels, have been moving to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as labour costs in China are increasing.
- But trends in other industries show that businesses have mostly remained in China.
- COVID-19 crisis has resulted in firms establishing relatively small-scale operations elsewhere.
- This is perceived as a buffer against being completely dependent on China, referred to as the ‘China +1’ strategy.
REASONS FOR FIRMS TO CONTINUE IN CHINA :
- Starting an enterprise and maintaining operations in China are much easier than elsewhere.
- Chinese firms are nimble and fast, which is evident from the quick recovery of Chinese manufacturing after the lockdown.
- Many global companies have spent decades building supply chains in China, getting out would mean moving the entire ecosystem.
KEY CHALLENGES FACING INDIA :
Increasing domestic public investment –
- The task of increasing domestic public investments, which have implications for both demand and supply sides.
- In India, even before the pandemic, the growth in domestic investments had been weak,
- This seems to be the opportune time to bolster public investments as interest rates are low globally and savings are available.
- Private investments would continue to be depressed, due to the uncertainty on the future economic outlook.
Reforms in trade policy-
- India needs a major overhaul in her trade policy world trade had been rattled by tendencies of rising economic nationalism and unilateralism leading to the return of protectionist policies.
- A revamped trade policy needs to take into account the possibility of two effects of the RCEP:
1) Walmart effect: It would sustain demand for basic products and help in keeping employee productivity at an optimum level, but may also reduce wages and competition due to sourcing from multiple vendors at competitive rates.
2) Switching effects: It would be an outcome of developed economies scouting for new sources to fulfil import demands, which requires firms to be nimble and competitive.
- Trade policy has to recognise the pitfalls of the present two-track mode, one for firms operating in the ‘free trade enclaves’ and another for the rest.
- A major fallout of this ‘policy dualism’ is the dampening of export diversification.
- The challenge is to make exporting activity more attractive for all firms in the economy.
Increasing women’s participation in labour force –
- While India’s GDP has grown by around 6% to 7% per year women’s labour force participation rate has fallen from 42.7% in 2004–05 to 23.3% in 2017–18.
- This means that three out of four Indian women are neither working nor seeking paid work.
- Globally, India ranks among the bottom ten countries in terms of women’s workforce participation.
- When Bangladesh’s GDP grew at an average rate of 5.5% during 1991 and 2017, women’s participation in the labour force increased from 24% to 36%.
- India could gain hugely if barriers to women’s participation in the workforce are removed.
- The manufacturing sector should create labour-intensive jobs that rural and semi-urban women are qualified for.
The intensity of competition is evident from the fact that after India passed 3 Labour Code Bills on September 23, Indonesian Parliament on October 5 passed a legislation that slashes regulations contained in more than 70 separate existing laws, to open up the country to more foreign investment.. India’s approach to the changed scenario needs to be well-calibrated.
QUESTION: Discuss the need for protection of rights for both victims and accused . What are the challenges faced by victims in India ?
CHANGING THE DISCOURSE ON VICTIM JURISPRUDENCE
Rights of Victims in India
WHY IN NEWS ?
Supreme Court has led the movement for recognition of victim rights to access to justice, compensation and assistance, little has changed in terms of both the black letter of the law and the ground realities.
CRIME PREVENTION :
- Crime prevention is an oft-cited but least studied aspect of our criminal justice system.
- Examination of crime-prevention from the victim’s perspective is even rarer.
- Among other methods, situational crime prevention through risk-mapping and vulnerability-mapping stands out in terms of viability and efficacy.
- A truly effective criminal justice system can identify potential victims and to put measures to protect them in place — before the incidence of crime itself.
- Capacity building and effective implementation are key to such endeavours.
VICTIM’S RIGHTS AND NEEDS :
- In a post-crime scenario, however, there is a need to shed the image of the victim as a mere witness and to institutionally recognise their rights and requirements.
- The same thing can be achieved through a legislative recognition of the following points:
- Access to Justice:
- The conceptualisation of access to justice for victims requires viewing such access less in terms of Directive Principles of State Policy under Article 39A, and more as a fundamental right under Articles 14 and 21.
- There is an urgent need to strengthen the complaint mechanism for non-registration of FIR u/s. 154(3) Code of Criminal Procedure, and extension of Section 166A(c) in the Indian Penal Code to all cognisable offences.
- Further, access to justice also requires the creation of victim-friendly procedures that are aimed at reducing their inconvenience.
- Effective victim participation:
- Currently, the victims and their counsels are entitled to extremely limited participation.
- In line with the global trend, there is a need to recognise the right of victims to be heard at all appropriate stages of a trial.
- Victim Impact Statements can help accord this right.
- Moreover, substantive access to justice also requires access to legal aid.
- Such legal aid has the potential to culminate in effective victim participation if provided to the victim from the stage of reporting to the stage of sentencing and appeal.
- Right to information
- The right to information, in turn, enables their access to all other rights.
- Victims must be entitled to information regarding their role in the criminal justice process, what they can expect from the criminal justice system, status of the trial,and also their other rights and entitlements as a victim of crime.
- Right to protection:
- The right to information can also go a long way in securing the right to protection.
- The victim must be kept abreast of all developments in the trial process which may potentially compromise their security.
- This would require intimation of the victim in connection with any hearing changing the nature of the accused’s custody including his release on bail or parole.
- The framework for such intimation is already available to specific victims in Section15A of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
- Other measures for witness protection such as relocation and change in identity, as provided for in the Witness Protection Scheme, too need to be reviewed and enforced effectively.
- Victim Assistance:
- The concept of assistance as envisaged in the 1985 UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power needs to be recognised as a right, not merely for victims of rape and acid attack, but for all victims of crime in general.
- The state must play the role of a facilitator in providing to the victims all such assistance as is necessary — medical, psychological, financial and material.
- The same would require institutional capacity building, through ramping up of infrastructure such as one-stop centres, training of existing functionaries, and by engaging with and promoting the non-governmental organisations involved in providing such assistance to victims.
- Right to Compensation:
- The right to compensation, recognised to a limited extent under our current laws, is lacking in many respects.
- Primarily, the political will for its enforcement at a state level has been found to be wanting.
- Additionally, the Victim Compensation Scheme provided for under Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure must be revitalised by revising it in terms of accessibility and adequacy.
- Right to restitution:
- The right to restitution must be separated from the right to compensation.
- Both terms have been used inter-changeably in our criminal justice system, leading to a large degree of confusion.
- But if the scheme of the 1985 Declaration is adopted, restitution can be differentiated from compensation in that the first right is enforceable against the accused while the second right is enforceable against the state.
SECTION 357 OF CRPC :
- In this sense, the right to restitution is already present to some extent in Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but has been mis-termed as ‘compensation’.
- Section 357 provides that where the court imposes a sentence of fine, the court may use the same, in whole or in part, for paying compensation for any loss or injury.
- The Supreme Court has repeated that the provision should be used liberally. The same must be made mandatory wherever appropriate.
Why a legal definition of ‘victim’ is important?
Crimes are registered in the form of sections of the Indian Penal Code (in numbers) which do not mean anything to the victims of crime in terms of their impact. Crimes do not impact all victims in the same manner.
There is no way to assess the impact suffered by a victim. And whatever little is tried in this direction is always through a third party, such as a prosecutor or judge, who is invariably incapable of registering the aftermath of victimization. (Only the victim of a crime may truly feel the impact of the crime, others can at best imagine and sympathize with it).
NCRB, headquartered in New Delhi, was set-up in 1986 under the Ministry of Home Affairs to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
It was set up based on the recommendations of the National Police Commission (1977-1981) and the MHA’s Task Force (1985).
NCRB brings out the annual comprehensive statistics of crime across the country (‘Crime in India’ report).
o Being published since 1953, the report serves as a crucial tool in understanding the law and order situation across the country.
The global discourse on victim jurisprudence has now matured enough to be incorporated directly into our laws. In his seminal piece, Herbert L. Packer stressed that a criminal justice system focuses on two values — of crime control and due process.