By Accommodation Times News Service
Surabhi Arora, Associate Director, Colliers International
Honorable Finance Minister with the pretext of development of smart cities has proposed changes in FDI for real estate sector. The reduction in built up area from 50000 sq mtr to 20,000 sq. mtr, and minimum capitalization from 10 million to 5 million is definitely a positive move for real estate sector. The reduction in built-up area and size of projects will allow mid-sized and smaller developers with good track records better access to FDI and boost affordable housing in the country.
The capital component is of paramount importance, the introduction of REITs would be beneficial for the Indian market as they not only provide efficient access and flexibility to raise capital but also provide an alternative exit option to investor. The introduction of REITs in India would spell scores of opportunities for developers / private funds / financial institutions, etc. as they can be used as an exit vehicle to rotate funds as per the requirement. REIT have the potential to solve several issues that act as an impediment to growth of the economy pertaining to transparency, credit crunch, organization of the property market sector, liquidity of real estate assets and execution of property developments across the country, which would help build infrastructure. REITs’ introduction in the Indian market would not only offer the much-talked-about benefits but also many long-term benefits. If we look at the prevailing situation in the real estate industry, one of the problems that have been ailing the industry for a long time is non-aligned market prices of property to their registration basic values. It causes revenue loss to the government and the differential between actual prices paid for the property and the disclosed rates at which registration is done, gets absorbed in the black economy.
Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.:
The reduction of personal income tax ceiling and the raising of home loan interest deduction will definitely increase demand for homes in cities like Pune. True to his promises, the Finance Minister has made significant allocations towards infrastructure projects in the country. The allocation of Rs. 37,850crore into the National Highway Authority of India will result in vastly improved road networks, which will in turn result in new vibrancy in the real estate sector. The National Housing Bank has received an allocation of Rs. 8000crore for this program, which will have. I am especially enthusiastic about the Rs. 7060crore allocation towards the government’s program for creating 100 smart city projects.
Arvind Jain, Managing Director – Pride Group:
It is a satisfactory budget with good implications for real estate. Significantly, the budget has included slum rehabilitation under the ambit of corporate social responsibility. We will now see greater involvement by India Inc in this very important sector and give a boost to supply in the inner parts of our major cities. The FM has given much-needed relief to individual tax payers by raising the income tax exemption limit by 50,000 and has also raised the limit of the interest part of home loans from Rs. 1.5lakh to Rs. 2lakh. The combined effect will definitely be renewed interest in home purchase by Indians.
Sachin Agarwal, CMD – Maple Shelters:
The budget has reduced the FDI norms for minimum built-up area for affordable housing. Additionally, Rs. 4000crore have been allocated towards the creation of low-cost housing. This is extremely promising for the affordable housing sector and we will see an increase in housing development for the under-privileged in the peripheral areas of cities like Pune. The relief provided on individual income tax and interest on housing loans is very significant for the budget homes sector, since these measures have greatest pertinence to the more financially sensitive home buyers. I am happy with this budget, in which the Financial Minister has shown great foresight and set the path for economic revival.
Mr. Pradeep Jain, Chairman – Parsvnath Developers
we hail the maiden budget speech by Hon Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitly, this clearly suggest that development flank taken by the NDA govt. Real Estate sector for long time was ignored with no significant proposals made to spur growth in this sector. For the first time after the slowdown the Union Budget 2014 gives a boost to the real estate sector. We thank Hon’ble Minister for paying attention through legislations like REIT, promoting affordable housing and allocating over USD 50,000crores towards urban infrastructure. Government’s emphasis on PPP shows its commitment towards a collective growth. Allocation of Rs 7,060crore to develop 100 smart cities is certainly going to promote the sector on global front. Funding had always been a concern for us as developers. Foreign investors were also shying away due to ambiguity in rules. With implementation of REITs and relaxation in FDI norms, the problem of fund crunch will get mitigated. Cutting down the total built-up area requirement to 20,000 mn sq ft, minimum lock up period to 3 years and a minimum investment of $5 million is indeed a welcome move. Government has also shown its willingness to boost rural housing scheme and low cost housing for urban poor and EWS, with an allocation of Rs 8000crore and Rs 4000crore respectively. Introducing the tax Rebate under 80C, an increase by Rs. 50,000 to Rs.1.5lakhs and housing interest deduction limit extension from Rs. 1.5lakh to Rs. 2lakhs will help empower the middle class by giving them more purchasing power. Though we have moved ahead in the right direction, a lot more has to be done, primarily awarding an infrastructure status to the real estate sector.
Mr. Aman Agarwal, Director – K V Developers:
“We are extremely delighted after today budget speech by Shri Arun Jaitley. Real estate has finally got its long pending attention in the Union Budget. We sincerely applaud the decisions made to boost this sector. The relaxation of norms under FDI and implementation of REITs are certainly going to provide a cheaper alternative to costlier loans by banks. We were expecting this from the Finance Minister. Allocation of Rs 8000crore for rural housing and Rs 4000crore for urban housing for poor and EWS are in line with government’s ambition of Housing for all by 2022. By allocating another fund of Rs 7,060crore to develop smart cities also shows government’s commitment for a collective growth. Government has also emphasized on involvement of private corporate in the development measures. This is indeed a welcome move and will allow private companies play a measure role in government’s mission 2022. We, however, were expecting to get an infrastructure status in the budget. This would have allowed the sector reap some more benefits in terms of funding. This remains unfulfilled. Overall, this is a welcome budget by the Union Government and certainly promises Acchhe Din ahead.
Neel Ratan, Executive Director, Government and Public Sector, PwC India
With the urban migration trend, the only way for us to sustain as a society is to invest in new cities. These new cities need to focus on leveraging technology to improve service delivery, quality of life and at the same time optimize the usage of resources. Although actual creation for 100 new cities will require large financial outlays however the current budget allocation is a step in the right direction.
This announcement will definitely excite the stakeholders including urban planners, city administrators and industry to come together and create sustainable models for new cities. It is essential to focus on the right governance and regulatory frameworks to ensure speedy execution and benefits realization. Since smart city concept, on the whole, is a nascent development hence it will be prudent for the stakeholders to take insights from the planners of the few smart city initiatives like GIFT, DMIC and Naya Raipur. Conceptualizing and developing new cities is a time taking process therefore this announcement will give the required thrust to fast track the planning of new cities.
It has been witnessed during the recent past that technology companies have become vary of the government contracts, which has led to their reduced participation. To reinforce the level of confidence in the investor community, it is pertinent for government to work out measures which help in “Ease of doing business” with government.
Ravi Saund, COO, CHD Developers Ltd.
The new government’s maiden budget claims to contain reform measures to revitalize growth and drive engines of the economy burgeoning again. Will this growth oriented budget withstand the test of time? There’s no denying it’s a common budget, yet it’s difficult to prophesize at this moment. However, couple of reforms announced is a welcome move. It is positive for the housing sector, though the focus is clearly on affordable segment. The government has encouraged the home buyers by widening Housing loan interest exemption U/s 24 B from Rs 1.5lakh to Rs 2lakh coupled by personal tax exemption slab raised to the level of 2.5lakhs per annum. The latter will definitely boost investor’s sentiments in the real estate sector. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Infrastructure Investment trusts and granting pass through status for taxation is a welcome and essential step for successful implementation of REIT’s in India. It will help in easing liquidity requirement for developers, paving way to raise easy capital and also provide access to retail investors to benefits from regular income and appreciation benefits from real estate. This is bound to give the much needed fillip to the sector.
The government is focused on the vision of developing and modernizing with the introduction of smart cities. To make this dream a reality, the finance minister announced allocation of Rs 7,060crores in the current fiscal for development of the smart cities and 7 new industrial cities. This will drive real estate development in these pockets and create newer markets. Infrastructure has received a major thrust. The steps to increase funding for roads, highways, airports, power and SEZs will surely add more terrain on the Indian realty map taking tier 2 and tier 3 cities on new growth trajectory.
Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India
In terms of relief to the housing sector, the budget has allocated Rs. 4000crore for low-cost housing schemes. Apart from this, he has also indicated that there will soon be a relaxation of FDI norms for the affordable housing sector. Though the government has announced such incentives for low-cost housing in the past, the real task lies in the fast execution of the fast execution of these initiatives. It is very positive that the government has taken due note of the demand-supply mismatch in the LIG and EWS housing segments, and it remains to be seen how fast these initiatives hit the ground in real time. Significantly, the budget has increased the income tax deduction limits under 80C, of which the repayment of principal on housing loans is a component. This limit has been raised from Rs. 1lakh to Rs. 1.5lakh. Additionally, the budget has also increased the deduction limit on interest payment for housing loans from Rs. 1.5lakh to Rs. 2lakh. These two factors alone will lead to a vastly improved sentiment on the housing markets.
The budget gave further indirect benefits for the residential sector by increasing the individual income tax exemption limit from Rs. 2lakh to Rs. 2.5lakh. This will increase disposable income of individuals and would have further implications on their ability to service home loans.
Mr David Walker, Executive Director SARE Homes
The new Government has provided a balanced, insightful budget which clearly lays out a road map for development. The commitment to a stable and investor friendly tax regime, resolving disputes and blocked projects and various measures to simplify rules and regulations will give great confidence to investors and providers of capital, which is essential for India to achieve high growth. For the real estate sector, the increase in interest tax deductibility on home loans and that increase in limits for the priority lending is welcomed as it reduces the cost of finance. The introductions of REITs are also welcomed as it eliminates duplication of taxation and so will lower cost of finance. This will help developers attract long-term funds from foreign investor community.
Mr. Vineet Singh, EVP and Business Head, 99acres.com
Modi’s Union Budget is a mixed bag of opportunities. Investments for state highways, airports, smart cities, rural housing, industrial clusters, metro rails via PPP models will provide a shot in the arm for development of new real estate clusters. Setting up of modified REITs and infrastructure investment trusts will help create more liquidity for the sector. There is some reason to celebrate for home buyers as well with the tax exemption of Rs 50,000 on home loans. However, there are still a number of issues that have been left somewhat unaddressed. For instance, developers and home buyers were expecting measures to increase transparency in new project clearances and the land acquisition policy. The real estate regulation bill that was mandated to streamline processes has not been touched upon either.
Mr. Rumi Engineer, Head of Green Buildings, Godrej Green Building Consultancy Services & Head of Energy Conservation, Godrej & Boyce Ltd
“The Economic survey by our government on Wednesdayhinted at reforming existing policies for the energy sector with focus on correcting the present pricing disparity for indigenously produced natural resources such as gas, coal and crude oil. It also mentioned its aim towards bringing the price of these products at par with those in the international markets. Thankfully in the budget speech the FM has allocated Rs 500 crore to set up ultra modern power projects to be taken up in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Ladakh. To support such projects, we should encourage financial institutions to extend flexible products and concessional credits to support green sector development and the government should create standards on material procurement for infrastructure project and make it mandatory for them to follow the Green Code. Also, a green growth fund can be created to better facilitate and coordinate capital mobilization and transfer of funding from international sources; only then can such power plants be linked to sustainability.
M Murali Managing Director Shriram Properties
Retaining the fiscal deficit target around 4.1 % of the GDP, the budget decisions reflect that they are bold and against mindless populism. Commitment to provide Housing for all by 2022 augur well and is the most welcome step for citizens and the real estate industry. FDI liberalization / relaxations is a positive step and will go a long way. So also, incentivizing REITs and granting pass through status for taxation is an excellent step for successful implementation of REITS in India Raising the income tax exemption limit and tax exemption on home loans from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh will be a breather for home buyers in the present inflationary conditions . So also increase in investment limit under Sec 80C from Rs. 1 to Rs. 1.5 lakh. Finance Minister’s assurance to revive SEZ , allocation of 7060 crores for 100 smart cities, planning metro cities with population of over 20 lacs and the budget focusing on urban infra structure revive the hopes. Yet, there are several other long awaited requests from Real estate developers like industry status for real estates, encouragements in terms of tax sops and land allocation for taking up affordable housing projects, governance issues etc.etc. The Real estate sector as a whole, today has been witnessing multiple challenges like huge increase in input costs, cost escalation , tepid demand , rising interest rates, liquidity issues, in addition to Governance issues. I request Finance Minister and Prime minister to revisit the requests from real estate industry and further revitalize the industry which contributes in a big way to the economy , through supplementary Budgetary measures.
Ms. Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson, Nahar Group
We welcome the budget presented by the honorable Finance Minister. From real estate point of view, we feel it is a mixed budget. Allocation of funds for creating housing stock through development of new cities, national housing program, low cost housing through National housing bank is sure to create massive opportunities for construction across the country. Introduction of Real Estate Investment Trust is another decision to welcome as this will safeguard the interest of the investors and help in creating transparency in real estate transactions. The limit of rebate on interest on Housing loans has been increased to Rs 2 Lakh from Rs 1.5 Lakh is also one of the positive aspect of the budget. While, the above announcements are sure to bring in some positivity in the sector, the industry was expecting more than this from the budget. Important long pending decisions such as infrastructure status to the real estate sector and providing for single window clearance scheme were some of the most awaited announcements. However a silence on these facts has been a disappointment.
Mr. Shailesh Puranik, Managing Director, Puranik Builders Pvt. Ltd
We welcome the budget presented by the finance minister today. The overall budget from the real estate point of view is positive. We see attempt being made to solve the issue of lack of housing stock in the country by allocating funds in the National Housing Banking programme. This will create housing stock which is a positive move. The reduction in built up area from 50,000 square metres to 20,000 sq. metres for projects and reduction in investment limit from $10 million to $5 million, is a positive move towards development in real estate sector. The budget also provides for creation of Smart cities which will create immense construction opportunities, thereby, increasing the volume of construction in the sector. Another decision of introducing REIT is commendable as it would ensure the interest of investors as well as developers is safe guarded as they invest in real estate. Slum development will be recognized as CSR. This move will encourage developers to fulfill the CSR objectives while they create housing for the poor. For home buyers, increase in the limit of housing loan interest from Rs. 1.5lakh to 2lakh will certainly be of help. While these steps have been taken with a long term solutions for housing and real estate sector, there were certain long pending decisions such as giving “Industry Status” to the real estate sector and “single window clearance” system where the government has failed to talk. These decisions would have made a greater impact on the real estate sector.
Mr. Kumar Gera, Chairman, Gera Developments & Founder President of CREDAI
The House & Infrastructure sectors have found a pride of place in this budget.Housing will be impacted positively through the various budget proposals namely, Smart Cities, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), easing of FDI norms, enhancing of the tax deduction limit on interest for housing loans, the Urban Renewal Program and the Housing for All Program. These actions will lead to a positive impact of GDP growth through the positive cascading linkages that Real Estate development provides.
Undoubtedly, Housing & Infrastructure development have been considered a focus area and are accepted as a growth engine by this Government and is in contrast to the past UPA budgets.
Mr. Rohit Gera, MD, Gera Developments & VP CREDAI, Pune Metro
The budget, given the constraints faced by the Finance Minister is extremely positive for many sectors. The government has shown its focus and concern for urban development by addressing the areas of urban renewal & smart cities. With regard to real estate, there are several measures that are positive. For the home buyer, the increase in the deduction of interest paid for self-occupied homes from Rs. 1.5lakhs to Rs. 2lakhs is of help to the home buyer.
At a capital mobilization level, the reduction of the limits for FDI in terms of size of projects and minimum capitalization requirements will help generate additional funds for realty projects. In addition, the introduction of REITs provides access to the capital markets for income generating real estate thereby creating a new class of financial asset as well as providing an exit structure for investors investing in the development of these assets. Increased tax exemption limit will lead to big savings for income tax payers this could encourage additional investments in the housing sector.
By proposing schemes for development of airports in Tier II and Tier III cities, the FM is giving impetus to infrastructure development. This will further boost the realty sector as good infrastructure, better connectivity will provide stimulus for people to migrate from the tier 1 city to Tier 2 & 3 cities.
Jackbastian Nazareth, Group CEO, Puravankara Projects Limited
Anticipating encouraging announcements in the Budget, the Indian real estate industry hoped the new government will be able to re-establish the country as an economic force and boost consumer and investor confidence that will help spur growth of the sector, thereby benefiting the end-consumer. These included the need to confer industry status to the realty sector, make provision for single-window clearance and establish a regulatory authority to ensure planned and transparent development in the interest of the customers in addition to Reforms, rational taxation and positive policy measures. In the Union budget for 2014-15, the Indian government has proposed a tax pass-through for real estate investment trusts (REITs). We had been talking about a high possibility of this coming through. Other positive developments from the budget include lowering of built-up area for FDI norms and tax relief for home owners with mortgages while hike in the custom duty on flat steel products to 7.5% from 5% will add on further to the ever increasing construction cost.
Mr Nishant K. Agarwal, Managing Director, Avighna India Ltd
Today’s Union Budget offers the real estate sector happy days ahead, indeed! By clubbing the real estate sector and infrastructure segments together, we expect to see a drastic change in how the real estate sector operates in the coming future. The announcement of the investment trusts – modified REITS for real estate projects ensures that the Government is clearing the path for real estate developers to access funds without pressurizing the existing banking system. The development of Smart Cities across the country will create uncongested residential areas with adequate amenities for its residents. It is heartening to note the focus the Government is placing on this by reducing the requirement of FSI from 50,000 sq metres to 20,000 sq. meters and special capital conditions for FDI, from US$10 million to US$5 million respectively with a three year post completion lock in. To create housing for all by 2022, the Government is extending additional tax incentives on home loans to encourage young people specifically to own houses. Also by including slum development in the list of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities for the private sector, spec constraints and better quality housing will emerge in populous cities such as Mumbai. The Government is incentivising the middle and lower middle classes to buy their own homes and to this end has increased the deduction limit on account of interest on loan in respect of self occupied house property from Rs. 1.5lakh to Rs. 2 lakh.
Anshuman Magazine, Chairman and Managing Director of CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd
Overall, this was a good budget and will stimulate growth in the real estate and infrastructure sector. However, the real impact on the economy will be upon investing all the funds allocated in the Budget through project implementations, with a sense of urgency for which our country does not have a good track record. The biggest announcement for the real estate sector was SEBI being directed to introduce REITs in India. We expect the entry of this much-awaited investment instrument to provide alternative funding channels to the realty sector. Going forward, it will also act as a key enabler for capital markets in the country, and provide investors with exit options. I perceive this announcement as the single most consequential reform witnessed in the sector in recent times.
Allowing FDI in smaller projects of 20,000 sq. m. instead of 50,000 sq. m. by companies with capitalization of US$5 million instead of US$10 million will encourage more FDI, including in tier-II and III cities. Allocating Rs. 4,000crore for providing cheaper loans for low cost housing to support the ‘housing for all by 2022’ scheme is a positive move. Allocation of Rs. Rs. 7,060crore to SMART Cities; announcement of 20 industrial clusters; Rs. 5,000crore for warehousing in rural areas; the development of more airports at tier-I and II cities; and including slum development in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities are all encouraging. Raising FDI in the insurance sector to 49% will also bring in funds in the long-term to the infrastructure and real estate industry. The deduction of interest on the housing loan from Rs. 1.5lakh to Rs. 2lakh is disappointing as this will have no impact in encouraging purchase of homes, this exemption should have gone up to Rs. 5lakh instead. Although the statement on the revival of SEZ was encouraging, the demand for removal of MAT and DDT was not mentioned.
Lalit Kumar Jain, CREDAI Chairman
Describing Union Finance Minister’s Arun Jaitley’s maiden budget as “half glass full” and half filled with hopes, realtors’ apex body CREDAI Chairman Lalit Kumar Jain said it met with some expectations and left some out. Mr. Jain welcomed the announcements on REIT and FDI and said the subsidized rate of interest for low income group and economically weaker section groups is not enough.“Giving pass-through status to REIT and CSR status for Slum Redevelopment Programmes are major welcome announcements by the finance minister,” he said and expressed the hope that will contribute to revival of the real estate sector.
FM has in his speech mentioned that he will consider housing Industry demands in due course, which is comforting. Some SOPS in Affordable housing, funding for low income housing through NHB do recognize fact that much is needed to be done. We hope FM will look at this Industry as an Engine of growth and major action is needed to achieve homes for all.Incentivizing REITs will help in easing liquidity requirement for developers, making way to raise easy capital and also provide access to retail investors’ benefits from regular income and appreciation benefits from real estate. This will not only help developers but also to Private Funds and Financial Institutions as well. The proper implementation of REIT structure can generate almost one lakh crore worth equity over some period.
Hemant Kanoria, CMD, Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited
A Visionary Budget With A Clear Roadmap For Infrastructure. This biggest positive from this budget is the emphasis the government has accorded to infrastructure creation. Keeping in mind the fiscal constraints, the Hon’ble Finance Minister has very intelligently calibrated his maiden Budget to promote growth and employment without sacrificing prudence. This budget has set up a very positive trend to the economy after a long time. Strengthening the systems for Advance Tax Ruling will substantially reduce tax litigations and ambiguities. This should be also extended to domestic companies. I feel the proposed move to provide exemptions to banks from CRR and SLR obligations by linking those to long-term infrastructure loans is a masterstroke and can prove to be a game-changer in the field of infrastructure financing. It will also help mobilizing funds through issue of infrastructure bonds. The proposed Infrastructure Investment Funds in the lines of Real Estate Investment Funds is another positive step. We have been advocating for allowing tax pass-through for such funds for quite some time. This will help mobilise more funds for infrastructure from both India and abroad. In addition, addressing the concerns of the foreign portfolio investors and bringing clarity on long term capital gain tax issue will facilitate more fund houses, presently operating from overseas, to shift their base to India. This can provide a fillip towards setting up financial hubs in India. Substantial budgetary allocations have been made for the Roads and Housing sectors. Emphasis to develop Smart Cities as satellite towns for existing metros and the intent to replicate of Gujarat’s ‘Rurban’ model will stimulate infrastructure development in a big way. At a time when the economy has bottomed out, re-incentivising Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will significantly boost India’s exports. Plans for sectors like Ports, Airports, Railways, Oil & Gas are also in place and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will be preferred here. The 10-year tax holiday on Power sector is also encouraging apart from the incentives provided to renewable energy.
Mr. Mike Holland, Chief Executive Office, Embassy Office Parks
At Embassy group, we are very pleased with the measures taken by the Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitly for reviving the Real Estate sector. It is absolutely appropriate that the government has taken up measures on the two fronts (FDI and REIT taxation provisions) which should both have a much needed positive medium term impact on the sector. The government intends to provide necessary incentives for the introduction of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the country and will also enable REITs with a tax pass-through status to avoid double taxation. The various clarifications on tax pass through and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) are welcome and this creates a level playing field between REIT’s and other forms of indirect investment in the real estate sector eg equities in listed real estate entities. We look forward to seeing the details of the draft regulations but the overall sentiment is certainly quiet positive. This year’s Budget has the capability to bolster the economy in such a way that it can attract foreign investors. FDIs were once a key part of India’s economic growth. Today, India can garner the same level of FDI inflows with a stronger and more successful real estate sector. The reduction in the threshold of FDI in real estate will allow a new class of overseas investors into smaller projects which can support the need for housing across the country. Increased liquidity from REITs and/or additional FDI sources made possible through the reduction in the threshold for FDI will have multiple benefits for the economy. Increased liquidity should feed through to added construction activity and therefore employment at all levels of society.
Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO, Tata Housing
While the new government has announced a clear mandate in terms of ‘housing for all’, therefore they need to come up with a detailed affordable housing policy. However, to tackle the massive housing requirement of urban India in an effective and speedy manner, the new housing policy should look to suggest some viable methods for making affordable housing possible in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Dr. Anand Gupta, Spokesperson of Builders Association of India
Construction Industry, particularly Infrastructure Sector has been given its due share, up to an extent, by the Hon’ble Minister” said Shri Sushanta Kumar Basu, President, and Builders’ Association of India. He felt that introduction of ‘Infrastructure Investment Trust’ (IIT) and ‘Real Estate Investment Trust’ (REIT) will be a game changer since finance will be available for longer term without much of paper work hassle of Banks / Financial Institutions. This positive feel is evident from the upward movement of share price of infrastructure and real estate companies, and also reflected from the reading of Sensex Data.
Dr. Anand J. Gupta, Spokesperson of BAI echoed the statement of Shri. Sushanta Kumar Basu and stated that the increase of ‘housing loan interest exemption from Rs.1.5lakh to Rs.2.00lakh’ coupled with allocation of Rs.4,000crore for construction of Low Cost Affordable Housing will push the demand of housing and will revive the industry. He also felt allocation of Rs.7, 060Crores for construction of 100 Smart Cities will change the face of the country.