Pre-Budget quotes from Developer

Nayan Raheja, Raheja Developers

“We have high expectations from Financial Budget this year. The Budget should focus on alleviating the real estate sector from ongoing problems. The Finance Ministry should take stock of the insolvency debts of realtors and delays in project deliveries. The Budget should introduce tax remissions on the interest rates of home loans levied by banks which have been triggered by the all-time high inflation rates in previous quarters. This will provide relaxation to developers and simultaneously pace up the construction activity on ongoing projects.”

Ashwani Kumar, Pyramid Infratech

To sustain the ever-growing demand, the real estate sector expects some incubatory measures to increase the sale velocity and stamp out impeding problems currently plaguing the sector, which include high mortgage rates on home loans. One of the most consistently voiced demands is upsurging the limit for deduction for principal repayment of housing loans which is currently capped at Rs 1,50,000, to bolster residential demand and encourage buyers to invest in homes. There is also a strong wave in favour of providing industry status to the real estate sector, which would also approbate taking easy loans and financial amenity assurances from banks. An apparatus of single-window clearance should be set up to augment the real estate sector’s growth in the right direction.

Mr. Narayan Bhadana, Managing Director, 4S Developers

“Steady work on the road and infrastructural projects are needed to accentuate the value of real estate offerings which are located in the vicinity. I hope some action-based policies are formulated in the Budget to expedite the construction pace and operational process of such projects. The real estate sector, especially luxury realty, will majorly benefit as the homebuyers’ demand continues to be buoyant and absorption levels remain high.”

Aman Sharma, Director, Spaze Group

“Strong, healthy consumer demand is the crucial driver of the growth of the real estate sector today. The Budget should reflect upon the aspirations of developers who are still tiding over the turbulence caused by the pandemic. The most crucial demand is to give tax relief to developers to expedite the completion of stalled projects and take a compassionate recourse in times of difficulties. The most recurrent demand is to bestow industry status to the real estate sector and allow players to be at the receiving end of many associative benefits.”

Rajesh K Saraf, Managing Director, Axiom Landbase

“The inevitable rise in construction material costs and various other means of production capital is only pegged to increase on a bigger scale in the near future. The world will soon grapple with the stifling impact of the recession. The demand for increasing the price cap of affordable housing projects seems fair and justified. This will pay dividends for both buyers and developers. The developers assured of certain benefits are more likely to develop affordable housing projects, which will cater to mid-income level buyers.”

Mr Manoj Gaur, President, CREDAI NCR and CMD Gaurs Group

Real estate contributes 6-8% to the GDP and employs more than 5 crore people. It has high hopes from the forthcoming budget. To begin with, there should be a separate deduction for principal repayment as currently clubbed under section 80(c). It should be raised from the existing Rs. 1,50,000 limit. There is also a need to redefine affordable housing from the current ceiling of 45 lakhs in urban and 30 lakhs in non-urban to take into account the inflationary factors. Further, the carpet area should also be increased to 90 sqm in the metros and 120 sqm in non-metro cities without any price cap. Long-term capital gains on capital assets should also be taxed at 10%. The holding period should be reduced to 12 months in line with the holding period of other capital assets like listed equity shares and equity-oriented mutual funds. The sector would also like the honourable FM to extend exemption under Section 80C to REIT investments starting with Rs. 50,000. The period of holding for units of REIT should be reduced to 12 months (as applicable for listed shares) to qualify as a long-term capital asset from the current 3 years. The deduction under Section 24 (b) on housing loan interest in the case of individuals with respect to the first self-occupied property should be allowed without any limit or at least capped at Rs 5,00,000 in respect of the self-occupied property. A single window clearance system should also be introduced in real estate as taking approvals from numerous authorities disproportionately increases the cost and time from concept to commissioning. The rising input costs, specifically cement and steel, should also be controlled. Besides, industry status should also be conferred on real estate.

Amit Jain, Director, Mahagun Group

The realty sector has made a smooth transition from the pandemic-induced turbulences. We believe the sector should further be stabilised by introducing profound measures in the Union Budget. Reductions in GST, circle rates, and stamp duty would be significant fresh-start policies allowing the housing sector to gain an upper-hand advantage right at the year’s outset. Besides this, interest rate subsidies should be provided to realtors to cushion the impact of torrid inflation rates and expedite the construction process of stalled projects. Tax waivers on interest paid on home loans are one of the most pressing demands of the realty sector.

Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Group

The Budget should mirror the aspirations of the realty sector and support growth-inducing factors. GST rates on construction materials like steel, cement, and tiles should be rationalised, keeping in view the overall health of the sector. The government should help distressed developers and allocate funds for the completion of stuck projects. The current stand of RBI on the repo rate should also take the views of developers into account. The Budget should offer a premise of agents of development and progress and stamp out hindrances impeding the growth of the sector.

Amit Modi, President, CREDAI, Western UP

The real estate sector is one of the largest employers of both skilled and unskilled labour. Though it has come out of the challenging impact of Covid, the availability of affordable home loans and the importance of owning a home are still the growth drivers of the sector. The Union Budget should identify the growth inducers and accentuate its pace to mobilise the sector’s progress. One of the most crucial demands is to accord ‘Industry Status to Real Estate Sector’, which will allow the sector to avail legitimate finances and low-cost loans from banks and other financial institutions. The cost benefits could then be transferred to the end users and homebuyers. For the benefit of homebuyers, the input credit regime should be reinstated in the GST regime for the residential real estate atleast. This will help in making homebuying an affordable and buyer-friendly process. It will protect buyers and developers from the ramifications of the capricious cost of raw materials. The government should facilitate a Single Window Clearance to enable faster deliveries and project completions. An exemption limit on Interest on Home loans should be granted for first-time homebuyers. The Principal Deduction Rules Under Section 80 C should be enacted. This will formalise that the deduction of the principal amount of the housing loan repaid would not be conflated with other deductions under Section 80C. Alternatively, the limit under Section 80C should be increased to Rs 5 lakhs.

Mr. Sanchit Bhutani, Managing Director, Bhutani Grandthum

The Real Estate industry has recovered smoothly from the volatility brought on by the pandemic. According to us, the sector needs to be further stabilized by including significant changes in the Union Budget. GST, circle rate and stamp duty reductions would be substantial fresh-start reforms that would give this sector the upper hand at the start of the year. In order to enhance the overall amount of the stress fund and make it easier for us to use it when we need it, we also anticipate some reduction of the GST rates and an increase in SWAMIH. In addition, realtors should receive interest rate subsidies to lessen the impact of exorbitant inflation rates and speed up the building of stalled projects.

Sanjay Sharma, Director, SKA Group

The real estate sector is one of the strongest growth pillars of the Indian economy. Giving industry status to the real estate sector has been one of the most forwarding demands. This would allow developers to take loans at relatively low-interest rates, avail of tax incentives, and waivers, which will act as relievers in times of grave economic crisis. The real estate sector has had a strong resurgence post-Covid 19 and needs government support to keep the momentum going.”

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