Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, read out the Union Budget 2016-17 this morning. He has provided for several exemptions and rebates in order to boost affordable housing and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). While there have been several misses, the real estate sector has hailed the Budget as it includes reforms which could boost the otherwise grim sector. 

Here are some of the experts reacting on the Budget announcements -

Abhishek Lodha, Managing Director, Lodha Group

The focus on affordable housing will give much-needed impetus to develop greater number of affordable housing projects across the country, thus, directly aligning the agenda with the prime minister’s vision of ‘Housing for All’. Increasing the limits on interest deduction on homes costing less than Rs 50 lakh and removing the Dividend Distribution Tax on REITs, both are welcome measures which will help boost the attractiveness of India's housing sector.

Sam Chopra- Founder & Chairman, RE/MAX India

With the first time home buyers getting an additional exemption of Rs 50,000 for housing loans up to 35 lacks, provided the value of the home doesn’t exceed 60 lacks; the affordable housing sector will get a big boost. The development of the new credit rating system for infrastructure will be of great benefit for the developers. Moreover, the budget has proposed outlay of Rs. 2.21 lakh crore on infrastructure development which will further boost the real estate sector as the development of roads and highways automatically increases the demands for the commercial, retail and residential real estate.

Announcements like exemption from service tax on construction of affordable houses up to 60 sq mt under any scheme including the PPP scheme, 100 per cent tax deduction for companies building houses up to 30 sq mt in four metro cities approved during June 2016 to March 2019 which are completed within 3 years of the approval etc will boost and help in the development of real estate market.

Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India

The Union Budget augers well for the real estate sector, having addressed Affordable Housing, REITs and Infrastructure. The housing sector will get a push from both supply and demand side. The first time home buyers will be encouraged since they get an additional deduction of Rs 50,000 on interest for loans up to Rs.35 lakh and a house value of Rs.50 lakh. In effect, it will reduce the cost of loan which will boost the demand for housing in the budget to mid segment. On the supply side, 100% exemption of profit for developers and exemption from service tax for construction of houses less than 650 sq feet will encourage supply in the affordable housing segment. REIT has finally got its due with the abolishment of the DDT that was holding back asset owners. This is a welcome move for the industry.

Surabhi Arora, Senior Associate Director, Colliers International India

The modernisation of land records under digital India initiatives is a welcome move. This will help in improving trust among various international players to invest. In the last two budgets, the Government has eased the path for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) listing in India by providing pass-through status for rental income and rationalising capital gains for the sponsors exiting at the time of listing of the units of REITs and InvITs, subject to payment of Securities Transaction Tax (STT). The budget 2016 has proposed to remove the dividend distribution tax on REITs. With most of the hurdles getting removed, we may see the introduction of REITs in Indian market soon.

Sanjay Dutt, Managing Director, India, Cushman & Wakefield

The Union Budget has placed greater thrust on Affordable housing and has brought about a much-needed cheer for the real estate sector. The finance minister’s announcement of 100 per cent deduction in tax from profits of affordable housing developers would increase their focus on the segment that has been largely ignored owing to business viability issues. The Centre also announced service tax exemption for construction of affordable housing (as per prescribed limits) under state and central housing scheme. These incentives for developers would help them focus on construction of affordable housing projects across metros and non-metros cities.

While the Union budget did not address the issues of Stamp Duty and Capital gains, the exemption of Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) for Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of REITS in the Union Budget is a welcome move. This move is likely to please the institutional investors who view India as an untapped market for this asset.

Navin M Raheja, CMD Raheja Developers, Chairman Advisory council on real estate, NAREDCO

This budget scores 8/10 in the affordable housing and Housing for All initiative which is still relatively new and unexplored segment. The continued focus and high budgetary allocation on infrastructure development always augurs well and has a domino effect for real estate, and helps increase both the depth and breadth of the market. The abolition of excise duty on RMC manufactured and consumed at site is a relief and eliminates unnecessary confusion and conflict. Lastly, the exemption of REITs from DDT is the right thing to do; it will favorably impact existing large commercial players to realize value, attract developers.

Aman Agarwal, Governing Council Member NAREDCO and Director, KV Developers

The budget is pragmatic, wide-ranging and inclusive given the emphasis on infrastructure development. It clearly lays focus on key areas of core sector growth, inclusion, fiscal far-sightedness and tax streamlining. We sincerely applaud the decisions made to boost the sector especially for the affordable category. However, we were expecting to get an infrastructure status in the budget. This would have allowed the sector reap some more benefits in terms of funding.

Amit Modi, Director ABA Corp and Vice President CREDAI Western UP

The Union Budget 2016 has been great on infrastructure, however, the same is the not true when it comes to real Estate and Housing! The Rs 97,000 crore for road construction was indeed the need of hour, but we would have liked the government to announce long pending demand of Single Window Clearance to bring in more transparency and Industry Status to real estate sector to avail legal low cost funding. Since big infrastructure projects always bring in huge economic multiplier effect for the whole country, both in terms of employment generation and for the ancillary industries we feel that it is a good budget with a lot more room for improvement.

Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India Ltd

100 per cent deduction for profits to an undertaking from a housing project for flats up to 30 sq mt in four metro cities and 60 sq mt in other cities will benefit developers in the low-cost housing space. Deduction for additional interest of Rs 50,000 per annum for loans up to Rs 35 lakh for houses under Rs 50 lakh will encourage low-end buyers to invest in property. Excise duty exemption on Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) will lower the cost for housing construction and, in turn, encourage builders to pass on the benefits to home buyers.

Amit K Lalit, CEO & Founder VALION, P.R.E.F.O

Budget announcement brings a positive streak though the sentiment for real estate sector may not change drastically by the measure. By introducing an additional deduction of Rs 50,000 in the Budget 2016, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has intended to bring a boost to the stressed residential sectors. The additional deduction given on interest for loan up to Rs 35 lakh for houses priced not be more than Rs 50 lakh was a much awaited impetus for the home buyers. Further, scrapping of dividend distribution tax (DDT) on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) will encourage greater inflow of capital to the real estate sector. Budget 2016 also opens a chance for the foreign investors to invest in lease rental generating assets, an asset class otherwise prohibited foreign investments. Such initiatives and steps are a welcome move for real estate sector.

Rajendra Kalkar, President (West), The Phoenix Mills Limited

The consumption growth in retail sector is bound to boom with the new proposed policy to allow shopping malls and small shops to stay open on all seven days of the week. This, by far, has been the most awaited policy change and would bring in more income to the sector. Exemption of Dividend Distribution Tax on Real Estate Investment Trusts is good news for the industry and major players. This is one forward step towards formation and sustenance of REITs in the country.

Anubhav Jain, Director, Silverglades

While it is a pro-poor and pro-growth Budget, there have been no major announcements for the real estate sector. Developers were looking forward to credit break and single-window clearance for projects, which the government has failed to announce. On the other hand, additional tax deduction of Rs 50,000 for houses up to Rs 50 lakh and no excise on RMC for self-consumption are positive initiatives to encourage affordable home buyers and developers.

Naveen Goel, MD, Casa Greens

The Budget is a big boost for affordable housing as the government has proposed for additional exemption of Rs 50,000 on housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh, provided the cost of the house is not above Rs 50 lakh for first time buyers.

Shivakshi Gogia, CEO, Ascent Group

The budget is good for affordable housing segment where no service tax has been proposed for houses up to 60 sq mt and more exemption has been provided for housing loan on properties priced under Rs 50 lakh.

Pawan Jasuja, Director, Finlace Consulting

For individual home buyers it is a good news to get additional exemption of Rs 50,000 on housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh per annum. 

Aman Singh Gehlot, Director, Ambience Group

The Union Budget 2016 has allowed 100 per cent deduction for profits to an undertaking from a housing project for flats up to 30 sq mt in four metro cities and 60 sq mt in other cities. This shows the government’s commitment towards its promise to provide housing for all by 2022. Other proposals in the budget like additional exemption of Rs 50,000 on housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh for purchase of houses costing up to Rs 50 lakh, service tax exemption for first time home buyers and the focus on affordable housing are likely to lift buyer sentiment in the real estate sector and give a much needed boost to sales of housing units.

Rattan Hawelia, Founder & Chairman, Hawelia Group

The budget was a mix for real estate with some hits and misses. Increase in limit of exemption of home loan interest for first time home buyers is surely a positive move for affordable housing which will boost the residential sector in many cities. But certain concerns and long pending demands were still not addressed. Scrapping of dividend distribution tax on REITs would certainly benefit the already stressed real estate sector.

Sanjeev Jain, CMD, Rishabh Group

The Budget was not satisfying for real estate sector especially at a time when the already struggling market required the much needed majors which would have boosted buyer confidence. By introducing an additional deduction provided on interest for housing loan for the first time home buyers is a welcome move which will boost affordable housing option. Also no service tax for houses built under 60 sq mt is encouraging for developers. But many issues such as GST, Real Estate Regulator and long pending demand of single window clearance and industry status have not been addressed.

Shrinivas Rao, CEO-APAC, Vestian

While the Union Budget 2016-17 was pro-rural India, it however underlined several initiatives to promote “Housing for All by 2022”. A tax rebate on rented houses to Rs 60,000 per annum from the existing Rs 24,000 per annum should give adequate relief to urban dwellers. However, looming issues like clarity on property insurance premiums/financial protection for home buyers during project delays or the introduction of GST for property registration have not been addressed by the Union Budget 2016-17.

With emphasis laid on the Government’s ‘Transform India’ theme, major reform measures like development of Greenfield ports, national waterways, amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act, opening up the road transport sector in passenger segment, upgradation of state highways to national highways and the re-development of un-served and under-served airstrips by the collaboration of Airports Authority of India in conjunction with private partnerships will constructively impact the employment outlook and business optimism in the medium to long term.

Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Housing

This government has finally walked the talk and has shown its seriousness for the affordable housing sector. The financial package they have announced will not only encourage but will also make new affordable housing projects financially viable. I welcome this long overdue move.

Rohan Bulchandani, Co-Founder & President, REMI

The Union Budget 2016 outlines infrastructure and skill development within the 9 pillars of the budget. There has been a tremendous effort towards boosting the demand side of the equation by a thrust on infrastructure spending and on improving investment in the real estate sector by the abolishment of the DDT on REITs. The allocation of Rs 2.18 lakh crores towards improving connectivity with railways and the road construction target is an additional boost to the infrastructure segment.  

Suresh Bhandari, President, ASHA 2022 by Essel Group 

We welcome Finance Minister’s decision of exempting Rs 50,000 on housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh, for the houses below Rs 50 lakh. This long awaited move will provide needed boost to the lower and middle income group who are currently subjected to a maximum deduction of Rs 2 lakh on the interest payable on 'self-occupied' house, under the head 'Income from House Property'.

Also, the immunity from service tax on housing up to 30 mt in the metros and 60 mt in other cities will further reduce the construction cost, thereby plummeting the prices in the affordable housing segment.

Rajesh Prajapati, MD, Prajapati Constructions

The FM has offered sops to the affordable housing front. There was a definite direction laid out in this budget towards implementing the ambitious Housing for All by 2022. It is probably the first time that affordable housing has been defined in terms of size and not value of flat. It seems that the housing industry is finally being deservedly recognized as one of the major contributor to the GDP of the nation. 

The exemption of service tax on construction of houses up to 60 sq mt is a welcome step. This will provide relief to a section of home buyers opting for 1RK/1BHK/small 2BHK flats. Similarly, the additional deduction of Rs 50,000 on interest payment for first home buyers on house value of up to Rs 50 lakhs is a welcome step. However it will have limited impact as it leaves out a large section of home buyers in Metro cities. It would have been better if the Government would have extended this additional tax exemption for homes valued at Rs one crore for tax deductions in Metro cities. We hope that the commercial, office and retail market will benefit from REITs as tax exemption from DDT to SPVs as well as funds will give a boost to these funds and facilitate easy flow of much needed funds.

Sriram Mahadevan, Business Head - Happinest, Mahindra Lifespaces

It is heartening to note how the government has taken cognizance of the importance of the Affordable Housing segment towards making ‘Housing for All by 2022’ a possibility. This budget provides some of the long standing stimulus needed to drive growth in the segment. Additional exemption of Rs 50,000 on housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh for first time home buyers (on homes that cost up to Rs 50 lakh) coupled with exemption of service tax on construction of affordable houses up to 60 sq mt will reduce the cost of home ownership for the price-sensitive affordable home buyer. Overall, these are supportive policies in the right direction that can boost consumer confidence and spur development in the segment.

Venkatesh Gopalkrishnan, President and CIO, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate

The exemptions provided on housing loan interest for first time home buyers and affordable housing would provide a boost to the stressed residential sector and is likely to spur demand and supply of affordable homes. Scrapping of dividend distribution tax on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) would help developers to raise funds, as this makes investments attractive for investors. It is considered to be one of the biggest hurdles left in making REITs financially viable for Indian commercial stakeholders. With most of the hurdles getting removed, we may see introduction of REITs in the Indian market soon. 

Rajesh Goyal, Vice President CREDAI-Western UP & MD, RG Group

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Budget 2016 by acknowledging that the Global Economy is in crisis and stressed on the need to develop our rural areas. The Budget compliments the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna that envisages the Mission of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 as it proposes 100 per cent deduction on profits to undertakings for construction of affordable housing and Service Tax waiver on purchase of houses of less than 60 sq mt. These two moves will prove to be revolutionary as this will cause extra cash flow for the developers and lure them to invest in Tier III and IV cities, which were often neglected in the past.

Avneesh Sood, Director, EROS Group

There has been considerable push provided to the basic infrastructure in the country which will provide the much needed cushion for real estate to prosper. Take for example, the sum of Rs 97,000 crore being kept aside for the construction of highways, both national and state along with rural road development. We all know that improved connectivity will help and encourage developers promote real estate even in the far flung regions and hence this decision will prove to be a great asset in the years to come.

Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Homz and President, CREDAI-Western UP

This budget is a clear indication that the government now wants to work seriously on its affordable housing initiative. The impetus was there but the push was missing but now with benefits attached both for developers and buyers, it is sure to be a hit. It can be said that tax exemption to developers from the profits earned on an affordable housing project will attract more and more of them and similarly exempting customers on the service to be paid by them during the purchase will make these house more affordable for them.

Ashok Gupta, CMD, Ajnara India Ltd 

The budget along with the clear agenda of targeting the affordable housing segment also had the middle class in mind wherein the tax exemption on HRA has been increased from the initial Rs 24,000 to Rs 60,000. This will go a great way in helping a family actually utilising the allowance which was earned in the form of HRA. Additionally, this will give them the option of sparing more for house rent and hence increasing the demand for rental housing in the sector. Increased demand will mean increased number of investors showing interest and an overall upliftment of the sector. 

Navin Makhija, Managing Director, The Wadhwa group

The real estate industry, which had pinned high hopes on Union Budget 2016 for revival has welcomed this proposal. The budget’s direction is positive with several macro factors making way for a better economic regime. The proposal to provide additional exemption of Rs 50,000 for housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh is quite optimistic. However, few more amendments in the residential housing sector would have worked out better for the sector. But we hope there is a strong reinforcement in the real estate industry this year. 

Anuj Goel, Executive Director, KDP Infrastucture Private Limited

The budget is positive and balanced. Exemptions on home loan interest rates for first time buyers and for affordable housing will optimize the homebuyer sentiments. It will also encourage the customer to take decision to buy their dream home and will also boost the affordable housing segment and real estate sector as a whole. Scrapping of dividend distribution tax on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) is a welcoming step. The reduction in service tax for houses built under 60 sq mt will lead to only positive growth of the sector.

Aman Nagar, Director, Paras Buildtech

Overall the budget’s direction is positive with several macro factors making way for a better economic regime. However, with the consecutive bad years for real estate there were few facets been ignored as the expectations were high. Exemptions provided on Housing loan interest for first time home buyers and affordable housing is really appreciating move. Investment plan of 970 billion rupees ($14.1 billion) on building roads will help to complete work more quickly which would further help in urbanization of places and development of various real estate projects. The proposed real estate bill on REITs will revive the realty sector in India.

Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Powerprojects 

The Government’s plans to meet the fiscal target is a welcome move as this will allow reduction in interest rates which will benefit all sectors of the economy. The focus on infrastructure spending through Deendayal Upadhayaya Gram Jyoti Yojna and the Integrated Power Development Schemes is clearly visible with a massive outlay of Rs 221,246 crore for 2016-17. The thrust on connecting the unconnected by May 1, 2018, augurs well for the Country and the sector along with the ‘ease of business’ will catch the attention of the investors for the sectors. This would be another significant goal post that government would have scaled, once UDAY is successfully implemented. 

Faizal Kottikollon, Chairman, KEF Holdings

The Union Budget for 2016-17 certainly looks to be a step in the right direction towards addressing some of the most pressing challenges in India, especially in the area of rural development, which forms one of the nine reform pillars identified by the Finance Ministry. Looking at the big push towards infrastructure spending, the allocation of Rs 2.18 trillion for the building of roads and railways, will particularly drive the much-needed development in the country.

In addition, the dedicated dispute redressal body for issues related to public-private partnership infrastructure projects will help alleviate concerns that are currently deterring foreign and domestic private investors in this sector. Another notable reform measure that supports overall development is the rationalization of customs and excise duty rates to boost the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, which will greatly benefit companies in India that import global expertise and machinery.

Shailesh Puranik, Managing Director, Puranik Builders Pvt Ltd

We support wholeheartedly the Finance Minister for some of the measures he has taken to boost affordable housing by making provisions like 100 per cent deduction to undertaking for construction of affordable housing and additional tax deduction on interest paid for loan amount on homes less than Rs 50-lakh. The Finance Minister has also addressed the issue of REIT through the exemption of dividend distribution tax. However, the Finance Minister could have done much more for the real estate sector-for example, the sector has been clamouring for industry status since long but in today’s Budget there was no mention of this. Similarly, the issue of a single-window clearance system which would have tremendously benefitted the realty sector was also left unaddressed.

Gaurav Gupta, General Secretary, CREDAI RNE

The budget is a balanced and a growth oriented budget. Strong Push has been given to affordable housing by incentivizing developers of 100 per cent Income Tax exemption on construction of houses up to 30 sq. meters in metros and 60 sq mt in non-metros. With a proposal of zero service tax on this, it will go a long way in creating enough housing stock where demand actual exists. Developers too will be motivated to construct as Income tax exemption is a must in thin margin affordable housing projects. By introducing an additional deduction of Rs 50,000 on interest for loan up to Rs 35 lakh, Finance Minister has given some reason to cheer to the first time home buyers. A major relief is that no excise will be levied on RMC produced at the construction site. Demand for industry status, raising limit on Interest repayment from 2 lakh to 4 lakh remain unheard which was looked upon with high hopes from the entire sector.

Manoj Gaur, President CREDAI NCR

Union budget 2016 has focused on some key issues which is positive for real estate sector. In some major declarations made in the budget regarding affordable housing, it is clear that government is keen to give a boost to affordable housing segment, being also in lined with government’s initiative to provide housing to all by 2022.  100 per cent Service tax exemption has been given to make houses up to 30 sq mt in 4 metros and up to 60 sq mt in others. We believe that his policy for affordable segment will benefit the home buyers, especially the middle and lower income group. Increased tax rebate to 60000 will benefit those living in rented houses in a big way. Certain issues related to direct and indirect taxes have been addressed which is good. The biggest disappointment was that the real estate did not get the infrastructure status which was long pending demand of this sector.

Sanjay Rastogi, Director Saviour Builders Pvt. Ltd.

With a fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent, government had come up with a very growth oriented and a balanced budget which may fetch positive results in long run. There have been some major announcements for Realty sector which are good for both customers as well as developer community. Our long pending demand for Real estate regulator and single window approval has not been addressed which is quiet disappointing. But, the move to improve the affordable housing segment through tax exemptions is commendable. Rent-givers have also increased tax exemption limit of Rs 60000 which was earlier subjected to Rs 20000 only. Furthermore, infrastructure development has been assigned a decent amount which eventually will benefit real estate.

Om Chaudhry, Founder & CEO of FIRE Capital and Chairman & CEO of Astrum Value Homes

We had lot of hopes from the budget, some of which have been fulfilled while others remain unmet. On the whole, the demands of real estate sector have not been fully met and budget has fallen short on our expectations. There have been some important subjects which have been touched by the government satisfactorily. Affordable housing has been addressed suitably by giving 100 per cent deduction to entities to make houses up to 30 sq mt in 4 metros and up to 60 sq mt in others. First-time home buyers will now be getting an additional deduction of Rs 50,000 on interest for loan upto Rs 35 lakh where the cost of house should not exceed Rs 50 lakh. Such steps will boost the housing demand and will reduce the burden on the pockets of home buyers. No clarity on implementation of GST and RERA bill is again a setback for the sector.

Anil Kumar Tulsiani, CMD, Tulsiani Constructions & Developers Pvt. Ltd.

There have been some important declarations in the budget for real estate sector but many of our demands still remain pending. Industry status, GST and RERA bill, single window clearance system were looked upon with high hopes from the entire sector but have not been fulfilled. Well-thought decisions on affordable housing have been taken to boost the demand in this segment. Announcement to set 300 urban clusters under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission and allocation of funds for infrastructural development are other positive reforms for realty sector.

Suresh Garg, Secretary, CREDAI Western UP

There have been slew of reforms which have been taken up in this budget session. Real estate too has got its share from the budget but still there are few demands which are waiting to get a final nod. To boost affordable housing which is in line with the government objective to provide housing to all, tax exemptions have been given. DDT is also now exempt from REITS which is a positive announcement for realty sector. Rent-payers and first time home buyers have also been considered and their tax deduction limit has been enhanced.  These measures will benefit realty sector in a big way but still a lot was expected from budget which was not fulfilled.

Sanjaya Gupta, MD, PNB Housing Finance Limited

The FM presented a very finely balanced budget. So far, as the housing sector is concerned, the Union Budget for the 2016-17 is in line with Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Housing for all’ by 2022. Tax reforms made by the government are indicative of centre’s seriousness towards giving a much required fillip to the housing sector. The industry has been expecting initiatives that can directly translate into benefits for the end consumer, thus increasing the velocity of transaction and improving the market sentiment. The additional tax exemption of Rs 50,000 for the first time home buyers is certainly a welcome move. With this we expect a spur in sales and far greater traction of growth in the affordable housing segment.

Kashi Nath Shukla, Chairman Managing Director, Tashee Group

The government has finally realized that ease of doing business has to become realism to spruce up the GDP. The freedom for affordable housing projects would bring in a 15-20% benefit on profits after giving the MAT tax and for a real estate developer building up such a project would make it easier to draw foreign and domestic investment for housing projects.

Vikram Kotnis, Founder and Managing Director, Amura Marketing Technologies Pvt Ltd

The budget delivers a good move for the low income group, below 60 sq mt, in the affordable housing segment as it eases out the service tax. 100 per cent exemption of profit for developers and exemption from service tax for construction of houses less than 650 sq ft will spur new launches in the affordable segment. The demand for the mid-income segment is high and tax collected by the government from this sector is 10-14 per cent, hence the budget could have provided a relief in service tax for 80-90 sq mt segment (compact 2BHK).

Sandeep Ahuja, CEO, Richa Realtor

Tax waivers on affordable housing is a big positive move. A similar move last time had triggered a boom in Real Estate market and can have a similar impact this time too. In addition to this, service tax exemption and additional deduction of Rs 50,000 on income tax in case of first property will add to the overall demand in affordable housing. Exemption in DDT on REITs will help developers raise funds and improve liquidity in the market.

Arjunpreet Singh Sahni, ED, Solitairian Group

After the last two years of disappointments this budget has definitely paved the way for increased footfalls of first time homebuyers in the market with its provision of additional deduction of Rs 50000 on home loan interest rate on the loan upto Rs 35 lakh. Moreover, the government’s decision of allocating  Rs 1000 crore fund for paying EPF of new employees till 3 years of their service may also provide additional disposable income to the new employees which will definitely help in generating their interest in investing in property with the help of home loans.

Mahesh M, CEO, ISHANYA & Housl!fe

A stronger focus on Infrastructure development combined with adequate thrust on skill development will hopefully result in better productivity by us as a nation. Trust that the ease of doing business as articulated in the budget will encourage industry to raise their involvement levels and expand their horizons, geographically and otherwise. This will enable a more impactful contribution to the Economy. Let us hope that ‘simplification ‘becomes a key word in the process, encouraging various sectors to open up at a rapid pace.

Ankur Jindal, COO - Sales, SVP Group

‘Housing for all’ became the real estate focus of the budget today. The direct and indirect tax benefits for affordable housing should boost the government’s smart city initiative. Additional deduction of interest would incentivise the first time home buyers to buy their dream home. The REIT/InvIT market should finally take off now that the finance minister has granted dividend distribution tax exemption. Now people can go for retirement homes, with a loan up to 35 lacs.

Vishal Gupta, MD, Ashiana Housing Ltd

The budget would promote the real estate sector, especially the affordable housing. An overall tax simplification has been provided for lot of us doing business here. This budget is going to boost the stressed housing sector. The exemptions provided on housing loan interest for first time home buyers is a great incentive to the real estate sector. In a relief to common man, the budget provides no Service Tax for houses built under 60 sq mt, besides offering additional exemption of Rs 50,000 for housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh, provided cost of house is not above Rs 50 lakh.

J.C. Sharma, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Sobha Limited

In the given economic environment, this Budget is overall balanced and is growth oriented with immense capacity to unlock the initiatives taken by this Government. As far as the housing sector is concerned, it has come out to be the primary beneficiary. While cars, luxury items, jewellery, travelling, dining, tobacco have all become costlier housing sector has gained the much needed attention.