Saturday, October 24, 2020

Budget Reactions




The Union Budget 2016-17 focuses on policy and taxation reforms needed to provide impetus to the economy and reflects the government’s commitment to improve the Ease of Doing Business. The Budget has taken a special emphasis on Tax Reforms and Dispute Resolution which should go a long way in creating a facilitating environment for conducting business in India. Steel sector should get the much needed demand boost through the government spending in infrastructure. The budgetary proposals announced will help the industry meet its growth target and reach its full potential. In the coming days we are hopeful that the Government will take steps to progress the GST Bill including the suggestions given under CEA panel.   





Budget 2016-17 was far below expectations. Some leeway has been given to first-time home loan borrowers, but the relief will not boost demand in the metros. That said, service tax has been exempted for developers who are focused on constructing affordable housing with unit sizes not exceeding 30 square meters in the larger cities and 60 square meters in the smaller cities. This is a significant plus, and in line with the incumbent Government's intention to boost affordable housing. Encouragingly, Rs.1500 crore has been allocated for the moderation of land records in the Digital India campaign, which will definitely have a positive impact on transparency in the real estate sector.





Overall, the Union Budget augers well for the real estate sector, having addressed affordable housing, REIT and infrastructure. Infrastructure and rural development focus in the budget has been encouraging and is expected to give the much needed fillip to the real estate sector. With massive push in infrastructure in the form of a huge outlay for roads and railways and development of smaller airports to improve regional connectivity and incentives to MSME, Make-in-India will get a further boost that will benefit the real estate sector in the long run. Additionally, the government’s focus on digitisation of land records is in the right direction.





A highlight of the budget was the impetus on ease of doing business wherein he has emphasised on simplification/ rationalisation of some issues like old PPPs can be renegotiated in large infrastructure projects which are stuck or Income Tax concession for MSMEs. Talking about the real estate sector, we are delighted with an additional tax benefit for first time buyers; this will surely be a big boost to the industry and should help in reviving the sector to an extent by bringing back home buyers. The proposal regarding Real Estate Investment Trusts will definitely facilitate investments in the sector. Overall a committed road-map is being set by the government, to be delivered in the times to come.





We welcome the Finance Minister’s announcement to undertake new projects and address the languishing ones to streamline and expedite the sector’s growth. However, these initiatives underline the urgent need for incorporating good project management practices to complete the projects on time and within budget. We hope that the government takes necessary steps to increase the success ratio of the various nation-building projects. One of which could be, a change in the RFP process for selecting organisations involved in nation building projects. We highly recommend that the government considers the project management capabilities of the organisation in addition to the existing selection parameters.  This would lead to successful outcomes and a healthier economy.





The Union Budget 2016 outlines infrastructure and skill development within the 9 pillars of the budget. There has been a tremendous effort towards boosting the demand side of the equation by a thrust on infrastructure spending and on improving investment in the real estate sector by the abolishment of the DDT on REITs. The allocation of Rs.2.18 lakh crore towards improving connectivity with railways and the road construction target is an additional boost to the infrastructure segment.  The 100 per cent deduction on profits for affordable homes, service tax exemption on construction of affordable homes  and an additional Rs.50 thousand deduction for buyers on homes of less than Rs.50 lakh is a positive step.





Removal of DDT will result in a rush of investment in REITs and will help developers raise funds and spur growth in the future. The introduction of an additional interest deduction of Rs.50,000 on home loans not exceeding Rs.35 lakh has given some reason to cheer to the first time home buyers. The government’s provision of Rs.150 crores for modernisation of land records is a welcome move for the sector and will only increase transparency in the whole system besides expediting the process of land acquisition and enable holistic growth.  The service tax exemption for developers focusing on affordable housing is definitely a positive move and will encourage private participation as well. The increase in reduction limit from Rs.24,000 per annum to Rs.60,000 per annum is a welcome move and will give the much needed push to rental housing across major cities in India.

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