Gita Gopinath said the IMF will track anti-Citizenship Act protests.
The International Monetary Fund will keep an eye on the widespread protests over the citizenship law and National Register of Citizens and factor it in the next assessment in April, Gita Gopinath, the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund or IMF, told NDTV in an exclusive interview on Monday.
In its World Economic Outlook released in Davos, Switzerland, the IMF has highlighted a link between “intensifying social unrest across many countries – reflecting, in some cases, the erosion of trust in established institutions and lack of representation in governance structures”.
Asked whether this referred to India, Ms Gopinath gave the examples of the protests in Chile and Hong Kong.
“I have nothing really significant to say (about India),” she added. “It is something we will follow and we will see what this does in our next assessment in April”.
Underscoring that there are many factors behind the large-scale protests in Chile and Hong Kong, Ms Gopinath said social cohesion is very important in the world. As of now, it is important to ensure that nations are protecting the vulnerable sections and “they are not left behind in the growth story”, she added.
India has been witnessing protests over the two issues since the controversial citizenship law was passed in December. Twenty-five people died in the violence that flared up across parts of the north, south and the northeastern parts of the country.
Over the last weeks, the violence has died down but the protests have not abated. The peaceful protests across a number of cities are being driven by students, artistes, celebrities and women.
The government has refused to back down on the citizenship law, saying it does not threaten anyone’s citizenship. It has also accused the opposition, especially the Congress, of engineering the protests through a “web of lies”.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, for the first time, makes religion the test of citizenship in India. While the government claims that it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution before 2015, critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.