Gita Gopinath could also be on means out of CMO | Thiruvananthapuram Information

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Thiruvananthapuram: The appointment of Harvard professor Gita Gopinath as the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will once again trigger the question on her continuance as the financial adviser to the chief minister of Kerala. The appointment of Gita in June 2016 had stirred a debate in the state’s political circles and within the CPM because of her affinity to neo-liberal ideas. The allegations were then discussed by the CPM central committee which finally decided to uphold the choice of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on a technical note –– the picking up of officials was a prerogative of the CM.

What had worked in Gita’s favour then was that she was only an academic at Harvard. The scene has changed now as Gita is set to take up a key position in the International Monitory Fund. The CPM central committee doesn’t approve the economic policies of the IMF and Gita’s continuance in the chief minister’s office (CMO) will lead to further issues in the party. The CPM views IMF as an organization created by the US for propagating neo-liberal economic policies across the globe.

The CM, who was in the US for medical treatment last month, is learnt to have met Gita. But, it is not clear whether she had conveyed to him anything on the possible appointment. Government officials said she was supposed to give a vision document regarding the raising of funds for the rebuilding of flood-hit Kerala and they were waiting for that.

After assuming office, she visited the state capital only twice. On both occasions, she had held talks with the chief minister, finance minister and senior officials. “The agendas pushed by her during those meetings were also neo-liberal. Increasing retirement age and downsizing the government were among them,” said a source who is aware of the discussions held at that time.

Earlier, Gita had endorsed the Union government’s policy to deregulate diesel prices and the controversial land acquisition policy for industrial growth. Both issues had been opposed strongly by the Left parties.



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