Industry speak: Realty industry expectation from upcoming Union Budget

Ashvita Singh

Accommodation Times News Service

Mudhit Gupta, CMD, EMGEE Group (2)Mudhit Gupta, CMD, EMGEE Group: “We are looking forward to the Union Budget to have some interesting incentives for the low cost housing segment. We expect the government to look into the taxation slabs for personal and corporate sector, stamp duty and introduce some benefits for the primary house buyers in the affordable housing segment. We propose that the tax free slab to be raised from current level to about 5 lacs and a tax rate cut for personal and corporate taxes. The demonetization process has brought surplus capital into the system which will help increase cash flow into the PSU banks. The stamp duty charges should be reduced down to 2% from the current 5% to encourage more frequent transactions leading to higher revenue growth. We also hope the stamp duty should also be waived off for affordable housing in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), housing for all.  We are looking forward to some strategic policy changes which will accentuate the growth of the real state sector and the overall economy of the country in the upcoming fiscal.”

Sunil MishraSunil Mishra, Chief Business Officer, PropTiger: “It’s time for the Industry to acknowledge that demonetisation had a severe impact on sales, as potential buyers kept on postponing their purchase decision, waiting for an imaginary fall in property prices. The Dec 31 announcement of the PM will help the ultra-affordable segment quite a lot. The Home Loan rate cuts are having a positive impact on a wider customer segment. I would look forward to some overall confidence-boosting measures in the Feb 1 Budget, which will put more money in people’s hands, and that itself will bring back home sales to pre-DeMo levels. Under that, specifically, some cut in the tax rates for middle-income groups will be the most awaited measure. The context of the Feb 1 Budget is against a 3-year gradual slow-down of Residential Real Estate sales and a crippling slow-down since Nov 9, 2016. To address the immediate situation created out of DeMo, there has to be some message from the national leadership encouraging home-buyers to go ahead and not postpone their decision – either from Finance Minister or Minister of Urban Housing. This will be a clear GDP-enhancing measure. For the long-term, cuts in income tax rate, and possibly in stamp duty for home registration could be measures that may help the Real Estate industry in getting a jump-start.”

Mr. PNC Menon - Founder Chairman Sobha GroupPNC Menon, Founder Chairman, Sobha Group: “In recent years, for individual home buyers, prices have continued to increase by approximately 7-10% per year. From our perspective, we would like to see the government increase the income tax benefits to this group of home buyers. When we consider the affordable housing segment, we would be delighted to see income tax benefits that can be extended to corporates when they expand through new construction. Given the introduction of the Goods & Services Tax (GST), homes will also now attract a tariff. From our perspective, it would be beneficial if home buyers can come under the lowest possible slab of the GST, thereby enabling greater affordability for potential home buyers. The “Housing for All” initiative needs strong private sector support to achieve its intended objectives, which I am certainly aligned with.”

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