Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India
Overall, the Union Budget augers well for the real estate sector, having addressed Affordable Housing, REIT and Infrastructure.
The housing sector will get a push from both supply and demand side. The first time home buyers will be encouraged since they get an additional deduction of Rs.50,000 on interest for loans up to Rs.35 lakh and a house value of Rs.50 lakh. In effect, it will reduce the cost of loan which will boost the demand for housing in the budget to mid segment. On the supply side, 100% exemption of profit for developers and exemption from service tax for construction of houses less than 650 sq feet will encourage supply in the affordable housing segment.
REIT has finally got its due with the abolishment of the DDT that was holding back asset owners. This is a welcome move for the industry. There will be no road block in launching REIT schemes any time now.
Infrastructure and rural development focus in the Budget has been encouraging and is expected to give the much needed fillip to the real estate sector. With massive push in infrastructure (huge outlay for roads and railways and developing smaller airports to improve regional connectivity) and incentives to MSME, Make-in-India will get a further boost that will benefit the real estate sector in the long run.
Additionally, the government’s focus on digitization of land records as spelt in the Union Budget is in the right direction especially in the rural areas, which will render land records free from encumbrances.
Ajit Patel, CEO & Founder of n-gage.
“The devil lies in the detail, but overall the Union Budget 2016-2017 sounds exciting and promising for the IT and IT related industries. Governments ambitious announcement to achieve 100% village electrification by 1st May, 2018 and a new Digital Literacy Mission Scheme for rural India to cover around 6 crore additional household within the next 3 years is commendable.
The allocation of Rs. 1804 crore for skill development and the proposed 1500 Multi Skill Training Institutes to be set-up, will definitely boost the employable population and generate more jobs for rural youths and in turn would help release the pressure in urban cities for want of employment.
Also, the government has spoken about IPR, which will go a long way in providing boost to R&D by companies focusing on innovation and technology.
India has about 400 million internet users, most of whom use the internet via mobile devices and roughly 250m own smartphones. We need to have a robust mobile and broadband infrastructure and transparent IT policy, to provide the necessary boost to Indian IT. There should be absolute clarity on the taxation and regulatory system with favourable IT policy framework to encourage entrepreneurs.
In India the internet connectivity is too slow and again there is a huge divide in urban and rural. The government needs to act quickly on the spectrum allocation to telecos, so that they can provide better broadband service, which is turn will fuel the Indian e-commerce eco-system, ultimately contributing to the Indian GDP and also boost Indian economic growth, which is currently predicted between 7 % and 7.5 %.
The government is already taking steps towards digitisation, but more focus is needed on getting the plans implemented really fast.
“This time around, in the Union Budget 2016-17, we witnessed a pleasant surprise as the government announced the introduction of 4 new projects for the welfare of dairy cattle in India.
With schemes like “Pashudhan Sanjeevani,” “Nakul Swasthya Patra,” “E-Pashudhan Haat” and “National Genomic Centre” for indigenous breeds it looks like we are heading in the right direction.
If we have to go by the census of 2011 which was conducted across 300 districts, India is home to 27 crore cattle which means 25 per cent of the world cattle is in India. Everyday 112.5 million liters of milk is produced in India. 87.7 per cent cattle owners across the country live off only 4 acres of land. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there were 5560 farmer suicides in 2014. As we all know, after agriculture it is animal husbandry which is the second most important occupation and a vital source of income for farmers in India. That’s where such schemes will be really useful.
Another interesting point was the government’s move to go for automation of 3 lakh fair price shops across India. This is where our iris technology can come into play as it will eliminate the mal practices which have been happening since the past so many years. With the “Make In India” wave which has already picked up pace, our Indian made iris scanners will play a major role in providing cutting edge solutions for security and automation in ration distribution.”
“We welcome the initiatives taken by The Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley in this budget to control the air pollution levels in the country. However, home and business owners as well as the air purifier industry need to be incentivised to get air pollution protection devices such as air purifiers in every Indian homes. To start with, reducing import duties on air purifiers can be a step that can be taken by the government.”
Background on the actions taken this Budget on air pollution –
1. Air pollution in rural- The Finance Minister announced that the government will provide LPG connection in the name of women in rural households and Rs. 2,000 crore will be allotted for this. This will bring down indoor air pollution caused by the ‘chulhas’ (stoves)— burning wood, coal and animal dung as fuel — which is major factor behind the occurrence of a slew of diseases, including respiratory diseases among women.
2. Vehicles to cost more – In a move aimed at checking the rising air pollution levels in the country, Mr. Arun Jaitley has levied additional taxes on Diesel and SUVs to pull down the demand. He announces 1% Clean Energy Cess on LPG cars, 2.5% on diesel, 5% on SUVs as part of green measures and to encourage use of Hybrid cars.
3. Clean energy cess – There is an announcement of clean energy cess in this budget to reduce the negative environmental consequences and increased pollution levels associated with industrialization and urbanization. It increased from Rs 200/ton to 400/ton on coal, lignite and peat.