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Trade deficit with China at $8 bn in April-May: Sitharaman

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Nirmala Sitharaman Spokesperson 11, Ashoka Road, New Delhi - 110001. New Delhi: India’s trade deficit with China touched $8 billion during April-May of this fiscal, while  the figure for 2014-15 has grown to $48.47 billion from $36.2 billion in 2013-14, parliament was told  on Friday.

“Increasing trade deficit with China can primarily be attributed to the fact that Chinese exports to  India rely strongly on manufactured items meeting the demand of fast expanding sectors like  telecom and power while India’s exports to China are characterised by primary products, raw  material and intermediates,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha in a  written reply.

She said the government has taken various measures to identify specific products having export  potential in order to boost exports and maintain balance of trade with India’s trade partners,  including China.

In view of continuous decline in exports over a half-year period, the government last month set up the Council for Trade Development and Promotion to be chaired by the union commerce minister and comprising state trade and commerce ministers and officials including 14 union secretaries including those of commerce, revenue, shipping, civil aviation, agriculture, food processing and economic affairs as members.

India’s merchandise exports declined further for the seventh straight month in June to $22.29 billion, 15.82 percent lower than the $26.48 billion worth shipped in the same month of last year.

Exports remained almost static compared to May’s figure of $22.34 billion, continuing the declining trend for the sixth straight month, caused by the global economic slowdown, fall in crude oil prices and rupee’s appreciation.

Replying to a separate question, Sitharaman said India has entered into 11 free trade agreements and five preferential trade agreements with other countries.

“India is negotiating FTAs and PTAs with some countries, including Israel and the EU (European Union),” she said.

(IANS)

 

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Mercy for the Nirbhaya Rapists?

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past.

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Nirbhaya
The Nirbhaya incident in Delhi was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India.

By Salil Gewali

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past. Apart from various kinds of physical tortures, the mental tortures undergone by defenseless females are endless. Within the confinement of four-walls innumerable sins are still being committed which mostly go unreported. However, it was Nirbhaya’s rape incident in Delhi that was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India. Post-Nirbhaya incident, a lot many changes in the laws have been made. The safety and security of women have been prioritized, the nation-wide the whole police departments have been sensitized, to a greater extent the road transportation has been made women-friendly.

Nirbhaya rape
The public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night.

Thanks to the countless number of protests across the country condemning the six rapists. The people from all walks of life came together and relentlessly pressurized the government that the Nirbhaya convicts must be awarded capital punishment. Media’s contribution in the campaign is immeasurable. Alas, India’s judiciary is so annoyingly slow it has taken over 7 years to pronounce the death sentence.

Nirbhaya rape
Advocate Indira Jaising suggested that the convicts of Nirbhaya rape case could be “forgiven” by the parents.

However, now nothing could be so mind-blowing than the flood of condemnation against the comments by a veteran advocate and social activist Indira Jaising. Without a sense of guilt and potential backlash, she suggested that the convicts be “forgiven” by the parents. Jaising’s idea has clearly touched a raw nerve of the major population in the country. People’s anger is spilled well over social media. What is most noteworthy is the scathing condemnation directly from the horse mouth — the mother Asha Devi. A very bold lady, who determinedly fought for justice for so many years, thunders – “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” Asha Devi aptly further adds — “Can’t believe how Jaising even dared to suggest such this; I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, “not once” she asked for my well-being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists; hence rape incidents don’t stop,”

The latter comments by the Nirbhaya’s mother clearly hint the doubt at the “integrity” of the advocate Ms. Jaising. How on earth that one who has not spoken a word of sympathy in spite of many encounters in the court can reserves the right to suggest that which offends the distressed victim party. Asha Devi deserves a salute for her boldness. Yes, India Jaising is one of the advocates who knocked the door of the Chief Justice of India in the middle of the night in July 2015 in order to seek the mercy for the dreaded terrorist Yakub Menon.

Nirbhaya rapists
In 2015, the Delhi Government proposed to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine.

Again, here is another bombshell to drop which many of us may have forgotten. Can we ever “forgive” for the shocking proposal in 2015 by Delhi Government to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine?  Who has approved such bizarre ideas and which leaders are responsible? What kind of lesson should the citizens take from this?

Also Read- Here’s how Climate Change has Affected the Economy

I think the public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night. They had used the iron-rod to inflict deep injuries upon the girl which is unspeakable, which is very unpardonable. So, given the increasing cases of rapes and subsequent inhumane cruelty and cold-blooded killings, Capital punishment can be the only answer and “one of the deterrents”. Before the divine retribution, the hard rod of punishment should not be spared at all. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali