Thiruvananthapuram: Seeking to downplay Economic Advisor Gita Gopinath's praise for demonetisation when the LDF government was opposing it, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday said there was nothing unusual in her expressing her views. His reaction in a Facebook post came following media reports about Gopinath, a Harvard university professor, praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, describing the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as a ‘bold’ and ‘unprecedented’ initiative.
Vijayan said Gopinath was not a “full-time advisor of the Kerala Chief Minister. So there is nothing unusual that she is taking a different stand from that of the government and expressing her own views”. In a recent article titled "Demonetisation Dos and Dont's, a commentary in Project Syndicate", Gopinath has stated that "It was an unprecedented move, whether in India or almost anywhere else, and it is by far Modi's boldest policy intervention to date."
However, she had also noted that “public frustration is now mounting”, because the government “has failed” to meet the demand for new printed notes. “Commerce in India –- where the cash-to-GDP ratio is 10 per cent -– relies heavily on cash transactions, and informal economy and small-business operations have now ground to a halt, owing to long lines and tight cash-withdrawal limits at banks and shortages at ATMs," Gopinath had said in the article. The Chief Minister said “some people have taken some sentences from her article and making wrong interpretations”.
She had explained about the challenges and issues being faced by the country. "It is her freedom as an economist and a Professor of Harvard University," he said. Kerala had approached her only for advise in connection with the state and not (for) her opinion and the stand she takes with regard to global economy, he added high value notes, saying it has caused immense hardships to the common man and dealt a severe blow to the state's Cooperative sector. Both the LDF and opposition Congress-led UDF have launched agitations against demonetisation.