The real estate sector saw a sharp recovery in 2022 after a two-year hiatus in the sector due to the coronavirus pandemic. The investments in the Indian realty industry also touched $4.9 billion during the year, registering a hike of 20 per cent year-on-year. Now, for a further boost to realty, industry players are expecting special announcements for the real estate sector in the Budget 2023. They expect separate tax deductions for realty, redefining the definition of affordable houses, and raising carpet area, among others.
Manoj Gaur, president of CREDAI NCR and CMD of Gaurs Group, said, “Real estate contributes 6-8 per cent to the GDP and employs more than 5 crore people. It has high hopes from the forthcoming budget. To begin with, there should be a separate deduction for principal repayment as currently clubbed under Section 80C. It should be raised from the existing Rs 1,50,000 limit.”
He added that there is also a need to redefine affordable housing from the current ceiling of Rs 45 lakh in urban and Rs 30 lakh in non-urban to take into account the inflationary factors. Further, the carpet area should also be increased to 90 sqm in the metros and 120 sqm in non-metro cities without any price cap.
“Long-term capital gains on capital assets should also be taxed at 10 per cent. The holding period should be reduced to 12 months in line with the holding period of other capital assets like listed equity shares and equity-oriented mutual funds. The sector would also like the honourable FM to extend exemption under Section 80C to REIT investments starting with Rs 50,000. The period of holding for units of REIT should be reduced to 12 months (as applicable for listed shares) to qualify as a long-term capital asset from the current 3 years,” Gaur said.
Amit Jain, director of Mahagun Group, said, “The realty sector has made a smooth transition from the pandemic-induced turbulences. We believe the sector should further be stabilised by introducing profound measures in the Union Budget. Reductions in GST, circle rates, and stamp duty would be significant fresh-start policies allowing the housing sector to gain an upper-hand advantage right at the year’s outset.”
Ashwani Kumar of Pyramid Infratech said that to sustain the ever-growing demand, the real estate sector expects some incubatory measures to increase the sale velocity and stamp out impeding problems currently plaguing the sector, which include high mortgage rates on home loans.
“One of the most consistently voiced demands is upsurging the limit for deduction for principal repayment of housing loans which is currently capped at Rs 1,50,000, to bolster residential demand and encourage buyers to invest in homes,” Kumar added.
Narayan Bhadana, managing director of 4S Developers, said, “Steady work on the road and infrastructural projects are needed to accentuate the value of real estate offerings which are located in the vicinity. I hope some action-based policies are formulated in the Budget to expedite the construction pace and operational process of such projects.”
Ramani Sastri, chairman and MD of Sterling Developers, said the Indian real estate market has seen a strong rebound in 2022 and, hence, to sustain the momentum, the industry is looking forward to the much-needed reforms and incentives in the upcoming budget. This year, the demands go beyond the usual expectation of single-window clearance and industry status.
“There is an express need for more tax sops for homebuyers as well as investors. Currently, the tax cap on housing loans is INR 2 lakh and it has been the same from last few years. During these years there has been inflation as well. Hence the government should raise the deduction limit for interest payment on home loans from the existing Rs 2 lakh a year to Rs 5 lakh which will add momentum to housing demand, particularly in the affordable segment,” he added.
Ramesh Nair, CEO (India and Managing Director) for Market Development, Asia, Colliers, said the Union Budget 2023-24 is highly anticipated by the real estate sector to keep up the momentum seen last year.
“While many expectations on the residential side can aid homebuying, we believe that some push on the commercial office side will go a long way in overhauling and improving the ease of doing business. For instance, clarity on the proposed DESH Bill will give impetus to businesses catering to domestic demand. To achieve India’s target of becoming a USD5 trillion economy by 2026, DESH hubs can play a huge role in strengthening the domestic manufacturing infrastructure. India’s domestic consumption is growing by the year, and a pro-investor policy for investment hubs can take India’s manufacturing abilities to the next level,” Nair added.
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