While admitting that the Centre's focus has predominantly been on revitalizing rural economy, rural housing, affordable housing through various measures, Shishir Baijal, chairman & managing Director, Knight Frank India, however, pointed out that there had been a silence in the budget on stimulating mainstream real estate demand. The pre cursor for Union 2018 for the real estate sector started with the notification of the GST council to extend the concessional rate (of GST) acquired under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for Housing for All (Urban) Mission/PMAY effectively came into force as on January 25.
"In order to minimise hardship in real estate transaction, I propose to provide that no adjustment shall be made in a case where the circle rate value does not exceed 5 per cent of the consideration", Jaitley said. We, at Sobha, welcome such steps, as it will help sustain long-term demand for housing and propel a well-rounded growth of the economy. However, Gaur, who is managing director of the Gaurs Group too, added that the government's seriousness and target to achieve housing for all by 2022 saw a boost for the affordable housing segment, where an affordable housing fund has been proposed.
"... My government will also establish a dedicated affordable housing fund in the national housing bank funded from priority sector lending shortfall and fully serviced bond authorised by the government of India", finance minister Arun Jaitley said. Therefore, the expectation was that this year it would be extended to the entire sector. "This was the first budget session post the implementation of RERA and GST, and thus we had hoped for certain incentives for this sector".
Unless the quantum of this fund is big, Credai past national president C Shekar Reddy tells Telangana Today, it wouldn't help the developers. The establishment of dedicated Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) under the National Housing Bank (NHB) was one of the many things that are offered to real estate this year. "The continued push for affordable housing: As many as 51 lakh houses in rural areas are to be built in 2018-19".
Infrastructure has also received a major boost in this Budget. Besides this, industry executives said they were left disappointed as there was no acceptance of the long-standing demand of getting an "industry" status for the sector. Infrastructure status to the entire sector is still not implemented. Apart from affordable housing segment and infrastructure development, nothing much has been presented for the realty sector. "Although, he are hopeful for the remaining budget session to bring some respite for this sector".