News

Real Estate Budget Reactions

July 2019
Presented by the maiden budget by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the full Union Budget 2019-20 has much to offer to the real estate. From lending a stronger back to the housing sector.
Additional deduction of up to Rs 150,000 along with the existing interest deduction of Rs 2 lakh on interest paid on home loans borrowed up to March 31, 2020 for purchase of an affordable home valued up to Rs 45 lakh will boost the affordable housing.

In a move to promote rental housing, the Finance Minister said several reform measures would be taken up to promote rental housing. The current rental laws are archaic as they do not address the relationship between the lessor and the lessee realistically and fairly. A Model Tenancy Law will be finalised and circulated to the states soon.

Pradeep Aggarwal, Co-Founder & Chairman, Signature Global and Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Real Estate, Housing and Urban Development
The full Union Budget 2019 -20, presented by honourable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces to continue its consistent approach towards affordable housing with more focus on increasing the carpet area, re-defining income criteria and giving infrastructure status under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. With its commitment towards affordable housing, the government aims to increase the number of beneficiaries in terms of the credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS). Moreover, the number of days in constructing the house have been reduced to 114 from 314 in 2015-16 and this only with the use of DBT platform and technology. An additional deduction of Rs 1,50,000 on interest on loans borrowed under affordable housing until 2020 and allocation of Rs 100 lakh crore investment for infrastructure over 5 years ensures to further boost the sector.” 

Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director at Knight Frank India
“The new government’s first budget lays fundamental thrust on infrastructure development and affordable housing. Its attention to rental housing through creation of a model law is a welcome move and we hope this will pave way for the development of an institutional rental market in the country. The budget has also taken note of some of the key challenges of the real estate market in terms of the ongoing NBFC crisis and the tough residential market. We hope that the measures of enhancing bank funding to the NBFC sector and tax incentives around affordable housing will help the cause.”

Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO
Finance budget would provide further boost to the housing sector
The Union Budget would provide a much needed boost to the housing and infrastructure sector, stated Niranjan Hiranandani, National President- Naredco 
Speaking about the incentives offered to the real estate sector, Niranjan Hiranandani explained that the initiative to promote rental housing and housing for all by the year 2022 would be highly successful.
“The government’s idea to provide affordable housing will be a possibility in almost all the cities except Mumbai where there is a paucity of land. I believe that the additional incentive of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest on loans borrowed under the affordable housing would give a boost to the real estate sector further,” He pointed out.
The government’s proposal to invest more than Rs 100 lakh crore for infrastructure over the next 5 years is also a welcome move he said.

Satish Magar, President, CREDAI National
Finance Minister in her maiden Budget has marshaled all resources to the cause of ‘New India’. She has exercised utmost discipline to avoid populism. I am personally happy that Government acknowledges the contribution of private sector and the tax payer in nation building.
The redeeming feature of Economic Survey is putting investments at the center of growth strategy. However, Budget does not yield direct signals on the strategy.
We are happy that Government claims real estate reforms in last five years among three biggest policy initiatives of 2014-19.
It is heartening that CREDAI’s long standing proposals to reform archaic rental laws and promote public housing on government land figure among the immediate policy agenda outlined by FM.
There are a host of measures to boost financial sector. Boosting capital of PSBs, reforms on corporate bonds announced. Rs. 1 lakh crore guarantee by Govt. to banks for purchasing high rated pooled assets of sound NBFCs may ease the current liquidity constraints.
Regulation of Housing Finance Companies is being returned from NHB to RBI. We hope that RBI would bring about much needed reforms for financing of real estate sector such as financing of land, giving priority sector status to housing finance and lower cost of funding.
Additional deduction of Rs. 1.50 lakh on interest paid for house purchase from Rs. 2 lakh. Total benefit from the measure rises to Rs. 3.5 lakh. FM says net gain to the consumer would be Rs. 7 lakh. It gives hope that the impact on housing demand would be watched and further steps taken.
It is to the credit of the Government to reform multiple Labour Laws and to rationalise them into four codes.
CREDAI has a strong social agenda . Hence, announcement on Swachh Bharat is being expanded to cover Solid Waste Management and Skill Development encourage all of us at CREDAI.
Manoj Gaur, Managing Director, Gaurs Group & Chairman, Affordable Housing Committee, CREDAI
Union Budget 2019-20 in terms of real estate has been heartening where CREDAI’s long standing proposals to reform archaic rental laws and promote public housing on government land figure have been among the immediate policy agenda outlined by Finance Minister. With regulation of Housing Finance Companies returned from NHB to RBI, we hope that Reserve Bank of India would bring about much needed reforms for financing of real estate sector such as land, giving priority sector status to housing finance and lower cost of funding. Moreover, an additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest on loans borrowed under affordable housing scheme has been announced, which means those purchasing affordable house will get tax relief up to Rs 3.5 lakh on interest paid.

JC Sharma, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, SOBHA 
We welcome the Union Budget 2019-20 presented by the Government, which is development-centric and focuses on the overall strengthening of the economy. It proposes to take the economy to the $5 trillion mark in the next few years, which will augur well for the country.
Affordable Housing: The last few years have witnessed increasing focus on the affordable housing segment. It remains a key segment for the Government towards its mission of ‘housing for all’.  To provide further impetus to affordable housing segment, the Government has sanctioned over 81 lakh homes under PMAY Urban scheme with an investment of about 4.83 lakh crore. Of these, construction of 47 lakh houses has already begun. Besides this, an additional deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh for interest paid on loans borrowed up to 31st March,2020 for purchase of a home valued at Rs. 45 lakh has been provided.  This will give the much needed fillip to the affordable housing segment. More importantly, this translates into a benefit of Rs. 7 lakh over the loan period of 15 years. Further, unavailability of land or high cost of land has been a hindrance to affordable housing projects. On this, the Government has proposed to make land parcel from public entities for such projects, which is a positive step.
Aligning the definition of affordable housing in the Income-tax Act with the GST Acts, the Government has proposed to increase the limit of carpet area from 30 square meters to 60 square meters in Metropolitan regions and from 60 square meters to 90 square meters in non-metropolitan regions. It is also proposed to provide the limit on cost of the house at Rs. 45 lakh in line with the definition in the GST Acts. Increasing carpet area was an important demand of the sector, which has been addressed appropriately.
NBFC: Further, the Government has announced that Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFCs), which are fundamentally sound should continue to get funding from banks and mutual funds without being unduly risk averse. For purchase of high-rated pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs, amounting to a total of Rs. 1 lakh crore during the current financial year, Government will provide one time six months' partial credit guarantee to Public Sector Banks for first loss of up to 10 per cent. Due to RBI’s limited regulatory authority over NBFCs, the Government has announced appropriate steps towards strengthening this and will be placed in the Finance Bill. This will help ease the liquidity crunch in the real estate market.
The regulation of housing finance proposed to be given to the RBI from the National Housing Bank (NHB). Through this long-term structural move, the Government is looking to enhance the supervision of housing finance companies. This is definitely a positive step.
Tax Slabs: Keeping the income tax slab rates unchanged despite the headwinds in the market, the Government has protected the interest of the tax payers. 
Direct Taxes: Furthermore, the lower rate of 25 per cent has been only applicable to companies with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 250 Crore. This Government has proposed to extend this rate to companies with an annual turnover of Rs. 400 crore. This is a welcome move and will cover most companies in higher tax bracket.  
As one of the major contributors to India’s GDP, some of the demands of the real estate sector has been addressed with these announcements. We hope this will help improve the market sentiments.

M Murali, Chairman and Managing Director, Shriram Properties 
This is a well calibrated ‘Scale up India’ Budget focused on Start – ups and Rural India; bringing ‘Connectivity’ as the major thrust area to minimise the rural and urban divide. The proposal to make INR 100 lakh crores investment towards infrastructure in the next five years is reflective of the importance placed on employment and the GDP, by the government.
Proposal to construct 1.95 crore houses under PMAY -GRAMIN itself will have a positive impact on the economy. Investments in housing by home buyers, upto INR 45 lakhs, will receive further impetus by way of additional income tax incentives that will further augment affordable housing.  Additionally, introducing a modern tenancy law will go long way in encouraging Rental Housing.
The Budget has also rightly appreciated the urgent need for improving liquidity in the economy following the NBFC crisis. Increasing the turnover limit to INR 400 crores for the lower corporate Tax of 25  per cent, will also greatly help many mid-sized corporates.

In the matter of further support to the real estate sector, especially to housing, the industry is confident that the Finance Minister will revisit the sector’s expectations including initiatives such as, Single window clearance for approval, rationalisation of tax and stamp duty across the country, as these will greatly benefit home buyers in terms of the price they pay. 

Gaurav Gupta, Director Omkar Realtors & Developers
(Focus remains on affordable housing)
The first Union Budget announced under the re-elected government was inclined and focused towards affordable housing. Additional exemption in income tax on home loans under affordable housing by 1.5 lakhs for homes upto 45 lakhs is a good step by the Government. This will encourage more and more fence sitters and first-time home buyers to take quick decisions regarding property purchase. It’s a welcome move and we are hopeful that the customers and investors will show interest in the affordable housing sector. This move is expected to result in some momentum in the beleaguered real estate sector.

Bijay Agarwal, Managing Director, Salarpuria Sattva
“The budget proposal of investing Rs 100 crore for infrastructure will be a boost to the industry which is looking at development in most cities. With the government allowing foreign institutional investors(FII) and foreign portfolio investments(FPI) to capitalise on their debt papers with a one-time, partial credit of Rs 1 lakh crore to public sector banks for the acquisition of high-rated NBFC assets will be a positive step in resolving the liquidity crisis faced by NBFC’s.
Interest deduction up to Rs 3.5 lakhs for affordable housing for loans taken till March 31, 2020 will see more sales in this category and home buyers are expected to take advantage of this initiative. Affordable housing will get an added impetus under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The proposed reforms to be brought under the Model Tenancy Law is likely to enhance rental housing and increase the interest of investors, who are looking for rental income.”

Madhusudhan G, Chairman and Managing Director, Sumadhura Group
Union Budget 2019: A budget conducive to the real estate sector 
  • The Union Budget successfully portrayed the government’s continued efforts to achieve ‘housing for all’ by 2022 with over 80 lakh houses being sanctioned under this initiative.
  • The additional tax deductions on home loans for self-occupied house owners and tax reliefs on interest paid are an incentive enough to boost up sales in the affordable sector. 
  • The proposed Model Tenancy Law aims at bringing momentum in the rental-housing sector.
  • Government to reform multiple Labour Laws and to rationalise them into four  codes, thus standardising the process of registration and filing of returns. 
  • The partial credit guarantee to the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) addressed the crucial NBFC liquidity issue. 
  • Besides this, the Government’s decision to increase investment allowance of Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) in REITs will spur the flow of funds in the industry. 
  • Although issues like single window clearance and Input Tax Credits (ITC) benefits in GST weren’t addressed, multiple pro-industry reforms majorly outweigh the few misses.

Samir Jasuja, Founder and Managing Director, PropEquity 
“The announcement to provide positive triggers for affordable housing would surely give confidence to launch new projects pan-India in this segment and this further grow the segment. However, the issue of stuck projects is still a major road block for the sector to reach its true potential and govt. should have provided some policy level framework and benefits for these to be completed by other fundamentally strong developers,”

Ashok Mohanani, Chairman, EKTA World
“The union budget 2019-20 has shown clear focus on resolving the housing crisis by announcing investment in welfare schemes and proposals for interest deductions. Also, investment of INR 80,250 crore in up-gradation of road is a much-needed move will help in improving the infrastructure of the country. Housing deficit especially for the LIG and MIG sector has been a matter of concern and the proposal of constructing 1.95 crore houses under PMAY will help address the same. The overall sentiment will get a boost and there will be a cheer in the market as the budget has announced a further reduction in interest rate from 2 lakhs to 3.5 lakhs for the affordable housing segment. We are expecting a fresh influx of demand and an exponential rise in sales this year.”

Atul Banshal, CFO, Experion Developers
“Overall good budget for steps taken to reach three trillion dollar economy in the current year. Ease of Liquidity is a positive step, it will provide some breather to over-squeezed market. However banks and mutual funds should take the que and start funding  NBFC’s. Also addition capital to PSU banks will help them to encourage credit offtake . Government’s continuous thrust on affordable housing is appreciable . ‘Housing For All’ is Hon’ble PM’s Vision and steps taken by FM to provide tax sops will certainly help. However giving additional interest benefit of 1.5 lacs for only affordable housing units of upto Rs. 45 lacs, is insufficient and should be extended to all property buyers. It will boost the demand in the market and will encourage people to buy self-occupied houses and inch towards “Housing For All” vision. Increase of Turnover limit from 250 cr to 400 cr for lower corporate tax rate of 25 per cent is step taken towards right direction. It will help medium and developing enterprises. Congratulations to first female Finance Minister of India for balancing the budget well.”

Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson, Nahar Group and Vice President NAREDCO, Maharashtra 
“The government today kept true to its words to work on the principles of “ perform, reform and transform” the country, and the 2019 Budget has set the ball rolling for us all. The decision made by the government of providing public sector enterprises for developments will definitely help solve problems related to land acquisition. Under the PMAY scheme, as much as 1.95 crore houses are now proposed to be provided to eligible beneficiaries. Shifting their focus towards rental housing, the current rental laws are also going under a change that will prove itself to be fair to the lesser and the lessee. There are multiple initiatives introduced for women that should encourage them to be the next active homebuyers, expanding the buyer universe and reducing dependency for women. To encourage NRI investment, the NRI portfolio scheme route is to be merged with foreign portfolio investment route which will drastically improve the cash flow in the economy and boost the luxury housing sector whilst clearing unsold inventories. Along with investments, taxation relief of up to Rs 3.5 lakh on interest paid will be provided to those purchasing affordable houses which brings in respite for the buyer and aids the affordable sector which only depicts that government has aimed at an inclusive andall round development of the sector.”

Kamal Khetan, Chairman and Managing Director, Sunteck Realty 
“The finance minister has made an attempt to de-bottleneck issues surrounding real estate - both from the buyer side as well as financing side for developers. In order to meet the housing for all by 2020, there is a direct intervention through exempting additional interest deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh for home buyers under the affordable housing sector. Whereas, sticking to fiscal path consolidation will result in a low-interest rate for home ownership for everyone and at the same time promise to look at tenancy law is an encouraging step for multiple homeowners. On financing side for developers, recapitalisation of PSU banks and support to securitisation for NBFC assets will definitely be helpful in providing liquidity and credit flow to developers.”

Rohit Poddar, Joint Secretary, NAREDCO Maharashtra and Managing Director , Poddar Housing and Development 
“The 2019 budget has set the ball rolling for a new India with a major focus on affordable housing and infrastructure development. The proposed allocation for bank recapitalisation and ease in lending norms for NBFCs and HFCs will more or less improve the liquidity situation. This budget has encapsulated commendable curative measures to incentivise affordable housing by proposing a significant reduction in interest and taxes. The government has taken salutary actions to increase the participation of the retail sector in the economy which will definitely strengthen the overall pecuniary condition. The new policies will foster a constructive climate for external investment in the country and will ensure strong positioning of India in ease of doing business.”

Srinivasan Gopalan, CEO, Ozone Group
(A sixer budget)
1 lakh crore worth relaxation to the NBFCs is a quick corrective remedy to pump in enough liquidity. The move will help the NBFCs to overcome the current crisis and will bring much-needed relief to the real estate sector as the liquidity crunch issue will be addressed. This will bring more funds into the sector resulting in faster completion and timely delivery of the projects. This, in turn, will lift buyers and investors sentiments in the sector.
(Infrastructure)
Sanction of 100 lakh crore in India’s infrastructure is a thoughtful move. The sanction will boost the infrastructure in the country thereby giving much-needed support to the real estate segment. Mumbai’s unprecedented growth in the areas of infrastructure and increased connectivity in the last 5-10 years towards connecting different parts of the city has resulted in a demand for housing largely. 

Surendra Hiranandani, Founder & Director, House of Hiranandani
Time to recognise the role of the real estate sector as a full-fledged industry
The Union Budget 2019 has focused on the nation's growth and brings a positive sentiment to the overall economy. With its focus on the agricultural and rural sector, infrastructure, education, job creation, digital economy etc, it is a budget for all. India's real estate sector has a reason to cheer as Finance Minister has announced a range of sops for real estate developers as well as homebuyers in the Budget. These measures are expected to boost housing sector as well as investor sentiments in the near future and will provide ample opportunities for the home buyers to invest. On many fronts, this is a favorable and bold budget for the real estate industry. A massive boost for infrastructure will not only benefit the realty sector but also help other industries and create large scale employment in the economy. The government’s focus on infrastructure development of tier 2 and 3 cities will surely make these cities ready for next round of urbanisation.
The last interim Budget bought cheers to the Indian real estate industry with a series of favourable initiatives that has given a strong push to the growth prospects of the sector. Much on expected lines, the government in Budget 2019 continued with its thrust for Affordable Housing by proposing to set up 1.95 crore houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna in next 2 years. Amongst the notable announcements for the real estate sector is the announcement of additional Rs 1.5 lakh deduction in income tax on home loans upto Rs 3.5 lakhs for affordable housing. This will drive the much-needed urgency in sales and bring the fence-sitters back into the market soon. In view of the housing shortage in the country and the objective 'Housing for All by 2022', the announcement of new reforms for Rental housing will be a big boost to the sector. Currently high cost of houses and high property taxes lead to a low rate of return (ROR) from rental housing, making renting out an un-remunerative proposition. The new model tenancy is expected to balance the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants that will make the rental market more efficient and streamlined across the country. Moreover, the use of government’s land parcels for public infrastructure and affordable housing shall further narrow the demand-supply gap. The decision to allow foreign institutional investors to subscribe to REITS and INVITs is also a welcome move.

While the Government has taken several concrete measures, there is still a long way to go. We hope that the government looks into some of the key concerns raised by the industry and addresses the same soon. To bring back growth in the sector which is so vital to any developing economy, we expected Government to impart industry status to the sector which would enable developers to cut capital costs and pass on the benefits to consumers. We were also expecting single window clearance which has been a long pending demand from the sector. There was significant expectation to cut GST rates to a single, standard rate, and not have multiple rates or taxes. The abolition of stamp duty or its incorporation under GST would have been an added advantage. The need of the hour is to lower interest rates which will help resolve the existing liquidity crisis and boost housing demand. Also, there is certainly a need to relook at the tax structure. There must be reconsideration to reduce the percentage for the 5 lakhs to 10 lakh slabs as that will reduce burden and increase disposable income which will aid liquidity.
Going forward, we expect continued momentum for Indian realty to attract new investments into the sector and hope that the government brings positive measures for the holistic growth of the Indian real estate sector, imperative to fuel India’s growth engine. In conclusion, it can be said that the budget 2019 has set the stage for the economy to grow positively and achieve new heights through its reform measures.

Farshid Cooper, Managing Director, Spenta Corporation
"Budget 2019 has been an important prop to several industries especially the real estate sector. Key reforms that will impact the spokes of the real estate system are the NRI portfolio with FPI route, reforming of rental laws, the introduction of newer amenities and deduction in home loans for the affordable housing segment. We are heading in the right direction for the industry as a whole. Housing for ALL by 2022, will definitely transition from a dream to realty if we keep the pace and work towards the goal. The budget has attempted to attract NRI investment, boost rental housing, emphasise on major infrastructure projects, ensure job augmentation and economic development. We are pleased to welcome the budget".

Navin Makhija, Managing Director, The Wadhwa Group
The first budget announcement by the re-elected Government has brought some cheer to the real estate industry.
Focus on Affordable Housing: Much on the expected lines, the government has announced to continue with its thrust for Affordable Housing. The Government aims to achieve their target of Housing for All by 2022 through Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). This can be reiterated from the fact that it has sanctioned 80 lakh houses under PMAY Urban and additional 1.95 crore houses proposed to be provided under PMAY Rural.

The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing, be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget to exemption of Rs 1.5 lakh in income tax on home loans under affordable housing in this budget. This is a big move as it will benefit a broader segment of home buyers and increase demand going forward.
Addressing NBFC crisis: Also the support of Rs. 1 lakh crore by Government to NBFCs will help solve liquidity crisis to some extent which will indirectly help the recovery of the real estate sector.
Infrastructure Push: The Government has also focussed on a firm infrastructure push by announcing Rs 100 lakh crore investments. This will certainly boost the real estate sector and also help in employment generation.

Reeza Sebastian, President, Residential Business, Embassy Group
The Real estate sector is the 2nd largest employment generator, which is set to contribute close to 13 per cent of the country’s GDP going forward.
In the back of several positive developments in the right direction, it is imperative to address some of the gaps with key focus areas in the upcoming budget:
Successful implementation of RERA (Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act) in all states, ensuring accountability from all stakeholders concerned.
Public participation is key to the growth of infrastructure for future. The Government should create awareness among the masses on the need for better infrastructure, even if it means the Pay to use model.

Ease the liquidity crunch for making funds more accessible to home buyers and consumers, which will again boost Indian real estate sector.
Developers need to seek on an average of 25 approvals for each project which increases project timelines, delivery and the cost significantly. A simplified online approval process with a single window clearance will speed up the process and benefit the sector.

Adoption of digital technology will increase transparency and help boost the confidence of global investors in the Indian Real Estate sector. Both government and private parties need to implement the key attributes of block-chain technology to modernise real property conveyance and improve processes for recording deeds and other related instruments.
There should be a robust government mechanism which can address issues such as hoarders, black marketers and sand mafia or else cartels will be detrimental to the future of the construction sector.

The much awaited “Industry Status” will simplify the approval process, attract equity investment, improve transparency among other large impetus providing measures to the booming Real Estate sector in the country.

Hiral Sheth, HOD, Marketing, Sheth Creators
The expectations were quite high as Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden budget showing thrust on affordable housing. The major highlight of the budget was the proposal of the additional tax deduction of Rs 1.50 lakh on interest paid on home loans taken up to March 2020 for purchase of an affordable house valued up to Rs 45 lakh. This move is expected to benefit the homebuyers on a large extent and will bring the fence-sitters back in the market driving demand.  The Government’s support to the NBFC sector will address the liquidity crisis which has spread its wings from past year or so. Also, the reforms to promote rental housing will provide a much needed boost in Government’s vision of Housing for All. The allocation of Rs 100 lakh crore investments for infrastructure will eventually boost the residential and commercial markets thereby propelling the growth of the real estate industry.

Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com, PropTiger.com
The standout announcement in Union Budget 2019, for the real estate sector, was the additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakhs for those seeking home loans for affordable housing projects, which will be allowed till March 31, 2020. The FM mentioned that this takes the deduction up to Rs 3.5 lakhs cumulatively and translates into a gain of Rs 7 lakhs, during a 15-year loan repayment tenure. This boost on the demand side was clearly needed considering that many home buyers have turned fence-sitters, awaiting such tax sops or correction in prices. On the supply side, over 81 lakh houses have been sanctioned, out of which construction has been completed for 26 lakh houses under the PMAY Urban scheme and this too, shall continue to boost the market for affordable homes.

While it may seem like that there haven’t been any direct announcements to benefit the sector, the real story lies in the fine print. All the initiatives spoken of, to improve road, suburban railways and Metro connectivity; create a robust water management system; work on the Ease of Living; invest Rs 100 lakh crores in infrastructure over the next 5 years, will create more liveable cities and encourage people to invest in projects, even in peripheral areas and not overcrowd the CBDs and SBDs. On the regulatory side, we see the move to hand over regulation of housing finance companies to RBI, as a positive one. Reduction in NPAs of commercial banks by over Rs 1 lakh crores over the last year, is an encouraging sign for the sector that has been hit hard by the funding crisis. Another major area that has been addressed is Rental Housing – we look forward to the Model Tenancy Law that has been promised, to do away with the current archaic laws. The government’s clear focus on continuing to attract global investors into various sectors bodes well for the economy at large.

We are also very enthused about the government’s vision to train 10 million youth to take up industry oriented training and acquire various skillsets in AI, big data, VR, 3-D printing, etc. For a sector that has been grappling with the lack of a trained workforce, the importance of a skilled, employable workforce, can’t be emphasised enough.

Amit Modi, Director, ABA Corp and President (Elect), CREDAI Western UP
While we appreciate that this Union Budget has empathised on affordable housing and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna with its proposal of 1.95 crore houses under PMAY (Grameen) by 2021 and over 80 lakh houses have been sanctioned under PMAY (Urban), in addition to tax benefits of additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh to those purchasing affordable house, finally getting a tax relief up to Rs 3.5 lakh on interest paid, but at some time we feel that the government has missed the bus when it comes to millions and millions of first time middle class buyers who were looking forward to this budget before their first real estate purchase, the fact is that even a small 1-2bhk Apartment in Tier-1 Metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore will cost starting Rs 50 lakhs and above and these urban buyers looking at ease of living in cities have been completely ignored in the process.

Also the legitimate sector concerns including Industry Status for Real Estate Sector and Online Single Window clearance have been missed out in this budget, as we feel that these steps in particular would have made a huge difference in transparency and turnaround time in delivery of housing to the masses across the country, while contributing towards the goal of Housing for All 2022.

Ashok Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, Ajnara India
The Budget is not very different from the interim Budget , the focushas been  to boost infrastructure as well as affordable housing. The positive step towards under PMAY (Urban), over 81 lakh houses with an investment of about Rs 4.83 lakh crore have been sanctioned of which construction has started in about 47 Lakh houses. Additional deduction Rs 1.5 lakh on home loans would help homebuyers to fulfil their dreams of owning a home. At the same time we would have preferred a Single Window clearance for all Real Estate Projects just like the ones extended for Movie Industry.

Pankaj Jain, Managing Director, Realistic Realtors
Financially sound NBFCs will continue getting funds, this looks like a positive step that can solve the financial crunch in real estate sector. Another take from this budget is the allocation for upgradation of infrastructure, roads and Metro Rail initiatives to be enhanced by encouraging PPPs and faster completion. Any infrastructural development boosts the movement of real estate and encourages investments. However, the sector was expecting few other things that could have augmented the steps taken previously by the government to regularise the sector. We still hope that some good announcements will follow soon.

Prateek Mittal, Executive Director, Sushma Group
Just like interim budget, the government in this budget also has stressed on boosting the housing segment of real estate industry by extending additional deduction of Rs 1.50 lakh on interest on loans borrowed under affordable housing. It will help millions of Indian to realise their dream of having their own house. Also, giving regulation of housing finance companies to RBI will result in improved regulations.
But, as a developer we had certain expectations from the government for this budget which have not been fulfilled which includes our demand for Industry status, single window clearance and reinstatement of Input Tax Credit in GST.

Dhiraj Jain, Director, Mahagun Group
The sector sees a ray of hope in the focus on affordable housing. The seriousness is visible as in this Budget the FM has proposed to provide nearly 1.95 crore houses under the PMAY. The target definitely is Housing for All by 2022 and it seems possible as now it takes only 114 days to complete the houses. We hope that further steps will follow that will augment this wish. The sector will also benefit from the road development that is proposed in the budget. Upgradation of roads will mean more projects near such areas leading to further growth of the sector.

Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Homz
We were expecting few things but then last time government gave a lot of things to streamline real estate. HFCs coming under RBI will also help in streamlining the financial situation. It could have been better if something should have been given to the middle class that comprises the majority of home seekers. As of now we can only expect something better in future.