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 titled “The Role of Gold, Silver and NRIs in Indian Economy” was published on November 14, 1991, and was authored by Shantilal N. Sonawala and Hitesh Gajaria.
Shantilal N. Sonowala argues that in India gold is considered as a symbol of prestige and status of the family as well as in social life. He goes on to discuss the Government of India’s move to mortgage gold out of their treasury, officially for the first time. Sonowala expresses regret on the unauthorised expenditure of Foreign Exchange for unauthorised imports of Gold which fails to enter the official Foreign Exchange Pool of the country and is kept out of official dealings. He further goes on to discuss the role of silver in the Indian economy. He observes that the investment in silver for social and economic purpose is gaining popularity.
Hitesh Gajaria focuses on the role of NRIs in the Indian economy. Keeping in mind India’s precarious BOP position, he suggests certain crucial measures. He akes a strong case for encouraging NRI investments in the country. He argues that the PM’s remark that NRIs would find investing in India “a rewarding experience” needs to be followed up with actual dissemination of authentic information regarding what policies and procedures the Government of India is formulating for them. In his concluding remarks, he recommends that India needs to be effectively marketed to NRIs and its comparative advantages like large domestic market, inexpensive labour, large natural resources and favourable tax system for NRIs need to be highlighted.