“It is a get well soon type of Budget, the ‘V’ shaped recovery being powered by the Covid-19 vaccination program.” On real estate aspects, the proposals for the annual budget reinforce the Government’s focus on affordable housing. For the home buyer, the second extension of the deadline till 31 March 2022 for the additional Rs1.5 lakh tax deduction given on loans taken to buy a house in an affordable housing project is welcome, as is the developer whose affordable housing projects also get an extension for tax benefits, for projects completed till March 31, 2022.
Similarly, tax exemption for notified affordable housing for migrant workers, and the deduction on payment of interest for affordable housing being extended by a year will give a fillip to this emerging segment. As affordable housing attracts only 1% GST and Rs 1000 stamp duty in the state of Maharashtra will augment the production of affordable housing in the state. The enhanced spending on public infrastructure projects like ports, railways, airports, warehousing, gas pipelines, metro, economic corridors is laudable and welcomed by industry that will give impetus to the employment generation and attract the essential investment to lift up the economic revival.
“The strong focus on digital covering setting up of a Fintech hub at Gift City, seen in sync with moves to enhance digital payments and use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning etc. in governance, will give a fillip to creation of Digital India,” he concluded.
Given the challenged scenario, the proposed annual budget has been largely positive, no major taxation enhancement is something that is welcome. As the Prime Minister pointed out last year saw mini budgets across the pandemic impacted time frame; the unsaid thing for most industries across the economy is that similar steps may happen with more positives in the offing. Continued focus on 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance' will enhance 'ease of doing business', this government spending will provide stimulus for GDP growth, and is laudable.”
Satish Magar, President, CREDAI National
“Increased allocation to healthcare with 35000 Crore for COVID vaccine in FY 21 – 22 will ensure that the vaccine reaches the most vulnerable sections of our country and it will in turn improve the overall customer sentiment and buying behaviour, aiding the revival of the economy. Continuous focus on expanding highways, developing infrastructure, road & rail transport, metro rail projects shall play a crucial role in connecting all corners of the country further boosting demand for housing in these areas, thereby promoting economic activity and job creation.”
Jaxay Shah, Chairman, CREDAI National
“This is clearly a budget for growth with next level reforms, focusing on the healthcare, infrastructure and financial sectors and establishes a stable tax regime and higher borrowing for CAPEX. The Budget 2021 – 2022 has laid the stepping stone for India’s post-COVID revival mission and has placed India on a global map in terms of resilient economic growth.”
In line with CREDAI’s recommendation FM announced an extension of tax holiday for affordable housing projects for another year till March 31, 2022 and deduction on payment of interest to buyers also has been extended for one more year. This will boost overall demand for affordable housing and it has been the fastest growing segment for the real estate sector.
To increase liquidity and access to required funding for the real estate sector, announcement of setting-up of a developmental financial institution with Rs 20,000 crore and allowing FDI of up to 74% in insurance, separate administration structure to promote ease of doing business are welcome steps. Announcement of Asset Reconstruction Company and Asset Management Company to help banks tackle bad loans will reduce the pressure on banking sector as NPAs shall now be handled by these entities.
Proposed amendments to allow debt funding through REITs, InvITs shall help in attracting more investments in Real Estate & Infrastructure sector. The proposal to make dividend payments to REIT and Invit's exempt from TDS shall encourage retail individual investors to explore investment opportunities in REITs.
However, popular demands of changes in IT slabs, increasing the limit of 80C, lower home loan interest rates and etc were not announced in the budget. The steps required to ensure more money in the hands of tax-payers to encourage spending was also not addressed. Touching upon the steep hikes in prices of steel and other metals, FM announced cut on customs duty on copper scrap from 5% to 2.5%, availability of essential construction materials with regulated pricing is crucial for the sectors growth.
Real Estate shall continue to be the preferred investment option as the announcements made by the FM in the budget will encourage many prospective home buyers to make a positive decision in this year.
Deepak Goradia, President, CREDAI MCHI
"The first budget of the decade has raised the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat with huge impetus and spending on Infrastructure – key to creation of jobs and reviving the economy in the Post COVID area.
The 1 year extension to Rs 1.5 lakh tax deduction on homebuyers’ loan for Affordable housing units along with Tax incentive for Affordable housing developers is welcomed by the Realty industry. This will continue to provide support to accomplish the "Housing for All” mission.
The Tax simplification on Dividend income to REIT’s and INVITS will help mobilise in new resources for new projects.
We hope there are additional sector specific measures to support / boost towards the Indian Realty sector."
Rohit Poddar, MD, Poddar Housing and Development Ltd & Joint Secretary, NAREDCO Maharashtra
“The government has primed itself to catapult economy on a trajectory of a stronger recovery with specific announcements on privatisation, disinvestment and monetization. A 34% increase in capex and overall no tax hike has boosted the equity market sentiment. The privatization of two public sector banks and one general insurance company will bring a new dimension to the lending construct in the country. For affordable housing, the extension on deduction on payment of interest by one more year will help in offering the much-needed convenience for the home buyer. Affordable housing tax holiday extension up to March 2022 will boost the recent momentum in housing demand.
The single registration system for migrant workers is a positive aspect for companies to reduce the hassle and focus on the larger development. Furthermore, relaxation of tax to NRIs, additional interest deduction on the loans, and no TDS on REITs will potentially help the real estate sector in increasing the liquidity and cash flow. Giving relief to NRIs from double taxation will give a sentiment boost to the real estate sector. Overall, the budget has covered most of the aspects, now we will look forward to the RBI announcement in this week.”
Ramesh Nair, real estate industry veteran and
former CEO of JLL India
Positives for the real estate sector include extension of INR 1.5 lakh additional deduction by 1 more year for affordable housing, tax holiday for affordable housing extended by one more year and new tax incentives for affordable rental housing for migrant workers. The creation of a professionally run development financing institution and the creation of an asset reconstruction company for stressed assets will also have spillover benefits for the real estate sector. The government's new divestment targets and the announcement that divestments already announced to be completed by 2022 will also help the sector as prime real estate owned by the public sector will come into the market for development. No new tax burden including Covid tax, wealth tax and no hike in corporate and personal income tax were again welcome moves.
Negatives include no mention of allowing 100% FDI in completed residential projects, no announcement of more funds under SWAMIH, no concrete steps to increase disposable income of homebuyers, no mention of setting up of a single window clearance system for approvals, not allowing GST input tax credit for under construction projects, no reduction in GST on building materials, not incentivising state governments to rationalise stamp duty and no concrete announcement with regards to making more credit available for the real estate sector. Also the industry was expecting more concrete announcements to promote foreign investments, boost domestic spending, and boost job creation and increased disposable income.
Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank India
“The country has faced an unprecedented event with COVID-19 pandemic, which warranted tough policy measures while walking the fiscal tightrope. In this light, the government has done a commendable job through its investment push.
In context to the real estate sector, budget announcements relating to monetisation of infrastructure and real estate assets will help increase private sector participation and also assist government in enhancing fund flow for development of critical infrastructure assets. The government has also continued its focus on affordable housing segment by extension of tax benefit by one year. Amid the prolonged pandemic scenario, this extension was needed to support the latent housing demand in the country. Further, the relaxation on tax compliance for REIT investors will further improve the marketability of such products considering we are likely to witness new REITs this year”.
Anuj Puri, Chairman - ANAROCK Property Consultants
Considered ‘the Margaret Thatcher moment’ for the FM, Union Budget 2021-22 was literally a make-or-break event. The circumstances are unprecedented - it is the first budget presented after a pandemic which shattered the economy globally, and in India. The impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic with early govt. estimates indicating a 7.7% contraction in FY 2020-21 – the biggest GDP growth plunge in over four decades. Expectations across sectors were at an all-time high, though the fiscal pressures on the finance ministry are nothing short of crippling.
As expected, healthcare got the highest priority in resource allocation and policy support including INR 64,180 Cr outlay under PM Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat scheme. It bodes well for healthcare facilities and wellness-oriented real estate.
Further, FY 2021-22 capital expenditure outlay at INR 5.54 lakh crore to ensure that the target of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 is well on track. This will positively impact infrastructure, connectivity of Tier II cities, and job creation for SMEs and MSMEs – thereby benefitting the target customers of affordable housing.
For the ‘Aam Aadmi,’ personal tax relief by way of tax rate cuts or favourably readjusted tax slabs topped demand and the FM failed to deliver on it. An upward revision in the deduction limit under Section 80C (at INR 1.5 lakh a year) was long overdue and increasing this limit would have increased disposable incomes, inevitably pushing up consumption. It would have also helped improve consumer sentiments across sectors – the real need of the hour.
As anticipated, affordable housing and rental housing got a big boost with the govt. extending the period for extra deduction of INR 1.5 lakh available for loans up to 31st March 2022. This will keep demand buoyant for affordable housing in 2021 as well. Further, the extension of the tax holiday for affordable housing projects for one more year will help bring in more new supply within this segment. As per ANAROCK Research, affordable housing already accounts for more than 35% of the supply across the top 7 cities in the country.
Infrastructure got a major push. Infra works proposed include building 8,500-km of highways by March 2022. There were big infra sops announced for poll-bound states including West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam. The govt. also announced the Bill to set up Development Finance Institution (DFI) providing INR 20,000 Cr to boost infrastructure projects. The Modi government has not lost sight of its USP of infra creation, which will help connect more areas and thus open them up for real estate development.
Customs duty on steel reduced to 7.5% will create some space to real estate developers who may not be in a position to increase prices immediately.
The announcement to set up 7 mega textile parks with plug-and-play facility in 3 years will unlock the potential of new markets for development and provide an impetus to real estate assets, including logistics and warehousing.
Post the pandemic, the chances of NPAs growing are significantly high. The Budget announced the setting up of ARCs to help banks to cushion the impact of the pandemic. Besides the setting up the long-awaited bad bank, the government will also infuse INR 20,000 crore into public sector banks as part of its recapitalisation plan.
All in all, the budget was broad-based with special emphasis on building robust healthcare infrastructure, physical infrastructure and affordable housing. It will result in job creation in the informal sector, which was severely impacted by the pandemic. Creating buoyancy in the job market will benefit the Indian economy in the long run. The focus on rural job creation will also give a boost to affordable housing, which will help increase housing demand in tier 2 & 3 cities.
Anurag Mathur, CEO, Savills India
"The budget has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to bring back the country on a road of recovery through focused impetus on infrastructure, healthcare, inclusive development, innovation and robust governance. Real estate specific announcements although few, were targeted towards affordable housing and REITs. Tax holidays and exemptions in affordable housing and debt financing for REITs are expected to strengthen the confidence of all the stakeholders in the residential and office segments. Central sponsorships of metro projects in key urban areas among other infrastructure initiatives, are likely to bolster the real estate potential of specific micro-markets in these cities.”
Arvind Subramanian, MD & CEO, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd
"The 2021 Union Budget was progressive on multiple counts, including health, sanitisation, new institutional structures and the infrastructure needs of the economy.
On the residential real estate front, the proposal to extend the additional 1.5 lakh tax exemption available to first time home buyers on the purchase of affordable homes will boost end-user demand in the category. The tax holiday on affordable housing projects till 31st March 2022 is a supply side stimulus that will aid developers. Combined with the all-time low home loan interest rates, these initiatives are expected to provide a strong stimulus to affordable housing market.
The Budget has also identified warehousing and allied services for the asset monetization program for core infrastructure assets. These initiatives will help drive the growth of the infrastructure sector and bodes well for planned industrial parks and integrated cities. As a pioneer of green buildings in India, we welcome the plans for energy transition and increasing investment in renewable and sustainable energy initiatives. Such initiatives are laying the groundwork for an urban India that is environmentally resilient and responsive.”
Piyush Bothra, CFO, Square Yards
As far as the real estate sector is concerned, clearly the government’s focus in Budget 2021 has been on ensuring increased liquidity for all stakeholders in the short and long term. Budget 2021 again highlighted the government’s resolve towards promoting ‘housing for all’. Measures such as the one-year extension of the Rs 1.5 lakh deduction on payment of interest for affordable housing and on the tax holiday for affordable projects brings in much needed relief for the buyers as well as the developers.
Further, announcement of the setting up of a Development Finance Institution (DFI) with an allocation of Rs 20,000 Crore is commendable. This will again strengthen the flow of funds to the cash strapped real estate and infrastructure sectors.
It can be easily said that the Budget was a representation of the inherent resilience shown by the Indian economy at the hands of adversity and showcased the government’s strong resolve to pull the economy back on its foot.
Surendra Hiranandani, CMD, House of Hiranandani
The union budget presented is visionary and has focused on the nation’s growth. With its focus on the agricultural and rural sectors, infrastructure, health, education, job creation, digital economy, etc, it is a holistic budget that will have an overall positive impact on the economy. With the growth outlook looking promising and support in terms of government spending, we will witness a noteworthy traction in the real estate sector too this year. The government has played a tough balancing act between providing demand impetus and keeping a watch on fiscal deficit.
Though real estate has not got anything directly from this budget, there are announcements that will indirectly help the sector. Allotment of a massive capital expenditure corpus in order to enhance and support national highway projects, roads and other ancillary infrastructure shows the continued commitment of the Government to strengthen connectivity across the country which in turn will largely improve real estate over the next few years. While affordable housing continued to remain a priority area for the government with few additional reforms, the government could have given further boost to real estate which fuels the Indian economy as it is the second largest employer after agriculture and supports over 250-allied industries. There have been many pressing concerns in the real sector that have not been addressed such as easing liquidity, reduction in levies/taxes, tax deductions on home loans to give impetus to buyer sentiment, granting of industry status to the overall real estate sector and implementation of single window clearance amongst others.
Overall, while the social sector has received good support and is welcome, we are convinced that the government will do its best to get the economy to bounce back, and sustain long term growth of the real estate sector too with substantial measures in the near future. We also hope that there will be more announcements soon to enhance ease of doing business for the developers and are optimistic that with green shoots in the economy in sight, the real estate sector is ready for explosive growth in the post pandemic era.
Ashok Mohanani, President - NAREDCO Maharashtra
The Government has put their best efforts to put the economy back on track after the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic that the entire country went through. It has focused a lot on infrastructure in this budget. This will indirectly help boost the housing demand especially in the Tier II & Tier III cities.
The Government's decision to further infuse Rs. 20000 crore for public sector banks will help address liquidity issues to a large extent. The proposal to extend the Rs 1.5 lakh benefit on interest paid on affordable housing loans by one year to March 31, 2022 is an exceptional move which will boost the affordable housing segment and help to achieve the Prime Minister's vision of Housing for All. It will also ensure that more and more homebuyers get to avail this benefit. The reduction in tax burden on senior citizens above 75 years will give a push to the senior-living projects.
Also, the Government's continuous efforts to promote ease of doing business and digitization will help the real estate sector business in a long way going forward.
As anticipated, it's a very futuristic budget from the economy point of view.
Sharad Mittal, CEO, Motilal Oswal Real Estate.
Other positives include setting up of a long term financing vehicle "DFI" for infrastructure projects and no increase in income tax rates. Increase in fiscal deficit target is expected to impact yields; however, there has been a strong intent to promote growth rather than maintaining fiscal discipline with a sharp increase in proposed capital expenditure. This is a positive move by the Government and will have a defining impact on the economy.”
Amit Goyal, CEO, India Sotheby’s International Realty
“Budget 2021 lays out a clear roadmap for infrastructure led economic growth, along with the nation’s health and wellbeing. I congratulate the finance minister on announcing a big rise in capital expenditure needed to spur GDP and on setting an aggressive fiscal deficit target. No new wealth tax or COVID cess has come as a big relief for everyone.
I am particularly heartened to see the 2021 Union Budget’s allocations for improving the liveability of India’s cities. Budget outlays for tackling air pollution, Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0, expansion of the metro network in smaller cities, are all welcome announcements. Extension of tax break for start-ups and affordable housing are also very welcome.“
Rohan Khatau, Director, CCI Projects Pvt Ltd - Rivali Park
“Government has rightly continued its focus on affordable housing projects. By allowing additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on home loan interest for homebuyers and tax holiday for developers undertaking such projects by another year, it has ensured to create a right balance between demand and supply. The focus on infrastructure development and passenger transport facilities is one of the key areas to magnify real estate.”
Ajay Kapoor, CEO, Adhiraj Constructions
The Union budget of 2021 clearly defined its intentions for a new and aspirational India. One of the critical pillars of the budget, infrastructure, achieved the much-needed progression and will continue to grow and expand. The budget’s focus continues to be on the infrastructure of roads, railways, ports, airports, and urban transport. With this growth, India is all set to break new barriers with respect to connectivity and ease of commuting. With the further inflow of funding coming with the ease of finance to InVITS and REITs will be a boon for the infrastructure and real estate sector.
Homebuyers sitting on the fence can take advantage of the extension of tax benefits on home loans up to FY22 and added extension exemption on the purchase of affordable houses. Middle-class taxpayers now have another year better to manage their finances and investment in their dream homes. Hardships for NRIs are also resolved with the removal of double taxation, allowing them to be stress-free while house hunting in micro markets of their choice.
On the other hand, builders will avail the tax holiday for another year till March 31, 2022 for affordable housing projects, along with the tax exemption available to them for affordable rental housing projects.
With minimum wages applicable to all, men and women workers from all categories can now work together with adequate protection. This move will amp up employment in the sector and boost proficiency and efficiency.
The nation-first approach will take India closer to become a $ 5 trillion economy in the coming years. We look forward to the necessary measures taken to correct other requirements from the industry.
Arvind Hali, MD & CEO, Motilal Oswal Home Finance Ltd
“Budget FY22 has tried to bring back what the pandemic in FY21 took away - “Demand” - from Housing and Housing Finance Industry.
Today’s Union Budget has hit the right nerve holistically towards both Demand and Supply side. The extension in date of claiming additional interest deduction of Rs. 1.5 L by 1 year from Mar-21 to Mar-22 shall provide the necessary impetus to boost demand as well as create much-required positivity in the overall ecosystem. Buyers shall have more left in their hands and thus can pre-empt their decisions that were put in the cold bag. The announcement shall awaken the ones who had delayed property purchase as well as pull-up the new demand to own a house. The upper limit capping at Rs. 45 L property to claim additional deduction towards loan interest brings the apt focus i.e. affordable housing finance and affordable properties.
Similarly, on supply-side intervention, the Budget extended the tax holidays, by one year, on profits earned by developers in affordable housing projects approved by Mar21.
Other points like keeping the tax regime unchanged shall bring cheers to the LIG & MIG segments of the society which form the customer base of affordable housing finance & properties; Clear push on Infra development generates employment as well as makes affordable housing projects more accessible which are usually at the periphery of cities, and TDS exemption on dividend payment in REITs shall make them exciting investment option leading to impetus in real estate development - most of which is in the affordable segment.
It is a practical budget - a booster shot for housing & allied industry aligned to the PMAY’s Mission of Housing for All by 2022.”
Sudarshan Lodha, Co-founder, Strata, a leading fractional real estate platform
‘Considering the challenging year the country has been through, I would like to congratulate the finance minister for putting up a bold budget focused on growth. It is extremely encouraging to see that the budget bets big on the infrastructure industry to help kick-start the economy. Divestment and monetisation of assets across industry including airports, ports, railways and freight corridors is a big stride and will go a long way in making India Atmanirbhar in the real sense of the term. This will also offer a big impetus to fractional investment models in real-estate. Instead of solely depending on the developers for the supply side, the industry can expect big government assets on the block thereby opening up the industry further to retail investment.
Considering infrastructure needs long term debt financing, a professionally managed Development Financial Institution will act as an enabler, while an Asset Reconstruction Company and Asset Management Company will usher in consolidation in the sector. Additionally, Debt Financing of InVITs and REITs by Foreign Portfolio Investors will help boost much needed liquidity in the sector, whereas reduction in taxes and measures for affordable housing will spur consumption and growth at the retail level.
The budget also offers big boost to the startup sector. Besides extension of a tax holiday, extended capital gains exemption for investment in start-ups by another year will help the sector attract more funds. This will encourage more entrepreneurs to join the bandwagon while also evading the cumbersome compliance procedure.’
Alok Saraf, Associate Partner. Grant Thornton Advisory Pvt Ltd on Real Estate sector :
"FM had to do a tight rope walking with very limited elbow room for any big bang announcement given the over looming fiscal deficit. On an overall basis the #budget2021 was pragmatic ,however, there were very limited announcements for the real estate sector. Long pending demand of industry status and GST input credit for under construction property would have helped bring down the overall cost of delivery resulting in reduction of housing prices. Markets have cheered that there was no new introduction of additional income tax cess which means the personal tax regime remains unchanged. Due to Covid, demand for large homes in the mid and luxury segments had increased in the recent past and it is expected that demand for such ready to move in houses will continue to be there leading to a steady increase in their prices. Further, work from anywhere is being adopted at a fast pace and demand for affordable houses with ticket size below 45 lacs will be expected to rise in Tier 2 and 3 cities/towns leading to increase in prices in those geographies. The extension of income tax benefit by one more year for affordable housing for both developers and buyers will further support the demand for affordable housing."
Rajesh Binner, Founder and CEO of PropTech firm YieldAsset Real Estate Tech Pvt Ltd
The commercial real estate market in India has transformed over the past decade amidst policy reforms, institutional investments, foreign partnerships and growth in the services sector. The government’s plan of monetisation of surplus land under PSUs, airports and other government companies will benefit the commercial real estate sector, as such land will come with clearer titles.
The proposed Nationalized AMC (Asset Management Company) to takeover stressed assets will simulate growth and bring certain level of stability for commercial realty sector. The relaxed rules in the Companies Act for start-ups and One-person Company creates a frictionless environment. Fintech focused centre at GIFT City will be very encouraging to the vibrant and high-growth start-ups. GIFT city also provides tax holidays to rental/leasing companies. The proposed launch of portal to collect data of Gig and construction workers will help improve the current labour shortage situation in construction industry. The Government’s move to notify rules to avoid double taxation will also boost NRI investments in the country. Dividend from REIT and InvIT - exempted from TDS is a very positive step for retail investors.
Over the next few years, the commercial real sector is all set to flourish. With the implementation of many new businesses, the demand for modern office environments is definitely on the rise, both from traditional companies and new innovative start-ups. The commercial market for real estate remains to be a strong beneficiary of India’s economic growth.
Farshid Cooper, MD, Spenta Corporation
A major impetus to the infrastructure and introduction of DFI or Development Financial Institution worth INR 20000 cr is a fillip to not just to the respective sectors but also to the aligned segments such as housing. The pandemic had significantly impacted construction of major infrastructure projects and stalled the housing construction for a considerable amount of time. The DFI will help fast-track the infra projects in major cities paving way for growth of the housing sector as well. Additionally, extension of tax exemption available for the purchase of affordable houses and affordable rental housing projects will boost the real estate sector in major cities and Tier II and III cities as well.
Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director of NBFC Capri Global Capital Ltd
“The Budget has clearly kept the focus on boosting economic growth. Emphasizing to make India self-reliant and strengthen the country’s position in the global economic landscape, the Finance Minister has given systematic importance to the NBFC sector through a slew of measures that will ease the lending business. The reduction in the loan limit from Rs 5 million to Rs 2 million under the SARFAESI act for NBFCs, with a minimum asset size of Rs 100cr and above, would mean that the debt recovery can enforce the security interest for lower ticket size loans. This will help the NBFCs to improve their ability to recover smaller loans and strengthen the overall financial health. Allotment of 20, 000 crore for bank recapitalization and setting up an ARC to take care of NPAs of stressed banks and manage through alternative investment funds would securitize the irrecoverable loans. Extend the eligibility of erstwhile tax sop on a home loan by additional one year up to FY’22 is a welcoming support to de-bottleneck issues surrounding the affordable housing segment.”
Nitin Gupta, Sr. Vice President, Sales,Marketing and CRM, Mantra Properties. on The Maharashtra Cabinet on The Union Budget 2021 -
"The 2021-22 Union Budget is indeed good news. This budget is for growth for long term , inclusive growth for the economy as a whole. I am glad that the government sees affordable housing as a priority and is acting accordingly. By extending the 80Ib tax benefit for developers by another year the government has brought some cheer to home buyers, and I am sure they [home buyers] will definitely make the most of it. This would certainly boost the real estate sector as well. Exciting times ahead!"
Rahul Grover, CEO, Sai Estate Consultants Chembur Private Ltd
The infrastructure of our country can prove to be the backbone of our economy. We have always believed this and the reforms taken into consideration for infrastructure development are truly inspired. These reforms can birth a new economy as we know it.
The Union Budget 2021 came bearing good news for the real estate faction, nay the entire infrastructure fraternity. The new reforms set afoot today can prove beneficial for the nation throughout the years.
2021 is a rather economically heavy and promising year for India. With the promising Chandrayaan mission insight, we all hope that our nation too skyrockets with prosperity
Punit Agarwal, MD & CEO, Nirvana Realty
"The real estate industry suffered tremendously from Covid-19 pandemic. With no construction activities & dip in demand & sales during the lockdown, the Government's initiative to reduce the stamp duty & REPO rates was deemed to be effective to bolster the real estate industry. Given the depth of pain in the real estate sector, the "never seen budget" announced by Hon' Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman with the extension of the tax holiday on affordable housing projects, the real estate sector is likely to do well, given that demand too has been on the rise. With the addition of new projects announced for highways more economic corridors are opened with better roads and connectivity to the outskirts of India and will encourage new growth of weekend getaways."
Sahil Vachani, MD and CEO, Max Ventures & Industries Limited
“The decision of not to deduct TDS on REITs and InVITs is a welcome move for the real estate industry, particularly the commercial category. It will help attract investment in commercial real estate assets and thereby will help boost the demand for A-grade office spaces across the country especially in the bigger cities, which are hubs of employment activities.
Overall the thrust of the budget for 2021-22 is clearly on boosting healthcare, infrastructure and reforming financial sector. The decision to set up a Development Finance Institution to enhance infrastructure funding, increasing FDI limit in insurance to 74% and setting up of an ARC cum AMC for bad loans along with decision to privatize couple of public sector banks are welcome moves. These measures will help in augmenting fund flow to the economy as whole.”
Amit Agarwal – Co-Founder & CEO – NoBroker.com
"The Union Budget 2021 was a balanced one with several encouraging proposals for the country’s real estate sector. For instance, the FM announced that more economic corridors are being planned to boost the development of roadways to improve inter- as well as intra-state connectivity. Plans were also announced to expand the metro coverage as part of additional budgetary allocation towards the development of infrastructure across India, with a special focus on developing Kochi Metro, Chennai Metro Phase 2, Bengaluru Phase 2A and B, Nashik and Nagpur Metros, among others. These proposals are bound to improve real estate projects in tier-2 and tier-3 regions by enabling a more seamless movement of people and resources to and from the urban centres. The FM also proposed to amend InvIT and REIT structures for debt investors to drive greater ease of fund raising and providing the much needed momentum to the commercial real estate asset class. One of the amendments will focus on making dividend payments to REIT and InvIT exempt from TDS. However, we will have to wait for the details about the proposed amendment to know the actual scope of the impact that the reforms will drive.
The FM has also promised to accelerate structural reforms in line with the Aatmanirbhar packages announced last year by the PM in line with Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of making India a self-reliant and self-sufficient nation. This, along with the proposal of instituting a separate administration structure to promote ease of doing business, will provide a major fillip to the new-age real estate startups and businesses aiming to bolster the sector’s growth. Finally, FM Sitharaman has said that affordable housing projects can avail tax holiday for another year till March 31, 2022. Through this step, the Government has sought to improve home buying prospects in the affordable housing segment by bringing down costs without affecting the operational stability of developers."
Manas Mehrotra, Founder, co-working platform 315Work Avenue
The Union Budget 2021 has predominantly focused on revitalizing the rural economy which is a good move and this will act as a boost to the economy and increase demand in tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well. The budget could have had some specific measures for the co-working sector to enable its higher growth. However, the proposal to not have TDS on dividend is welcome. A positive is also dividend on receipt basis rather than advance taxes schedule which will enable shareholders to plan cash flows better. The extension of tax exemption and exemption on capital gains for start-ups by one year will help the start-up sector which will indirectly boost the co-working sector too.
As co-working is playing a vital role in the economic growth of the country, the Government could have recognised it under special schemes like REIT to handhold the industry for better growth. As the industry is going competitive, it would have been good if the rate of TDS on co-working services was reduced. It would have been enabled us to provide real estate solutions to clients at economical rates and helped in better flow of working capital. Apart from these, input tax credit under GST is an important issue that concerns the sector. The government has not enabled co-working firms to claim input credits on work contract and construction services supplied, as detailed under GST provisions. This would have checked the increased outflow of cash that co-working firms are currently experiencing. We were also hoping that input tax credit under GST be extended to developers so that it could be passed on to companies who lease out space and thereby reduce their overall costs. Going forward, a single window approval approach is also required by co-working, instead of having to seek multiple approvals for the same business.
The post lockdown scenario is bringing in a wave of new opportunities for the co-working players as companies seek out alternative options to reduce costs and capital expenditure. As companies look to resume business, redesigning and restructuring of existing real estate will pose yet another challenge, however co-working spaces will be able to respond to design changes required post-COVID-19 quicker and more efficiently than traditional office spaces. Overall, the co-working industry is looking at improvement in the ease of doing business. The government could assist in this a great deal by addressing regulatory concerns and by encouraging more co-working firms to open up through a series of both financial and non-financial incentives.
Rakesh Reddy, Director, Aparna Constructions & Estates
“In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Budget 2021 was highly anticipated to fuel economic revival. It was to be a balancing act between high expectations and minimal resources. The Budget focused on healthcare – to provide crucial COVID-19 rehabilitation - and infrastructure as key segments to aid in the revival. The infrastructure sector is a key driver of India’s economic growth and is the second largest employer in India. The growth of the sector has a multiplier effect on the growth of the entire economy and must be bolstered.
Rapid development in infrastructure requires a strong inflow of capital. Debt financing of InvITs and REITs will be enabled by making a suitable amendment to attract more investment in the real estate and infrastructure sector. In a positive step for the affordable housing segment, the time period for taking loans in this segment will be extended by one year, until 31 March 2022, to avail additional tax benefits of Rs 1.5 lakh under section 80EEA of the Income Tax Act. The benefit is over and above the tax benefit of Rs 2 lakh on interest on Housing Loan available under section 24(B).
Although several proposals were announced for the benefit of taxpayers, there was no change in income tax slab rates. Disposable income is a substantial constraint on demand so personal tax relief must be addressed by revisiting the tax slabs and also increasing the deduction limit under Section 80C. Such benefits will provide crucial support to the real estate sector.
The Budget also proposed to provide GST relief by reducing inverted GST structures. There are hundreds of old exemptions in indirect taxes which must be addressed. This is a positive step that must be implemented immediately. Although the government continued to provide fiscal and policy support to the real estate sector, it is important for the government to lay the foundation which will provide a strong impetus for demand generation and growth in order to regain the pre-COVID momentum. Policies must be enacted that address raw material price escalations, input tax credits, and reduction in GST rates.”
Abhishek Jain, Chief Operating Officer, Satellite Developers Private Limited (SDPL)
"The Union Budget 2021-22 continued the government’s focus on the affordable housing sector. The government’s decision to extend tax holiday for affordable housing projects by another year is a step in the positive direction to boost the sentiments among real estate players in the market and achieve the government’s vision of ‘Housing for All by 2022’ for India. This budget has focused heavy on infrastructure that will indirectly lift the housing demand especially in the Tier II & Tier III cities. Also, the Government's continuous efforts to promote affordable housing will help the real estate sector business in a long way going forward."
Krish Raveshia, CEO at Azlo Realty
The real estate industry was expecting growth measures from the Union Budget. Given the current situation, the Finance Minister has presented a balanced budget. The budget was primarily focused on the infra and healthcare sector. Steps like a 1-year tax holiday for affordable housing projects and a 1-year extension for an additional deduction of interest up to Rs 1.5 lakh on loan for affordable housing will benefit all stakeholders of the industry and boost investments. Relief on TDS for dividend on REITs and InvITs will boost investment in these instruments.
A development finance institution for the infrastructure sector will facilitate funding, the good part is that it will be professionally managed to ensure seamless execution of operations.
The Union government has done its part to help economic growth, it is over to RBI to keep rates low, liquidity at ease to ensure a quick revival of the economy.
Ram Raheja, Director, S Raheja Realty
“Within the constraints of a slowing economy and keeping the fiscal deficit under check, the Finance Minister has delivered a balanced budget. The budget also brought cheer to the NRIs - the bold move to permit one-person companies or OPCs in India sends the right signals to the real estate sector as it will open up avenues for foreign investment as well. When it comes to the choice of global buyers (NRIs and HNIS), they prefer properties from leading brands because of the overall value proposition it offers. Hence this can further fuel investment and help the organized real estate sector to prosper. The positive sentiment the budget has generated has shown its impact on markets and is likely to help continue the upswing in property buying too.”
Atul Monga, Co-Founder & CEO, BASIC Home Loan'
"Tax holiday for one more year on affordable housing loans will attract increased consumer interest towards affordable housing. On top of it, the new Development and Financial Institution will promote liquidity in this segment, helping developers to offer affordable houses on lower rates. In conclusion, demand and supply for affordable housing will increase significantly, benefiting both developers, and the end consumers."
Rohit Gera, MD, Gera Developments
“The scale of the impact of the pandemic is indicated
in the fiscal deficit being at 9.5% of GDP for the year. Given the challenges,
the Finance Minister has done a good job with regards to focusing on pushing
the growth drivers of the economy. The push of capital expenditure is positive
as is the disinvestment as well as monetization of assets to generate revenue
for the government. Record GST collections in the last few months as a
result of simplification and increased technology led vigilance will continue
to help boost revenues for the government.
With regards to the real estate sector, the government has continued on its stated path of doing away with sector specific sops and in light of this, the extension of the interest rate deduction for home buyers as well as extension of tax holiday for affordable projects by one more year is welcome.
Simplification of processes and rules for the SME segment will help ease the cost and efforts of compliance which is very good for the SME sector.”
Mr. Kaushal Agarwal, Chairman, The Guardians Real Estate Advisory
It’s a pragmatic & forward looking budget, at the same time. The estimated, gradual reduction in the fiscal deficit from 9.5% to under 4.5% by 2024-25 will help boost consumption in the economy. The government’s big bet on infrastructure is bound to pay off in the long-term & will also catapult desired growth for real estate & the economy. The NPA’s of PSU banks have seen an encouraging reduction from 8.96 to 6.8 trillion by end of Fiscal 2020. The setting up of ARC & AMC for banks troubled with bad loans and NPA’s alongside the further recapitalisation of Rs.20,000 crore will help improve the lending capacity of the banking & financial sector. The government’s decision to extend tax holiday for affordable housing projects by another year is a step in the right direction to realise the PM’s dream of ‘Housing for All by 2022’.
Jayakumar Krishnaswamy, Managing Director, Nuvoco Vistas Corp. Ltd
"The Union Budget 2021 focuses on resetting the economy with a slew of measures to provide a leg up to the ailing real estate and construction industry. Infrastructure received a big boost with a proposed financial institution for financing big-ticket infrastructure projects. Coupled with an enhanced outlay of ₹1,18,100 lakh crore for the ministry of road transport and highways, the government is clearly banking on large-scale infrastructure projects to kickstart the stalled construction industry. Real estate was the other major beneficiary with continued tax relief for affordable housing. The move is expected to revive the industry, which was left reeling during the pandemic. In another major benefit for taxpayers, the government will continue the existing income tax slabs with no additional COVID cess. With its focus on increasing spending, the budget is a step in the right direction in invigorating the sector and rejuvenating the post-pandemic economy."
Hakim Lakdawala, Group Promoter, Goodwill Developers
The Union Budget on 2021-2022 comes with a promising outlook after the challenging times faced due to the pandemic and its resultant lockdown. The major push to the already proposed National Infrastructure Pipeline will provide stimulus to the stalled projects and will thereby enhance development for its allied segments like housing and construction. Moreover, the tax holiday for affordable housing and rental housing projects, along with an additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh available for loans till 31st March 2022 will incentivize possible end consumers and potentially increase sales volume and velocity, thereby having a far-reaching positive impact on the real estate sector
Simarpreet Singh, Director, Hartek Group:
The increase in allocation for infrastructure will boost the power sector on the whole. It will help in upgrading the country’s T&D network and building on grid connectivity to ensure efficient evacuation of solar energy, particularly the ambitious Green Energy Corridor scheme. The additional resources allocated for traditional areas of the power sector, like the revival of ailing discoms and stressed assets, coupled with a renewed focus on the expansion of the national programme on smart metering, will prove instrumental in accelerating the pace of growth of the power industry.
The additional allocation of Rs 1, 000 crore for the Solar Energy Corporation of India and another Rs 1,500 crore for the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency are also decisive steps in the right direction. The overall focus of this year’s Budget on R&D and innovation will help in reshaping the solar industry by promoting domestic manufacturing of solar panels. It will also enable the power industry on the whole to create a roadmap for encouraging R&D in cost-efficient and cutting-edge technologies in sync with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission.