Chairman and Managing Director, Expat Group, Mr. Santosh Shetty on the Budget 2015.
The strong approach that the Union budget 2015-16 has adopted towards the influx and circulation of black money is a step that can make real estate a more transparent and attractive prospect for foreign investors as well as Indian people. The introduction of the Benaami Transaction Prohibition Bill will undoubtedly be an important cog in encouraging the population to consider property as an investment option. It is a positive development that could improve investor sentiment towards real estate. It would decrease the hassles of buying land to a large degree and streamline the whole land investment process to better suit consumers. Furthermore, the initiative shown by the government to curb the generation and circulation of black money by discouraging transactions in cash is a sure sign that we could see a more serious approach towards tackling unaccounted wealth especially. We can be hopeful that these commendable changes will be executed well.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s proposed overhaul of capital gains tax regime to start the ball rolling on the listing of REITs is a promising move towards increasing demand in the housing market. However, it is important for the government to present a clear-cut timeline to the implementation of the REITs. We need more definitive action from the government to follow up on these initial assurances. If the government comes through on its promises concerning REITs, coupled with the foreign investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) and the increased focus on infrastructure development, we could see a growing positive attitude towards the current housing markets.
The decision to implement GST by April 2016 is a welcome announcement. It will positively impact consumers by giving them an easier means to do business through simpler taxation and reduction in manufacturing costs.