The real estate sector has largely welcomed the various measures that finance minister Arun Jaitley announced in his Union Budget 2017-18 presentation on February 1, 2017. “We must appreciate the fact that the government is very serious about its ‘Housing for All’ mission and in the same light, we have seen some extremely positive announcements in the budget. Affordable housing getting infrastructure status will enable efficient supply of housing stock in the country and provide benefits associated with it,” CREDAI national president, Getamber Anand said. Additional refinance of Rs 20,000 crores from the National Housing Bank and lower interest rates resulting from increased liquidity in the banking sector, would add to the funds for the sector, resulting in lower costs for the consumer, he said.
PropEquity CEO and founder, Samir Jasuja said, “One of the key demands of the real estate sector, has been to get industry status, to get preferential and lower borrowing rates from banks. The granting of infrastructure status, will surely provide ample push for the affordable housing sector in India.” The finance minister also announced a new credit-linked subsidy scheme, for the middle-income group, with an allocation of Rs 1,000 crores in the Union Budget for 2017-18. Long-term capital gains tax benefits on housing, which could be availed after 3 years, has been brought down to 2 years.
Commenting on the budget, Tata Housing’s managing director and CEO, Brotin Banerjee said, “Easy and dedicated access to institutional financing and higher limit on external commercial borrowings, will attract more investments and assure sustained growth of affordable housing in India, making it the core driving segment for real estate. On the other hand, long-term financing at lower rates, will reduce costs of construction for developers, allowing them to pass on the benefits to consumers. The new status will increase the resource allocation for the sector, catalysing housing supply and reducing the supply gap,” he said.
CBRE chairman – India and south-east Asia, Anshuman Magazine said, “While we are yet to read the fine print, this is indeed an important step to promote access to priority lending, thereby, spurring supply of low-cost housing units across various cities in India. Relaxation in area measurements, as well as completion timelines to seek tax exemption, are welcome steps.” Further, the government has also increased the allocation under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY). This will encourage home buyers and further boost participation from private players, he said.