Thiruvananthapuram: Just when stray voices of protest have started to emerge from within the Left firmament, the pro-reform economist from Harvard, Gita Gopinath, has opened up about her appointment as the Chief Minister’s economic advisor. Ms Gopinath is clearly enthusiastic about the opportunity though she will only be a long-distance advisor.
She will not engage on a daily basis with the government or be involved in all its economic policy decisions. Ms Gopinath has no plans to fly down to the state either. Nonetheless, she will facilitate the state’s linkages with the world economy. Also, she will be working for free.
Ms Gopinath said her mandate was twofold. “First, I will respond to any requests from the Chief Minister for advice on the impact on Kerala’s economy of global, national and state events and policies. Given my location, I anticipate most of this will be done remotely, rather than in person,” she said in an email message.
“Second, I hope to play a convening role to connect various state departments to the knowledge leaders from around the world in sectors relevant to Kerala like public finance, management, entrepreneurship, labour and development economics,” she said. In both these tasks, Ms Gopinath said that her role confined to providing advice and to make connections for the various departments.
“It is then up to the Chief Minister to consider my advice, and up to the relevant departments to continue conversations with the various sector experts,” she said. Gita Gopinath is one of the brightest stars in the field of global macroeconomics, her radical ‘fiscal devaluation’ strategy had helped European countries like France to turn the corner, she is also the first tenured Indian economics professor in Harvard after Amartya Sen. Both her parents hail from Kannur district, father from Mayyil and mother from Kuttiattoor.