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 “The Union Budget 2018-19” which was published in March 2018 and was authored by H.P. Ranina and Sunil. S. Bhandare.
The first part of the booklet titled “A vision document for Inclusive growth” is a textual representation of the H.P Ranina talk delivered in Mumbai on 1st January 2018. In the text, the author mentions that tax collection has been healthy during the financial year 2017-18 and how during the financial year 2018-19 the estimated deficit of 3.3% of GDP may be difficult to adhere to due to various reasons. The text elucidates the several aspects of budget: Revenue and expenditure for the fiscal year 2018-19, Incentives for agriculture and rural development, education and tourism, MSMEs and job creation, Incentives for start-ups, the rationalization for business transactions, international taxation, sops for salaried employees, capital gains tax regime, corporate taxation, empowerment, and inclusive growth.
The second part of the booklet titled “Reflections on the Budget 2018-19” was authored by S.S Bhandare. The author explains the reasons: political and economic, which provoked the curiosity in this budget. The text focuses on the underpinnings of the Budgetary framework and further, it raises some serious concerns on budgetary arithmetic. The author presents his view on the importance of agriculture and the rural economy. The text concludes with the observation that this budget cannot be looked at in isolation as it is an integral part of the vision-mission objectives of the NDA government and its reforms agenda traversed so far by it, ever since assuming the power in May 2014.