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Wanted – industry status for realty as a whole

Will help developers raise lost-cost funds

Kaushal Agarwal of The Guardian Advisory calls for tax relief for rental income to induce investments form the yourth

MUMBAI, Jan 13 (The CONNECT) - While the year 2021 in many ways was the year of hope and revival, 2022 will be the year to sustain the growth momentum and the real estate sector, like others businesses, is looking forward to many positive, innovative and path-breaking announcements in the budget this year.

On his wish-list for Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, The Guardians Real Estate Advisory chairman Kaushal Agarwal said deviation of 20% from circle rates should be extended across the sector and not limited to homes costing up to Rs.2 crores. This will allow developers to offload the massive build-up of unsold inventory costing more than Rs.2 crores. Currently the major part of the unsold inventory is ready-to-move-in and falls in the luxury category.

There couldn’t be a more opportune year to accord industry status to the Real Estate sector as a whole. This is a long-pending demand and can help developers raise funds at lower costs. Currently, the status is available to only affordable housing.

Agrawal said the government needs to push the well-capitalized NBFCs and banks to extend credit and liquidity to the players in the sector who have good equity left in their stuck projects.

With the decent success of its SWAMIH fund, the government now come out with several more funds that can help target specific real estate verticals that need liquidity support and high capital infusion like township developments and large format business parks.

He also called for extending no tax up to an income of Rs.10 lacs to all taxpayers for a year to give impetus to demand and consumption.

The reduced repo rate has helped reduce EMIs for homebuyers; the government should permit further deductions in the income tax for individuals availing homes to buy affordable and mid-income homes, he said.

He said rental income from owned houses must be made tax free to encourage the young, new age investor put money in Real Estate.

The real estate sector contributes the second most to employment in the country and is expected to contribute to the tune of 11% to the nation's GDP. Keeping this in mind specific threshold lead incentive for developers should be announced to encourage job creation in the category, he said.

Himanshu Jain, VP - Sales, Marketing and CRM, Satellite Developers Private Limited (SDPL) called for benefits like GST waiver for under-construction homes, hike in Rs 2 lakh tax rebate and incentives for private sector investments in the affordable housing segment.

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