Anshuman Magazine, chairman, India and South East Asia, CBRE
Overall, the Union Budget 2017 augurs well for real estate, affordable housing and the infrastructure segment.
The affordable housing sector is finally set to get infrastructure status. This was a long-awaited announcement. While we are yet to read the fine-print, this is indeed an important step to promote access to priority lending thereby spurring supply of low cost housing units across various cities in India. Relaxation in area measurement as well as completion timelines to seek tax exemption are welcome steps. Further, the government has also increased allocation under the PMAY scheme. This will encourage home buyers and further boost participation from the Private players.
The airport authority of land act amendment is yet another positive move which will allow development of land around the airports. This will further improve infrastructure and more importantly increase funding for the development of the airports. This is over and above the record allocation made to the overall infrastructure sector.
In order to encourage greater fund flows into the economy, the FM has announced abolition of the FIPB. While a clear policy outline is yet to be revealed, this is another positive step to liberalize FDI policy framework and ease regulatory hurdles in attracting investments.
The government has also been accommodative of the concerns of the real estate sector. The relaxation on long term capital gains, joint development agreements, tax rebates for builders will help reduce their tax liability.
While greater rebates were expected in individual tax rates, nonetheless the rebate for individuals earning upto 5 lacs will help increase their disposable incomes. This might help spur consumption and also have a positive impact on demand for housing. ''