Bhubaneswar: The Union Government’s much touted announcement ‘Housing for all by 2022’ seems to have lost its significance, with the current fiscal year budget failed to provide on the required stimulus for the Realty sector as expected, Industry stalwarts felt.
“Real estate has not been considered as part of infrastructure or given industry status, something that would have impacted the sector in a very helpful manner for the good of all. Further, the largely unchanged tax slabs for individual tax payers and unchanged interest structure on home loans means an opportunity has been lost to promote this sector especially considering that the government has already announced its intention to have housing for all in seven years”, J.C. Sharma, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Sobha Limited said.
However, the push for infrastructure and the plan to build two crore houses in urban areas and four crore houses in rural areas under the government’s policy to provide housing for all by 2022 is a welcome step, according to Mr Sharma.
On the other hand, with the kind of lopsided policies the Govt. adopts, one wonders as to how it will meet the target of buiding 4 crore houses in rural areas and 2 crore in cities, according to Credai Chairman and CMD, Kumar Urban Deveopment, Shri Lalit K Jain.
The Union Budget for 2015-16 is a big disappointment to the real estate sector, according to Rajesh Prajapati – MD, Prajapati Constructions Ltd. "There were huge expectations from the Government but it did not deliver on what was promised," he said.
“The Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced 'Housing for all by 2022', however he did not give a roadmap on how to achieve the same, although it is the first time that the target has been set in the Union budget. Further, the increase the service tax to 14% will prove to be quite burdensome as it will affect the purchasing power of home buyers. Overall the expectation of the housing industry from government was very high and they have not been met,” he added.
“A very disappointing budget as far as the real estate sector is concerned. Even as the realty sector being the largest employment provider and second largest GDP contributor to the Indian economy, it has been neglected,” Ms. Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson, Nahar Group said.
On the REIT front, the Government’s decision to overhaul capital gains taxes to pave the way for the listing of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in the country is a step forward that will indirectly aid the promotion of housing for all in the country.
Industry apex body CII has hailed the Finance Minister’s proposal to rationalise capital gains regime for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)/InvITs by terming it as a welcome step. The Budget 2014-15 had notified the norms where REITs/ InvITs were provided the 'pass through' status for the purpose of taxation and later market regulator SEBI had notified norms for listing of new business trust structure REITs that would help attract more funds in a transparent manner into the realty sector.
"Overall a good budget facilitating Ease of Doing Business and I am particularly happy about the focus being laid on infrastructure, rollout of GST, social security measures, micro-finance and a movement towards cash-less transactions ", Mr Ansuman Das, Chairman, CII Odisha State Council & CMD, NALCO said.
“The Budget – 2015 seems to be a sincere approach for the crisis management in financial aspect but towards growth it is too early to predict”, P K. Biswasroy, President Real Estate Developers Association (Odisha) said.
Commenting on the Union Budget 2015, President Credai Odisha Chapter, Shri Dilip Patra said, " It was a good budget for the housing sector, as the budget provides for creating 2 crore housing units in urban areas and 4 crore units in rural areas."