Budget Reaction - Mr. Amit Modi, Director, ABA Corp and Vice President CREDAI Western UP
"The budget this year comes across as a well balanced approach and allocation, to start with the Rs 3.96 lakh crore on infrastructure is surely going to provide the much needed boost and job creation across the nation. Affordable Housing being declared 'Infrastructure' with bring in all its associated benefits, but at same time non-allotment of 'industry' status to real estate sector has come as a major disappointment since this has been an long standing demand by the real estate industry. We must appreciate the fact that the government is very serious on the mission of housing for all and in the same light we have seen some extremely aggressive approach towards affordable housing with Prime Minister's aim to convert 1 crore houses into pakka houses by 2019, as well as the conversion of built up area into carpet area, whereby giving a nearly 30% increase to the buyers of affordable housing.
In addition the Affordable housing projects can be now completed over five years instead of three years earlier to avail the benefits of 80IB and this was very necessary keeping in mind the time taken to get various permissions for real estate projects. Even though we still believe that the need of the hour was to make an online Single window clearance mechanism with bare minimum human interface and precise deadlines for approvals to bring down the time of project delivery and curb any scope for undue gratification in granting permissions.
The efforts to enable the home buyer to access cheaper capital via the new Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme for Middle Income Group with allocation of Rs. 1000 crore in the budget for 2017-18 is highly appreciated, but the biggest let down has been on the personal taxation front, where millions of buyers were expecting the the government should raise tax deduction limit for interest on housing loans up to Rs 5 Lakh per annum from the present limit of 2 Lakh per annum. We also believe that after demonetization the expectation of reduction in income tax was much higher than what has been given but all in all it's a balance budget for real estate sector and also for the entire nation considering that there are going to be very big spending in nations infrastructure, but at the same time misses some major initiatives pending long to enable millions and millions of first time home buyers in the mainstream."