ICCPL PROPERTY NEWS

SINGLE WINDOW A MUST FOR SMOOTH RERA

   Over the past one year, the current government had made several path breaking announcements and brought in a series of reforms that guarantees to take Indian real estate sector to the forefront. The decision for next level infrastructure through Smart Cities and AMRUT will allow private real estate to contribute in a big manner. Housing for all by 2022 is another initiative that will open the gates for huge demand in the realty sector of India. In the last few weeks, we had a balanced Union Budget speech that focused firmly on affordable housing reforms with RERA’s passage in both houses recently. Now, smooth execution of all these announcements will rely heavily on the public sector front, where the concerned authorities and civic bodies can contribute by offering a timeless system for necessary approvals. Thus, single window clearance system has become the need of the hour with Real estate bill soon to be implemented and lot more which is in pipeline.

“Very soon we will have RERA becoming operational in India. But will it suffice the matter? Having a regulator on board is of utmost importance for transparency, but at the same time it will exert an undue pressure on the developers’ fraternity. Therefore, it now becomes even more imperative that Single window clearance system gets a green signal which will automatically allow developers to complete projects on time. With the Budget Session still long way from finish line, we are expecting its implementation soon”, shares Mr. Rupesh Gupta, Director, JM Housing.

Essence of this system

As the name suggests, it clearly means a platform where all the approvals can be obtained without facing the hassles of moving from place to place. There are over 50 mandatory clearances and approvals at present, which a developer needs to take from different authorities and public bodies in order to start and complete a project. The catch here is that it takes almost a year to gather all these approvals due to which, developers are unable to stick to the deadlines. “A major cause of worry in the realty sector of our country has always been the delivery delays that occur due to untimely approval process. Single window clearance system will allow timely approval process which promises approvals in a months’ time. This will further allow developers’ to commence the construction process and complete the same on time which will let the rightful owners to get their units”, states Mr. Rakesh Yadav, Chairman, Antriksh India. Putting more light on the topic, Mr. Ankit Aggarwal, CMD, Devika Group avers, “With the real estate bill on the last step with President’s signatures left, it will soon get implemented across the country. Now is the time when we realise the importance of single window clearance system as timely construction and delivery of the projects will largely depend on it. Major real estate markets in India are running behind schedule which will add on to the pressure for the developers when RERA becomes active. Thus, to avoid future barriers for the developers it is evident that this Budget Session passes the single window clearance system as well”.

How can it contribute?

Single window clearance system will make sure that developers get the essential approvals and clearances on time, under one roof. The time wasted on obtaining the clearances will now be put to use on timely construction of projects. “Single window clearance system is of extreme significance in our realty sector. The government must ensure its passage in this very Budget Session so as to support the real estate bill. If approvals are attained timely, then no developer should default on the timelines and thus, the clarity over honest and dishonest bunch will be prominent. Somewhere, RERA might go incomplete if single window doesn’t get operational”, elucidates Mr. Rahul Chamola, MD, One Leaf Group. Standing in sync and adding more weight on the same, Mr. Vikas Bhasin, MD, Saya Group suggests, “Single window clearance system is not only significant for the domestic market but to ensure greater inflow of FDI as well. There are lot of barriers in the Indian real estate business where untimely delivery is causing lot of demand concerns. This process will ensure developers to gain clearances and approvals in a specified time period which will allow them to develop and offer units on time. This will allow demand to catch up pace which will also help in clearing of unsold inventory.”

“RERA’s prime motive is to curb the corruption persisting in the Indian real estate sector and protect buyers’ interest. There are strict guidelines in the real estate bill against developers who are unable to deliver on time. But we cannot deny the fact that the developers today are under severe pain of not getting the obligatory clearances and approvals on time; and if this continuous then they’ll be axed for no reason. Thus, the government must ensure the passage of single window clearance system so as to allow the sector to work in a much systematic and organised manner, with full support for RERA as well”, concludes Mr. Sudeep Agrawal, MD, Shri Group.

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ICCPL PROPERTY NEWS

RERA CLEARS THE FINAL TEST

      The much awaited Real Estate Regulatory Authority bill that was given a go ahead in Rajya Sabha recently has made it through the Lok Sabha as well. It is now just a matter of time when it is made into an Act after our Honourable President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee puts his signatures on the same. After the upper house test, it was pretty much on the cards that RERA would see through the lower house as well. The buyers of the realty sector have finally got the news that they were waiting for a long time now.

Industry reacts

Mr. Avneesh Sood, Director, Eros Group

After the strong Rajya Sabha test of RERA bill, it was an easy ride for the government to get it cleared in the Lok Sabha, where they are already sitting in the majority. The time of buyers has finally come where they can now blindly trust the sector with a promise of justice. This will in turn help the demand to boost in the near future where we will see the corruption free side of the Indian realty sector.

Mr. Sudeep Agrawal, MD, Shri Group

RERA has finally become a reality now with its passage through both the houses. Customers are overjoyed and are expecting this news to take this sector to a different level. With RERA now in place, developers will follow strict guidelines to make sure that buyers’ sentiments are not hurt and demand flow is kept intact. We will finally witness a much filtered real estate scenario where buyers will now be on top.

Mr. Ankit Aggarwal, CMD, Devika Group

The biggest highlight of RERA in the upcoming few months will be the gradually growing sentiments of the buyers which will pave way for better future demand for housing. Every builder and even the brokers will have to register themselves in order to work in the sector, thus putting a tight leash on the sector. With the real estate bill active, government should now push its focus towards the passage of single window clearance system.

Mr. Rahul Chamola, MD, One Leaf Group

Indian real estate sector will shape up in a different manner now. With RERA on board, each state will have a regulator in place to safeguard the interests of the buyers and promote fair dealings in the sector. The housing demand in particular, will catch up momentum which will allow better performance of the sector. There will now be greater transparency which will make sure retention of buyers in this sector and enhance investments.

ICCPL PROPERTY NEWS

RERA CLEARS THE FINAL TEST

      The much awaited Real Estate Regulatory Authority bill that was given a go ahead in Rajya Sabha recently has made it through the Lok Sabha as well. It is now just a matter of time when it is made into an Act after our Honourable President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee puts his signatures on the same. After the upper house test, it was pretty much on the cards that RERA would see through the lower house as well. The buyers of the realty sector have finally got the news that they were waiting for a long time now.

Industry reacts

Mr. Avneesh Sood, Director, Eros Group

After the strong Rajya Sabha test of RERA bill, it was an easy ride for the government to get it cleared in the Lok Sabha, where they are already sitting in the majority. The time of buyers has finally come where they can now blindly trust the sector with a promise of justice. This will in turn help the demand to boost in the near future where we will see the corruption free side of the Indian realty sector.

Mr. Sudeep Agrawal, MD, Shri Group

RERA has finally become a reality now with its passage through both the houses. Customers are overjoyed and are expecting this news to take this sector to a different level. With RERA now in place, developers will follow strict guidelines to make sure that buyers’ sentiments are not hurt and demand flow is kept intact. We will finally witness a much filtered real estate scenario where buyers will now be on top.

Mr. Ankit Aggarwal, CMD, Devika Group

The biggest highlight of RERA in the upcoming few months will be the gradually growing sentiments of the buyers which will pave way for better future demand for housing. Every builder and even the brokers will have to register themselves in order to work in the sector, thus putting a tight leash on the sector. With the real estate bill active, government should now push its focus towards the passage of single window clearance system.

Mr. Rahul Chamola, MD, One Leaf Group

Indian real estate sector will shape up in a different manner now. With RERA on board, each state will have a regulator in place to safeguard the interests of the buyers and promote fair dealings in the sector. The housing demand in particular, will catch up momentum which will allow better performance of the sector. There will now be greater transparency which will make sure retention of buyers in this sector and enhance investments.

ICCPL PROPERTY NEWS

REAL ESTATE BILL MAKES IT THROUGH RAJYA SABHA

   In what could finally turn out to become a reality for the existing and future homebuyers of India, the upper house of the parliament today has given a green signal to the much awaited Real Estate Regulatory Authority bill. The stage is now all set with the ball in Lok Sabha’s court to put a final stamp on the bill. With a few important changes made in the amendments, the Rajya Sabha has passed the bill with Lok Sabha to give it a final go ahead. This news is itself extremely important for all; buyers, developers and the realty sector as well which has been long reeling under the heavy burden of misconduct.

Key Highlights of the Bill

Following points will help us to understand how the Real Estate Bill helps the property buyers, developers and the sector:

  • Each state will get a real estate regulator who will help in settlement and imposition of compensation. All residential and commercial projects will have to compulsorily be registered with the regulator so that buyers can have access to valid projects. Even the ongoing projects that have not received the completion certificate will be covered.
  • Without a prior registration with the real estate authority, developers cannot advertise or launch projects.
  • Developers will have to sell property on the basis of carpet area and not super area.
  • In order to ensure transparency about the projects, developers will have to disclose layout plans, submit clearances and name the associates, architect, contractor and others with the regulator.
  • For timely completion of the projects, promoters will have to deposit 70 percent of the amounts realised from the buyers in a separate bank account within 15 days, for construction purposes. Consent of two-third buyers will be required to alter plans, structural designs and specifications of the building. In this case, each buyer, no matter how many properties they hold in one project, will be counted as one vote only. Developers will be responsible to rectify structural defects and refund money in cases of default.
  • Brokers will also have to be registered with the real estate regulator; non-compliance of which will be punishable.
  • Developers will have to deliver projects on the promised date mentioned by them. In case of failure of timely delivery of projects, the buyers can claim refund with interest and compensation.
  • In cases of violation of rules by the developers, projects will be de-registered and attract heavy penalties. Non-compliance will invite fine up to 10 percent of project cost and misinformation will cause a fine of 5 percent of project cost. Meanwhile, the fine for the agents is Rs. 10,000 for each day during the tenure of violation of provisions.
  • The loss in taxable income caused by builders asking the buyers to pay certain amount in cash will now be curbed, thus eradicating corruption.
  • The bill will regulate both, residential and commercial projects.

INDUSTRY REACTS

Mr. Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing

We are now just one step away from receiving probably the biggest news for the real estate sector with Lok Sabha to give a final word on it. Developers will now have to park 70 percent of the amount collected from the buyers of the project in a separate bank account. Also, marketing and selling of the projects will be based on carpet area basis and not super area basis, thus justifying the amount which the buyers pay for a property.

Mr. Vikas Bhasin, MD, Saya Group

This news has come out as a huge relief for the existing and future homebuyers of this sector. It is now just a matter of approval from the lower house that RERA will become a reality for the country’s realty sector. With the new amendments in place, even the existing projects will be counted in for justice. The market sentiments will now witness a huge boost and gradually the demand for housing in the country will pick up pace.

Mr. Rakesh Yadav, Chairman, Antriksh India

The era of buyers in the real estate sector has finally come. This bill was making rounds in the previous two parliament sessions and has now reached on the final step. With the Lok Sabha to give a final word on the same, there will then be a sudden filtration process which will become visible where all the dishonest players in the sector will become eradicated. This will act as a perfect relief provider for the potential buyers who will now be able to blindly trust this sector.

Mr. Ankit Aggarwal, CMD, Devika Group

This bill is aimed at protecting the interests of consumers, and also seeks to promote fair play in real estate transactions and ensuring timely execution of projects. These amendments will bring the much needed transparency in the sector as well as attract FDI in the long run. With the real estate bill in place, every builder and even the brokers will have to register. Without the consent of buyers, no alterations can be made in the structural plans. We now await the decision of Lok Sabha, which has to put a final word on it.

Mr. Ashok Gupta, CMD, Ajnara India Ltd.

It is very imperative to understand that the demand and respect of real estate sector has been moving downward for several years now attributing to the negatives pertaining in this sector such as fraud committed by several builders, possession delays and absence of a monitoring body, and this will continue if proper action is not taken. With this bill in place, every state will have a regulator who will be continuously supervising and monitoring. Moreover, the projects will now be completed on time and developers will have to submit all the layouts, plans and documents with the regulator who will ensure transparency and hence, customers will feel more secure while transacting.

Mr. Deepak Kapoor, President CREDAI-Western U.P. & Director, Gulshan Homz

The buyers of property market in particular were waiting for this news to come out which guarantees safeguarding of their rights and interests. Lok Sabha is still to approve on the bill, which looks more like a formality looking at the majority the government has there. Once RERA becomes a reality, the buyer’s fraternity will be overjoyed and the much needed justice will be finally served. For long has this sector and its buyers being affected, but with RERA in place, there will a regulator in every state who will monitor all the transactions and have answers for the grievances. The amendments are fair which will now pave way for a better demand and supply in the sector.

ICCPL PROPERTY NEWS

HAILING THE QUEENS OF REAL ESTATE

      Each year on 8th of March the entire globe celebrates women’s economic, political and social achievements by celebrating International Women’s Day. India has been a country that has witnessed male dominance and it has taken decades of hardwork and efforts for women to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the opposite sex. One of the prime contributing sectors towards Indian GDP and employment generation, the real estate sector has a mammoth database of employing women workforce, which brings with it more professionalism, sophistication, charm and on top of it, gender equality in a country like India.

In our country’s realty sector, women are employed at every level of hierarchy of a company’s organisational structure; and over the years, women managers and executives have converted into women entrepreneurs as well. “There is no denying in the fact that working women bring with them an experience from the other side of the coin. The upliftment of female gender in our country has led to the rise of literacy levels thus, enhancing the HDI growth as well. Real estate sector relies heavily on women workforce especially on the front end, as women are supposed to be the key decision makers on housing decisions”, shares Mr. Ankit Aggarwal, CMD, Devika Group.

The Emergence

Gone are the days when the real estate sector was regarded as a male dominated field, where finding a place for a ‘her’ was a tough task. All thanks to the struggle and efforts of women, this sector has now emerged as an arena where women are contributing more than men and the tag of being homemakers are now read as ‘Home-Makers’. Speaking on the emerging trend of employing women workforce in Indian realty sector, Mr. Sushant Muttreja, CMD, Cosmic Group elucidates, “Like every other sector and industry in India today, in the realty sector too, women are playing prominent roles and are making their presence felt. Be it women labour, consultants, brokers, developers and buyers, the fairer sex has left no area of this sector untouched. Women in real estate sector today are serving both fronts, planning and decision making.”

Putting more light into it, Mr. Sudeep Agrawal, MD, Shri Group says “Speaking about the role of women in real estate sector; as a developer, they are taking care of the construction part and provide us with the homes of our taste. As a consultant, they are guiding us towards how to choose the right home and as a broker, providing us with the best deal available in the market. Thus, women have been an equal participant and have helped in overall grooming of the Indian realty sector.”

Current Scenario

According to the Census 2011, India’s total female population is 586 million. It is a matter of great pride to see that the construction sector is the third largest women employer in our country with over 7 percent contribution from top to bottom in the hierarchy for this line of business. “Modern day woman is into decision making at the highest level which not only speaks about working in the realty sector but as a buyer as well. Grooming of a house cannot be done better by anyone else but a woman and thus, buying decisions have become a new role for them in today’s times. Footfalls taking place at project sites or offices are now more of couples with the woman taking the lead in the discussion”, explains Mr. Rahul Chamola, MD, One Leaf Group.

Adding more weight on the same, Mr. Vikas Khurana, Co-Founder, HomzCart avers, “Women are considered as the chief behind all the household chores. Then why should they not be a part of deciding what is be bought? This thought process of men has changed as they themselves now promote women to participate in home buying decisions. The types of queries that come from a woman buyer are more practical, thoughtful and theoretical in nature, thus making them a smarter buyer or investor.”

“The trend and buying behaviour of customers in this sector has changed drastically over the years as we see greater sales queries coming from women. A woman is always considered as a better manager and decision maker than a man. Purchasing a property requires a long term vision along with strong financial and emotional understanding of the pros and cons related to it, which cannot be better thought off than a woman. Even men now have understood the importance of a women’s decision making ability and hence push them to take property buying decisions more”, concludes Mr. Vikas Sahani, CMD, Property Guru.

ICCPL PROPERTY NEWS

AN ‘AFFORDABLE’ BUDGET FOR THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR

     The much anticipated Union Budget 2016-17 has been finally announced but has failed to meet the key expectations of the Real Estate Sector, barring the affordable housing segment. Hopes were very high as this was supposed to be the current government’s second extensive Budget along with mega announcements already made for Smart Cities, AMRUT and infra revamp across the nation. We have all been a witness to the contribution of the private sector towards the growth of the Indian real estate sector and thus, a much practical wishlist was formed and repeatedly brought forth to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Urban Development, directly by the developers’ fraternity. But most of it has gone in vain and if something is to be happy about; then only the affordable housing segment and infrastructure upgradation is where the government has presented the goodies. The nation’s lower and middle income group buyers are sure to see this Budget announcement as a blessing, which in future will help in creating a better demand for affordable housing projects across the nation. In a nut shell, the Budget 2016-17 has come out with indirect benefits for the sector, but at the same time, missing out on big decisions.

Key Hits from the Budget

  • 55,000 crore allocated towards the development of roads and highways across the country with an additional Rs. 15,000 crore allowed to NHAI for fund raising through infra bonds. Rs. 27,000 crore has been kept aside for rural roadways development under Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), thus bringing it to a total of Rs. 97,000 crore for the development of roadways.
  • The target set for the development of National Highways for 2016-17 is 10,000 Kms and 50,000 Kms of State Highways are to be upgraded to National Highways.
  • 800 crore has been sanctioned for the ambitious inland waterways and Sagar Mala project.
  • Housing Rent Allowance (HRA) deduction raised from Rs. 24,000 to Rs. 60,000 annually, under Section 80(G).
  • Ceiling on tax rebate increased from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000 for people earning less than Rs. 5,00,000 annually; thereby offering a net effect of Rs. 3,000 and almost 2 crore taxpayers to benefit from this.
  • Developers building affordable housing projects not to attract any taxes on the profits earned. There will now be 100 percent deduction on profits through affordable development for developers.
  • Parameters for sizing and benefits of affordable housing projects finalised. 30 sq. mtrs. per unit in the four metropolitan cities and 60 sq. mtrs. per unit in other cities of the country. Projects approved between 2016-19 will receive the benefits of not attracting the taxation sword, but will have to complete the construction in 3 years.
  • Customers not to pay any service tax on purchase of houses built under 60 sq. mtrs.
  • All houses priced to a maximum Rs. 50,00,000 and purchased on a loan extending up till Rs. 35,00,000 to attract an exemption of Rs. 50,000 annually for first time home buyers in the existing tax bracket.
  • REITs to become fully functional in this year and Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) removed from it.

Key Misses from the Budget

  • Industry status for the realty sector still not granted.
  • Single window clearance system not yet operational Pan-India.
  • No changes in the existing income tax slabs.
  • No increase in the savings/investments cap.
  • No follow up on the Rs. 1.10 lakh crore funds allocated for 7th pay commission and One Rank One Pension (OROP).
  • No cushion for the reduction in the rate of interest on loans borrowed by developers for building projects.
  • Krishi Kalyan Cess effective 1st June, 2016 to hit on citizen’s pockets with another 0.5 percent on all taxable services, just like the Swachh Bharat Cess.
  • No major benefits announced for the allied industries like steel, cement, iron, sand, etc. that serve as the backbone for the raw material needs of the realty sector.

Key Economic Highlights

  • GDP climbed upto 7.6 percent.
  • Exports climbed up by 4.4 percent.
  • CPI inflation down to 5.4 percent from 9.1 percent over the last 3 years.
  • Fiscal deficit now stands at $14.4 billion from $18.1 billion.
  • Forex reserves now at over $ 350 billion.
  • In the past one year, the centre has decreased its tax share from 68 percent to 58 percent.

INDUSTRY REACTS

Mr. Avneesh Sood, Director, EROS Group

There has been considerable push provided to the basic infrastructure in the country which will provide the much needed cushion for real estate to prosper. Take for example the sum of INR 97,000 crore being kept aside for the construction of highways, both national and state along with rural road development. We all know that improved connectivity will help and encourage developers promote real estate even in the far flung regions and hence this decision will prove to be a great asset in the years to come.

Mr. Deepak Kapoor, President CREDAI-Western U.P. & Director, Gulshan Homz

This budget is a clear indication that the government now wants to work seriously on its affordable housing initiative. The impetus was there but the push was missing but now with benefits attached both for developers and buyers, it is sure to be a hit. It can be said that tax exemption to developers from the profits earned on an affordable housing project will attract more and more of them and similarly exempting customers on the service to be paid by them during the purchase will make these house more affordable for them.

Mr. Ashok Gupta, CMD, Ajnara India Ltd.

The budget along with the clear agenda of targeting the affordable housing segment also had the middle class in mind wherein the tax exemption on HRA has been increased from the initial INR 24,000 to INR 60,000. This will go a great way in helping a family actually utilising the allowance which was earned in the form of HRA. Additionally, this will give them the option of sparing more for house rent and hence increasing the demand for rental housing in the sector. Increased demands will mean increased number of investors showing interest and an overall upliftment of the sector.

Mr. Rajesh Goyal, Vice President CREDAI-Western U.P. & MD, RG Group

Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley presented the Budget 2016 by acknowledging that the Global Economy is in crisis and stressed on the need to develop our rural areas. The Budget compliments the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna that envisages the Mission of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 as it proposes 100% deduction on profits to undertakings for construction of affordable housing and Service Tax waiver on purchase of Houses of less than 60 sq. mtrs. These two moves will prove to be revolutionary as this will cause extra cash flow for the developers and lure them to invest in Tier III and IV cities, which were often neglected in the past. The budget also motivates the first time buyers and makes their dream of owning a home even more feasible by proposing an additional Interest reduction of Rs. 50,000 on home loan of upto Rs. 35 lakhs.

Mr. Rupesh Gupta, Director, JM Housing

The budget announcement has come out with a set of mixed reactions from the sector. One of the biggest hits coming out from the budget is the news for dividend distribution tax removed from REITs, which will finally open the gates for it. Secondly, affordable housing front has received a major thrust for both; developers as well as first time buyers. But the government has missed out on the bigger picture which is the need of the hour such as granting of the Industry Status and implementing Single window clearance system for overall price reduction of properties and timely delivery of the projects. Ray of hope for GST bill and RERA bill is still there with the Budget Session still a long way from finishing.

Mr. Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing

The Union Budget 2016-17 will go down in the history books as one of the most balanced budgets for the Indian real estate sector. At one side we saw the absence of government’s role for timely approvals of the projects through single window clearance, but making REITs fully functional and removing DDT from it, will be a big add for the future demand. Income groups falling under lower and middle class categories will make the most out of this Budget as Rs. 50,000 annual tax exemption for a loan extending up till Rs. 35 lakh for a property valuing not more than Rs. 50 lakh for the first time buyers has been declared. Indirect benefits for the developers have been received through promotion of affordable housing development, but a big miss was observed by not granting the industry status.

Mr. Vikas Bhasin, MD, Saya Group

The government has left no stones unturned in the budget for promoting its Housing for all mission. Even the infrastructure sector has received a mammoth boost from the government by allocating Rs. 97,000 crore for urban and rural roadways development. Although, the modern day developers will now have to shift gears and expand their avenues by introducing more affordable housing projects to reap out the highest benefits. Also, the rental housing demand is sure to pick up in the sector which will now promote the development of more 1 and 2 BHK units. The budget still had a lot of scope for important decisions and with session still in progress, fingers are crossed for the passage of GST and RERA bills.

Mr. Rakesh Yadav, Chairman, Antriksh India

This budget has failed to impress the realty sector much with the government unable to satisfy the chief demands. Good news from the REITs and affordable housing perspective has been received, which clearly indicates the government’s push towards Housing for All initiative. Last year we saw a dampner from the government by way of increased service tax and later, Swachh Bharat Cess and this time also 0.5 percent of Krishi Kalyan Cess will add to the burden on the customers. But with rental tax exemptions, we are analysing the demand for low cost properties to increase for end use as well as returns perspective by another 5-7 percent in the next couple of years.

Mr. Ankit Aggarwal, CMD, Devika Group

We were hoping for much better decisions in this Budget as huge announcements by way of Smart Cities and AMRUT were made and this sector being a prime contributor towards the Indian GDP and employment generation deserved a better treatment. Announcements for affordable and rental housing alone will not suffice the purpose of this sector’s growth and it is crucial to understand the existing problems pertaining in the sector such as high interest rates that the developers suffer while borrowing funds and unable to deliver projects on time due to absence of a single window platform for the approval system.

Mr. Sudeep Agrawal, MD, Shri Group

India at present is suffering from a major shortfall of affordable housing and it is good to see that the government has introduced incentives for the developers and customers in this context. This budget will act as a perfect catalyst for propelling the demand for low cost housing and will also assist in the uprising of tier 2, 3 and 4 real estate markets. The burden of income tax has been indirectly reduced by increasing the ceiling on tax rebate by another Rs. 3,000 which will benefit almost 2 crore tax payers. Had the industry status and single window clearance been implemented, it would have been a complete budget for the real estate sector.

Mr. Rahul Chamola, MD, One Leaf Group

Major direct benefits for the sector have been received on the affordable housing and REITs part. This is of much significance for the sector as it is important to be in sync with the goals of the government and especially when the demand for affordable housing is present in the country. It would have been better if allied industries would have got something good out of the budget as realty sector is heavily dependent upon steel, cement, labour, sand, bricks, mortar and other such important raw materials. Industry status has been a long pending demand now which should have been addressed as any decrease in the cost of borrowings for the developers, directly leads to low cost of units for the customers.

Mr. Sushant Muttreja, CMD, Cosmic Group

Few moves by the government in the budget are highly welcomed considering the importance of low budget housing in the country and emergence of youth interest towards the real estate sector. A major segment of our population is residing on rent and with metros costing high on their pockets; it is a great move by the government to allow higher deduction by another Rs. 36,000 under Section 80(G). On the flipside, the budget has missed out on the key demands of this sector, but with the Budget session still a long way from the end, all eyes are now fixed upon RERA and GST bills where the government is showing keen interest of its passage.

Mr. Vikas Khurana, Co-Founder, HomzCart

Mission Housing for All by 2022 will receive a boost from the budget announcements, where both, developers and customers are to receive the benefits. Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities are now sure to come on the forefront with the scope of development being high, coupled with strong infrastructure boost by way of Rs. 97,000 crore. RERA bill should now be the prime aim of the government for this Budget Session as long term vision with growth will be supported by it. REITs will now become an integral part of Indian real estate as the DDT has been finally removed. Single window clearance and industry status not being implemented in this Budget will go down as the biggest misses, but with the increased focus on the affordable housing segment, a major chunk of our population will be able to look towards real estate as an option for end use and even for investment purposes.

Mr. Vikas Sahani, CMD, Property Guru

Real estate sector contributes 5-6 percent annually towards the Indian GDP and accounts as being one of the largest employment generators towards the sector. Tax slabs and savings cap has remained unchanged but ceiling on tax rebate increased. We might be cheering upon the fact that affordable housing segment has received major incentives, which is correct to some extent; but where is the single window clearance system which will promote on time delivery of the projects. Without timely approvals, it will be near impossible for the developers to deliver in 3 years to reap the benefits. Also, if industry status would have been granted then the end cost of units in general would have reduced, thus automatically making several properties nationwide affordable.