New Delhi, January 25, 2022:
Aditya Chamaria, MD, Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited
We expect the Government to introduce measures in this Union budget 2022-23 which will help to improve the potential of ropeways, boost tourism and enhance urban transport connectivity. GST on ropeways currently is at 18%, which is higher than that on air travel at 5% (economy) 12% (Business class), Railways (5%), Highway Tolls (0%). In fact, ropeways should be treated at least at par with Railways where the GST is 5% with input tax credit, because, they cater to all sections of society. Even this tax reduction will go a long way in boosting the industry and making it more viable to operate Ropeways without having to raise ticket prices to offset the increases in all other input costs. The ropeway projects are mostly situated in hilly areas, and the cross section of consumer availing the services comes from the average earning socio-economic class of people and a large % are villagers going on a pilgrimage. For ease of doing business and fast-tracking new / proposed projects, especially for tourism or Urban transport systems, support from government is needed. in streamlining the process of licensing, permits in construction of ropeway and cable car projects and even those under O&M. The Subsidies like those proposed for Varanasi project of 30 – 40% is a step in the right direction, and is needed to bolster this necessary industry. We are witnessing that larger number of tenders are being floated, but government is still focused on promoting CEN standards (European) for validating a ropeway project. Indian BIS standards have been upgraded recently and are very much at par with the CEN standards. Our recommendation to the authorities is to bring some kind of hybrid model for certification. Benefits of this hybrid model will go long way, as it will significantly reduce the cost of the overall projects by atleast 15% to 39% without any compromise on the standards of safety or quality. This will ultimately translate into faster RoI, more companies participating in the tenders and ultimately the pricing of tickets born by the customers.
Pradeep Aggarwal, Co-Founder & Chairman, Signature Global and Chairman – ASSOCHAM National Council on Real Estate, Housing and Urban Development
In the Union Budget 2021-22, we expect the Government to double the amount of fund allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to enable more people to realize the dream of owning a home and help the Government achieve the goal of Housing for All by 2022. Finance Minister will have to pay attention to the Input Tax Credit, reduce the GST to single-digit on building material, and continue tax holiday for affordable housing developer.
Mr.Amarjit Bakshi, CMD, Central Park
As the government is making all efforts to minimise the pandemic’s impact on economy and give it a boost, there is a need to spur consumer demand and give the realty sector a big shot in the arm. The sector needs focused measures to further bolster demand in 2022. The demands go beyond getting infrastructure status; credit availability for the under-construction projects, more focus on SWAMIH, and more exemptions to buyers. We hope that Central and State Governments will work on reducing GST, circle rates, and stamp duty.
Mr. Ankit Kansal, Founder & MD, 360 Realtors
After a prolonged period of demand downcycle, and COVID-triggered lockdown, Indian real estate stands at the cusp of quick recovery. Despite fears of Omicron looming large, the industry is well-placed to cope with the crisis. Meanwhile, it is also imperative for the government to help the supply side through deeper and wider policy reforms such as interest subsidies to developers, faster mechanisms to obtain clearance and reduced GST rates. Likewise, the budget should also take prudent steps to boost demand in the form of increased tax subsidies, lowering of stamp duty, etc. This will be pivotal since Indian real estate is a mission-critical sector in terms of the government’s long-term agenda to achieve a USD 5 trillion economy.
Rajat Goel, JMD MRG World
Affordable Housing sector has been given the infrastructure status, but the implementation has not been up to the mark. We hope that the Budget will address the issue of making cheaper land available in main cities to develop affordable housing. Apart from that, income tax benefits must also increase, which will help in more investment in real estate. Apart from this, the Government should reduce the GST to a single digit on building materials like steel, cement etc and contractor service, among others.
Harpal Singh Chawla, Director, Spaze Group
The Budget should focus on the commercial segment, which has the potential to attract foreign investment and FDI. The granting of infrastructure status to the entire real estate sector is at the forefront as it will help attract more investment. The finance minister has to balance fiscal prudence and the urgent needs of the sector. Also, this Budget must also aim to increase the present savings limit so that the young population gets a higher spending power and look at the real estate sector as an investment avenue.
Amit Modi, Director, ABA Corp & President (Elect), CREDAI Western UP
We are undergoing the third wave of a global pandemic, and real estate sector being one of the largest employing sectors of the nation has so much to fulfill and achieve. Availability of affordable home loans and the importance of owning a home are two major driving factors for revival. However, there still remains certain aspect which needs government’s attention especially as the Union Budget 2022-23 draws near. One of the most long-standing demand being ‘Industry Status to Real Estate Sector’, not having an ‘industry status’ becomes difficult for real estate sector to avail legitimate finances from banks and other financial institutions. It will help in getting low cost loans from the system, and then the cost benefit with regard to high interest loans from outside the system can be further moved on to the end-users. We also expect that the input credit regime should be brought back into the GST regime as far as the Residential real estate is concerned. With all the benefits being passed on to the homebuyers, if it gets implemented the benefits achieved will make the entire homebuying process affordable. It will also shield both buyers and developers from the cost implications of fluctuating cost of raw materials. Developing a home is a huge responsibility, and it takes in a lot of efforts from developers, authorities must address the long-standing demands from the developer community which include Single Window Clearance to facilitate faster deliveries and project completions, exemption limit on Interest on Home loan, for supporting millions of first time buyers across the nation, and Principal Deduction Rules Under Section 80 C to be implemented. This will make sure that the deduction of principal amount of housing loan repaid would not be clubbed with other deductions under Section 80C. Alternatively, the limit under Section 80C should be increased to Rs 3 lakhs.
Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Group
The market sentiment in real estate is much more positive this year when compared to the two pandemic years gone by. Owning a home is the best possible asset in present times due to the long term capital appreciation. Amid the third wave, it is the perfect time to provide industry status to the real estate sector.
This will give developers ease of availing cheaper credit facilities from financial institutions and banks. Terminating stamp duty and registration charges in the gamut of GST would be highly acknowledged. The sector is counting on government; we hope that the Budget will help people to have more buying power by increasing their disposable incomes. Due to WFH, the commercial segment has suffered the brunt so it is eagerly waiting for sops that could help in overcoming the after effects of multiple lockdowns and curfews.
Navdeep Sardana, CMD Whiteland Corporation
Our expectations from the Union Budget 2022-23 will be related to real estate sector being awarded the infrastructure status. The status will help the sector achieve multiple tax benefits to boost foreign and local investment. The investments from international institutional funds will be exempted from taxes, as they will be termed infrastructure funds. This will eventually reduce borrowing rates for the developer fraternity, which is already marred by unsold inventories and higher costs of credit. A GST waiver for under-construction properties and incentives for private investment in the housing sector will reap far reaching benefits. We sincerely hope these recommendations are considered in the upcoming budget.
Dhiraj Jain, Director, Mahagun Group
Being one of the core sectors of the economy, the real estate sector is still waiting to be granted infrastructure status. We expect this year’s Budget to increase the tax limit or increase the limit of the property value so that savings on taxation gets increased and the real estate sector gets more attention of buyers.
Kushagr Ansal, President CREDAI Haryana & Director, Ansal Housing
The real estate sector is also adopting and modernising itself day by day by implementing noble concepts like Green building. Budget 2019-20 must provide special incentives to the developers and projects offering eco-friendly concepts. It is time that real estate gets infrastructure status that will enable developers to raise funds at lower rates and reduce their cost of capital, which would eventually have a bearing on overall project cost.
Dhiraj Bora, Head Corporate Communication, Paramount Group
Right now, the sector is going through a phase where buyers are showing an inclination towards real estate assets. To smoothen the path, the Government must announce tax sops and rate cuts that may entice buyers.
Yash Miglani, MD, Migsun group
The housing sector is a key indicator of the country’s economic growth; it is not only a form of easy investment, but also helps in employment generation. There is an urgent need for the Government to support developers. We are looking forward to the infrastructure status of the real estate sector along with steps to bring in ease of doing business to help the sector.