Thiruvananthapuram: CPI mouthpiece Janayugam has called for caution while considering Chief Minister’s financial advisor Gita Gopinath’s suggestions on economic reforms and austerity measures.
In an editorial, the party mouthpiece said Gita Gopinath observations on state’s economy and emphasis on austerity measures have raised apprehensions. She shared her views during an informal chat with a section of media on the sidelines of the recently concluded Loka Kerala Sabha.
On the face of it suggestion for austerity measures is acceptable especially in the backdrop of the financial crisis being faced by the government. However, her reference to salary, pension, subsidy, welfare schemes, loss making PSUs as government’s liability and thrust on participation of private sector in infrastructure development and GST have thrown clear hints, the editorial said.
As the advisor to CM, she has indicated that she would a driving force in getting more investments. Gopinath’s thrust on development and enthusiasm to bring foreign investment are praiseworthy. However, the Chief Minister and LDF are expected to approach economic reforms including austerity measures with caution.
The editorial said there were no two opinions on the need to avoid splurge at the government level and to control expenditure. However, the authorities concerned should be watchful enough to ensure that austerity measures don’t turn out to be a replication of similar measures adopted in Greece, Spain and other Western countries.
Austerity measures have been the main characteristic of economic reforms of the western capitalist world. But the after-effects of such reforms is mainly faced by workers, farmers and the unemployed. These policies had led to huge economic problems and political instability in Greece, Spain and Britain. Gita Gopinath's approach on salary, pension and welfare schemes needs to be read along with the crisis in western capitalist world, the editorial said.