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 Union Budget 2016-17” was published in April 2016 and was authored by Yashwant Sinha, H.P Ranina, and S.S. Bhandare. The booklet encompasses a presentation on the union budget of 2016-17 by two eminent personalities: Yashwant Sinha a former union finance minister and H.P Ranina, a veteran tax expert and commentator. The state of the economy was considered healthy by both of the experts.
In the first part of the text, Yashwant Sinha talks about the fiscal deficit and how it has become a predicament to manage it. He mentions at this juncture the economy requires investment, from the government, private sector, public sector, and abroad. He considers the budget is constructive and didn’t try to classify the budget as a political budget or a povertarian budget. He elucidates why the Direct Tax Code bill and strategic disinvestment which he refers to as privatization is a good idea and how it is beneficial for the economy.
In the second Part H.P. Raina under the title “Budget Proposals for Transforming India” acknowledges the global and domestic problem concerning the background of the budget. He provides insights on Fiscal Consolidation, Budgetary allocation for Infrastructure, incentives for savings, Boosting the real estate sector, tackling the scourge of tax evasion, rural infrastructure, job creation, streamlining the corporate Tax structure, Dispute resolution mechanism, taxation of Individuals, and some measures to transform India.
Further in the third part S.S. Bhandare under the title “Reflections on the Budget 2016-17”. He describes that the budget offers a clever attempt to bring synthesis in a politically inspired dichotomy between India and Bharat. He analyzes that if the economic survey estimated growth of 7-7.5% becomes valid, then the average inflation rate has to be much less than 4% in 2016-17. The author acknowledges that there are some grounds for skepticism, but there has been an improvement in budgetary arithmetic. Overall, the author’s view is that the budget unveils a relatively well-balanced strategy to unveil the growth momentum of the economy and its strategic framework suggests underpinnings of intrinsic stability and sustainability of fiscal, financial, structural, and social sectors.