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Indian Real Estate News : Delhi
Industry reacts on Jaitley’s maiden budget
Source: The Times of India Jul 13, 2014
As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled maiden budget in the parliament, the expectations of real estate industry soared high. Industry stakeholders welcomed the much anticipated Modi govt budget and desires for more "Acche Din".

Brotin Banerjee, MD & CEO, Tata Housing - "Tata Housing Development Company (THDC) welcomes the announcement of the Union Budget 2014-15. Focusing on fiscal prudence, this budget has introduced proposals that may help to kick-start investments in the real estate sector. The government's move to provide necessary incentives to REIT’s and giving a tax pass-through status is a positive move as it will reduce the pressure on the banking system, avail fresh equity and attract long term finance from foreign as well as domestic sources."

Abhay Kumar, CMD, Griha Pravesh Buildteck- "Real estate sector has been asking for strong and clear policy measures that will bring in more transparency and growth opportunity. The Budget's intent to provide necessary incentives to REITs will help the real estate industry to achieve pass-through that will bring clarity in taxation and it will also enable the developers to attract long-term funds from foreign investors. The moves to promote affordable housing through allocation for Rs 4000 crore allocation and Rs 8000 crore for national housing banking programme provides a comprehensive platform for this segment of real estate to instigate sustained PPP growth model."

R.K Arora CMD, Supertech Ltd- "While presenting the Union Budget, the Finance Minster has tried to maintain the balance and aim to bring fiscal deficit low to 3.6 for FY15-16 and retaining it to 4.1% for current FY14. An incentive for affordable housing loans of Rs 4000 crores was announced for urban poor and weaker sections of society through National Housing Bank (NHB), this will certainly set momentum in real estate activities. Also, the aim to bring new 100 smart cities, a budget of Rs 7060crore was allocated, this will provide opportunity to developers to start set up projects in new locations where land is available at reasonable costs."

Sushil Mantri, chairman and managing director, Mantri Developers Pvt. Ltd - "Overall the proposed budget is in line with market expectations. Real estate has definitely received a fair share. The raising of the income tax exemption limit will put more money in the hands of prospective home buyers. Also, the raising of the exemption limit on home loan interest will provide a definite impetus to potential home buyers."

Kishor Pate, CMD, Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd: - "The reduction of personal income tax ceiling and the raising of home loan interest deduction will definitely increase demand for homes in cities like Pune. True to his promises, the Finance Minister has made singificant allocations towards infrastructure projects in the country. The allocation of Rs. 37,850 crore into the National Highway Authority of India will result in vastly improved road networks, which will in turn result in new vibrancy in the real estate sector. The National Housing Bank has received an allocation of Rs. 8000 crore for this program, which will have. I am especially enthusiastic about the Rs. 7060 crore allocation towards the government’s program for creating 100 smart city projects."

Arvind Jain, managing director, Pride Group- "It is a satisfactory budget with good implications for real estate. Significantly, the budget has included slum rehabilitation under the ambit of corporate social responsibility. We will now see greater involvement by India Inc in this very important sector and give a boost to supply in the inner parts of our major cities. The FM has given much-needed relief to individual tax payers by raising the income tax exemption limit by 50,000 and has also raised the limit of the interest part of home loans from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh. The combined effect will definitely be renewed interest in home purchase by Indians."

Sachin Agarwal, CMD – Maple Shelters- "The budget has reduced the FDI norms for minimum built-up area for affordable housing. Additionally, Rs. 4000 crore have been allocated towards the creation of low-cost housing. This is extremely promising for the affordable housing sector and we will see an increase in housing development for the under-privileged in the peripheral areas of cities like Pune. The relief provided on individual income tax and interest on housing loans is very significant for the budget homes sector, since these measures have greatest pertinence to the more financially sensitive home buyers. I am happy with this budget, in which the Financial Minister has shown great foresight and set the path for economic revival."

Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director of CBRE South AsiaPvt. Ltd - "The biggest announcement for the real estate sector was SEBI being directed to introduce REITs in India. We expect the entry of this much-awaited investment instrument to provide alternative funding channels to the realty sector. Going forward, it will also act as a key enabler for capital markets in the country, and provide investors with exit options. I perceive this announcement as the single most consequential reform witnessed in the sector in recent times."

Getamber Anand, President (elect), CREDAI and CMD, ATS Group- "The industry overall appreciates the Finance Minister for presenting a very comprehensive budget wherein the FM has tried to address to the needs of varied sectors along with the measures to control the fiscal deficit. We also appreciate the fact that the budget has allocated sum of Rs 4,000 crore for NHB for low cost housing and affordable housing, I hope this step will be translated into providing the cheaper finance in the form of home loans to the retail buyers in the low-cost and affordable housing segment. All in all, it’s a good budget and we'll rate it with 7 on 10 and hope to interact more and more with the finance minister in the direction of achieving the goal of housing to all by 2022."

Manish Agarwal, managing director, Satya Group & secretary, CREDAI NCR- "A cursory glance on the budget 2014-15 makes it amply clear that the Government looks determined to bring economy and the real estate sector back on the track. Smart cities, allocation to urban and rural housing, boost to post infrastructure and connectivity, tweaking of FDI for real estate sector and tax rebate to REITs will provide much needed boost to the real estate sector in general and country’s economy in particular. Some supplementary measures like interest exemption from housing loan, increase in saving limit, creation of infrastructure investment trust, support to encourage manufacturing industry, encouragement to tourism and sport facilities too will have positive impact. Overall, its a futuristic budget which looks like first of five installments to push growth, create jobs and re-establish our country as investment destination."

Ajay Aggarwal, managing director, Microtek Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd- "At first glance the budget looks like a fairly decent beginning for the new government. FM’s emphasis on "housing for all" was explicitly visible in the budget speech. Allocation for urban and rural housing, Rs. 4000 crore for low cost housing, along with Rs. 7060 crore for smart cities reflect futuristic thinking of government’s leadership which would benefit the real estate sector in long run. Supplementing them, tax rebates to REITs, metro trains in each city with more than 20 Lakh population, AIIMS in each state and scheme for development of new airports in smaller cities are just the right ingredients to take the real estate sector to next level."

Vinay Jain, CMD, AVJ Group- "There are lots of positive things announced in the budget. Special funds for banks to finance long term infrastructure projects are really positive. FM increased the taxable income limit to 2.5 lakh from 2 lakh. 80 C limits increased to 1.5 lakh from Rs. 1 lakh. Interest exemption on housing loan increased from Rs1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh. This is very much positive for the real estate sector as well as for the banking sector. This will give the much needed impetus to the real estate sector and also increase the credit offtake of banks. government has announced Rs 7060 crore will be allocated for building smart cities and Rs 4000 crore for affordable housing via National Housing Bank. Government will also allocate Rs 1000 crore for irrigation scheme, to examine proposal to consider greater autonomy for public sector banks and for the developers as government gives transparency on REIT, on REIT is positive for company as it will help to monetise their commercial real estate assets."

David Walker, Executive Director SARE Homes – "The new Government has provided a balanced, insightful budget which clearly lays out a road map for development. The commitment to a stable and investor friendly tax regime, resolving disputes and blocked projects and various measures to simplify rules and regulations will give great confidence to investors and providers of capital, which is essential for India to achieve high growth. For the real estate sector, the increase in interest tax deductibility on home loans and that increase in limits for the priority lending is welcomed as it reduces the cost of finance. The introductions of REITs is also welcomed as it eliminates duplication of taxation and so will lower cost of finance. This will help developers attract long-term funds from foreign investor community."

Anil Kothuri, president & head, Retail Finance, Edelweiss- "While it is a placeholder till a full budget is presented in February next year, the budget establishes the intent of the government to kickstart the economy and lays down the foundation for its economic agenda. It broadly address four objectives – fiscal prudence, tax and financial sector reform, a commitment to the social sector and the creation of housing and infrastructure. There are several announcements that should provide a fillip to the creation of new housing, especially in semi urban and rural India. These include the development of satellite cities, incentives for REITs, an increase in allocation for Rural Housing to the NHB and an increase in the tax exemption for interest paid on home loans."

Anant Pandit, Apex Multicons- "The Finance Minister"s move to propose changes in the FDI for real estate, reduction in the built up area and putting a cap of USD 10 mn to USD 5 mn is a welcome move for the sector. The reduction in the built up area from 50,000 sq. mtr to 20,000 sq. mtr will provide an impetus to affordable housing as this will enable developers focused on affordable housing an access to FDI. The pass-through entity status for real estate investment trusts (REIT's) in the Indian market would pronounce a plethora of opportunities to developers and funds alongside addressing some sector specific issues of lack of transparency, organizing the real estate industry among others. The increase in the housing loan rebate from INR 1.5 lacs to INR 2 Lacs on self-occupied property would lead to an increase in disposable income which in turn will provide a conducive atmosphere that will encourage home ownership in the country."

Arindam Guha, senior director, Deloitte in India- "The budget has an allocation of Rs. 7,000 Crores for 100 smart cities (including upgrade of some existing cities) and also proposes expansion of the corpus of the Pooled Municipal Debt Obligation Facility from Rs. 5,000 Crores to Rs. 50,000 Crores with extension of the facility till 2019. With the Central Government share under the erstwhile JnNURM programme (2005-2012) being around Rs. 60,000 Crores, it is clear that the Government wants to continue to focus on the larger cities as in JnNURM which essentially focused on only 65 cities out of over 4,000 cities covered in Census 2011. Moreover, with a major share of the financing requirements proposed to be met through the Pooled Municipal Debt Obligation Facility which essentially operates on commercial lending principles, it remains to be seen whether municipalities are able to overcome their governance (for example, levy of user charges) and capacity constraints to utilize the available financing under this window. This represents a major departure from the erstwhile JnNURM programme which was based on a tripartite agreement between MoUD, the State Government and the municipality for achieving a set of minimum reforms in a time bound manner based on which grant financing support was made available."

Manoj Gaur, MD, Gaursons India Ltd- "This is a good budget for real estate sector in terms to increase the investment and housing demand. We had a lot of expectations with the government and they did well in some parts like development 100 smart cities with Rs 4000cr for affordable housing to NHB will definitely boost the moral also the government have announced the REITs which will help to reduce the money shortage of developers. The another part which will help the home buyers that home loan rate will reduce soon in near future and currently government have increased the tax exemption limit for interest payment on housing loan Rs 2 lac now. However nothing was mention on single window clearing and infrastructure status."

Vijay Jindal, CMD, SVP Group- "Good budget by Finance Minister as hoping by real estate. With these optimistic figures, now we can hope that real estate sector will write a new story of opportunities. The proposed budget is showing brand new sunshine towards positivity. Budget announced Rs 7060 Cr to develop 100 smart cities in India including Rs. 8000 Cr for rural housing scheme. These proposals will strengthen money liquidity as well as employment in the real estate industry. Union budget is also offering low cost housing loan and tax exemption from 1.5lac to 2lac along with motivational Rs 50,000 cr investment for urban infra projects which stimulate buyers and investors to put money in residential and commercial projects that will boost the industry upwards after long term slowness. REITs and FDI is the welcoming steps of the government."

Ravi Saund, COO, CHD Developers Ltd- "The new government's maiden budget claims to contain reform measures to revitalize growth and drive engines of the economy burgeoning again. Will this growth oriented budget withstand the test of time? There's no denying it's a common budget, yet it's difficult to prophesize at this moment. However, couple of reforms announced is a welcome move. It is positive for the housing sector, though the focus is clearly on affordable segment."

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