January , 2018; Mumbai: I strongly believe that the Union Budget 2018 will be good for everyone. The sentiment in the market is good with the affordable housing policy of the government. Also, lack of trust which used to be a big challenge for the realtors has been effectively addressed by the Government with RERA. There have been many landmark judgments under the act, since the time it is implemented.
By the end of two more quarters, the market is expected to be more stable. Also, Input Tax Credit under the GST module has helped the builders to pass on the benefits to the consumers. A mega advertising and promotion campaign on GST undertook by the Modi Government also helped in making the consumers aware of the different stages and benefits available to them under GST.
Here is my wishlist for Budget 2018:
- Real estate sector may be granted ‘industry’ status, which will help the sector to access long-term financing at a lower cost. The benefits of the low costing will be eventually passed on to the consumers.
- There should be concessions in the income tax slabs for home buyers. These would positively affect disposable incomes and would help spur sales on the real estate market.
- Since last year the sentiment was negative due to demonetization followed by a change in the policy environment, the consumers were sitting on a fence leading to a massive slowdown in the real estate sales. If the honorable government could think of lowering the GST slabs for real estate for a period of a year, it will boost the sentiment of the industry.
- Stamp Duty and Registration charges which are outside the ambit of GST should be included in GST.
- Additional tax sops to homebuyers by increasing the Rs. 2 lakh tax deduction limit for a housing loan.
- Tax incentive for first-time home buyers under Section 80EE hiked from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
- Single window clearances, which have been effectively implemented across many sectors, should be made available for real estate too. I strongly believe that this help the developer and his team focus on the core business and cut the time taken for stupendous paperwork.