Key expectations from Budget 2018

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Salving the wounds of economic reforms, the Budget 2018 is expected to give due attention to infrastructure and housing sector.

The Hon’ble Finance Minister has focused on different aspects of the economy in the previous Budgets, however, this time it is expected that the upcoming Budget 2018 doles out significant attention to infrastructure and housing sector to boost the nation’s GDP.

Moving ahead from the previous budget, when Affordable Housing was given infrastructure status, further sweeteners are expected to encourage private sector real estate developers and induce the much-needed push to accomplish the target of ‘Housing for All by 2022”. We have seen positive moves in form of the eight models for Public Private Partnership which were recently unveiled by the Honourable Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. Initiatives such as these, along with ‘ease of doing business’ should go a long way in ensuring the upcoming Budget is the right one for India, especially given the current economic scenario.

For real estate, is undergoing a transitory phase and challenging times - the government has implemented reforms in real estate: Demonetisation, RERA, GST and Bankruptcy Law. Some refer to these as challenges, however, experts term these as ‘the tsunamis’ – and these tsunamis effectively, have slowed down the ‘buying’ decision. Almost all home seekers have been in a ‘wait and watch’ mode since past few months or have exited the market.

To alleviate the impact of the reformatory moves undertaken in the past, it is important to look beyond public and private sectors as separate. Creating homes for India’s home seekers is something we have heard our leaders speak about over the years, and the private sector in Indian Real Estate has always stood by the Indian Government and supported the various initiatives that have been mooted. Thus, government should also come up with measures and policies that work in favour of the private players and not only superficially but also realistically, offers support.

The objective of ‘Housing for All’ will not be achieved only by the private sector or the public sector; rather it will be the partnership model – PPP – which will help achieve this goal. The fundamental strategy underlying Public Private Partnership as an implementation strategy for affordable housing is to combine the strengths of the private sector with those of the public sector in order to overcome challenges faced by affordable housing and to achieve superior outcomes, and I hope the Budget bears this out.

From the industry’s perspective, ensuring the PPP model works will also require not just ‘ease of doing business’ but also enhanced transparency in taxation, reduction in the cascading of taxes as also GST bringing in a single rate of taxation on real estate, across the country. We have seen positive moves in form of the eight models for Public Private Partnership which were recently unveiled by the Hon’ble Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. Initiatives such as these, along with ‘ease of doing business’ should go a long way in ensuring the upcoming Budget is the right one for India, especially given the current economic scenario.

 

 

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