It is up to the CM and the other departments to take it forward, she said.

Up to CM to take my advice wont take decisions Gita Gopinath speaks out after Kerala uproarImage: World Economic Forum, via Wikipedia
news Kerala Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 17:05

Following the controversy over the appointment of Harvard economist Gita Gopinath as the economic adviser to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, the professor has released a statement.

Gita Gopinath has clarified that her position is ‘honorary’, and that she will not be involved in economic policy decisions. She said that she will only advise the CM on economic policy, and connect the various departments to other leaders in the world. It is up to the CM and the other departments to take it forward, she said.

Here is the full text of the statement.

Statement of Professor Gita Gopinath, Economic Advisor to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala

I am very honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Economic Advisor to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shree Pinarayi Vijayan. Kerala has made substantial progress on social indicators like health and education and I hope to contribute towards further developing sustainable policies for the state that address its unique opportunities and challenges.

It is important to recognize that this is an honorary position, in that there is no remuneration, no expectation that I will move to Thiruvananthapuram to engage on a daily basis with the government or be involved in all its economic policy decisions.

I will continue as a full time professor at Harvard University and carry on my commitments including research and teaching. My mandate as discussed with the Hon’ble CM is twofold:

First, I will respond to any requests from the Hon’ble CM 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.

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, labor and development economics.

In both these tasks, I see my role confined entirely to providing advice to the Hon’ble CM and to make connections for the various departments. It is then up to the Hon’ble CM to consider my advice, and up to the relevant departments to continue conversations with the various sector experts. Given this advisory nature of the appointment and my location, I do not anticipate frequent interactions with the media to explain government policies or my opinion on those.

Kerala is my native state as my father is from Mayyil and my mother from Kuttiattoor in Kannur district, so I am humbled by the opportunity to contribute my skills and effort to the development of Kerala. I am hopeful that under the leadership of the Hon’ble CM the state will make great strides in achieving its development goals.

Gita Gopinath

Harvard University

Cambridge, USA

Date: July 26, 2016

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