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IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath to step down as Kerala CM’s economic adviser: Report

Gopinath's appointment as Kerala CM's economic adviser had raised eyebrows as she is a noted neoliberal economist, while Vijayan is currently the only communist chief minister in the country

October 04, 2018 / 09:48 AM IST
Gita Gopinath, professor at the economics department of Harvard University, attends a conference of central bankers hosted by the Bank of France in Paris November 7, 2014.   REUTERS/Charles Platiau  (FRANCE - Tags: BUSINESS HEADSHOT) - PM1EAB711GA01

Gita Gopinath, professor at the economics department of Harvard University, attends a conference of central bankers hosted by the Bank of France in Paris November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau (FRANCE - Tags: BUSINESS HEADSHOT) - PM1EAB711GA01

Gita Gopinath, who was recently appointed as the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will resign as the economic adviser of the Kerala Chief Minister.

This is the only governmental association Gopinath had taken up in India.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan had in a televised press meet on October 3, said, “She is being appointed as IMF’s chief economist. So naturally, she will not be able to continue as an advisor to governments.”

Vijayan had appointed Gopinath as his economic adviser shortly after coming to power in 2016. The decision had raised eyebrows within Vijayan’s Communist Party of India (Marxist) as the two have opposing economic ideologies.

While Gopinath is a noted neoliberal economist, Vijayan is currently the only communist chief minister in the country.

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Reports suggest that the Left front in Kerala was not happy about Gopinath’s earlier association with the US government, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the IMF.

The institutions Gopinath is associated with generally draw criticism from socialists.

According to a report in Mint, Vijayan’s intention behind appointing her as his economic adviser was to break away from his party’s socialist legacy and send a signal to the businesses that Kerala is open for investment.

It remains unclear as to what was the nature of advice the Harvard economist gave the chief minister, if any, except for a few occasional remarks to the press, the report notes.

On October 1, IMF’s chief Christine Lagarde announced Gopinath’s appointment as the chief economist of the financial institution.

"Gita is one of the world's outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience," Lagarde said.

A US citizen, Gopinath was born and grew up in India. She received her PhD in economics from Princeton University in 2001 after earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Delhi and Master of Arts (MA) degrees from both the Delhi School of Economics and University of Washington.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 4, 2018 09:48 am

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