The Forum of Free Enterprise is a non-political organization founded in 1956 by A. D. Shroff, and has been established to educate public opinion in India on free enterprise and a democratic way of life. The Forum publishes booklets to further its objects. The following booklet is titled “Budget Highlights & GST – Where are we today” was published in March 2019 and was authored by H.P. Ranina and Bhavana Doshi. The first article titled ‘Budget Highlights’ authored by H.P. Ranina offers a brilliant perspective as to how the budget is laying the foundation for the second-largest economy. The second article titled ‘GST – Where are we today?’ was authored by Bhavana Doshi.
H.P. Ranina in his article highlights multiple dimensions of the budget be it relating to social security framework, financial sector reforms, labor welfare schemes, et al. author mentions that despite all such measures including provision of RS. 75,000 crores for the income support for the farmers, the government has done to rein in the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio at 3.4% in 2019-20. Further, the author also explains how the vision 2030, which contains clearly defined ten specific pillars, would unleash the full potential of India to enter the league of developed nations.
Bhavana Doshi in her article begins her reflections on GST by pointing out that most stakeholders consider its experience so far has turned out to be a “mixed bag”. The author sought to elucidate the reasons for such a response. The text offers insights on what might have possibly gone wrong in the realization of the initial expectations of the stakeholders from the new tax regime. The author makes some constructive suggestions on what changes need to be made in the GST so that GST will settle down at a faster pace and tax collection will improve.