Builder’s expectations from budget

The real estate sector has been pinning its hope on the Union Budget,  which is to be presented on February 1, to boost the demand post-demonetisation. The industry has sent a 5-point budget wishlist to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Here is a look:

1. Clarity on Housing for all: ‘Housing for all by 2022’ has been the dream project of Finance Minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The industry is looking for clarity on whether metro cities can be brought under the ambit as well, since this would help buyers avail benefits in larger cities as well.

2. Ease taxation slabs: In the wake of demonetisation, sales have been down. Even the enquiries have reduced significantly. The industry believes that if the income tax slabs are brought down then it would provide a spending support to consumers.

According to the industry players, the government should increase the tax deduction limit for housing loans, especially for buyers in metropolitan cities. The current limit of ₹2 lakh is insignificant given the ticket sizes in cities, especially in bigger metros like Mumbai, where an overwhelming majority of the available housing is priced at, or above, ₹1 crore.

The tax exemption limit should be auto-set to match inflationary trends in a financial year. Also, tax concessions on house insurance premiums could be introduced to encourage end users to insure their homes.

3. Industry status for sector: A long pending demand for giving the sector an industry status has been resonating. The industry expects infrastructure status for at least lower and mid-housing segments. This, they believe, would help in opening up of financing opportunities for lot of players and would also get new players.

4. Single-window clearance: The industry believes having a single-window clearance would ease up the process. There are several clearances that a real estate player needs to obtain before getting on with a project.

5. Raise house rent deduction limit: Salaried persons get house rent allowance (HRA) as a component of their total salary, and can therefore claim a substantial deduction in cases where the salary and its HRA component are higher. However, a salaried person without any HRA component or a self-employed person or those who draw lump sum pays without an HRA component can only claim a maximum deduction of ₹5,000 a month under Section 80GG. The finance minister can make this limit more realistic and bring it in sync with today’s housing rents, feel industry players.

Credits Times Now

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