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Kerala CM's Economic Advisor Hails PM Modi's Demonetisation, He Downplays

Updated: November 26, 2016, 6:00 PM IST
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Kerala CM's Economic Advisor Hails PM Modi's Demonetisation, He Downplays
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (Photo: PTI)

At a time when the ruling LDF and Congress-led opposition in Kerala have joined hands to launch agitation against PM Narendra Modi’s demonetization move, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s Economic Advisor Gita Gopinath has hailed PM Modi and described the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes as a "bold" and "unprecedented" initiative.

However, CM Vijayan on Saturday said there was nothing unusual in her expressing her views. Further downplaying the remarks of Gopinath, a
Harvard University professor, Vijayan said: “She was not a full-time advisor to 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 one of her recent articles titled ‘Demonetisation Dos and Dont's’ in Project Syndicate, Gopinath had stated: "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, while reflecting on the everyday hardships faced by the common man in procuring money, Gopinath also illustrated that "public frustration is now mounting" because the government "has failed" to meet the demand for newly 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.

CM Vijayan also said that "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 advice in connection with the state and not (for) her opinion and the stand she takes with regard to global economy,” he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: November 26, 2016, 6:00 PM IST
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