‘Widen affordable housing bracket, give tax benefits’

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Gurgaon: City-based developers, looking at a robust housing demand revival this year, expect widening of the affordable housing bracket to include houses priced more than Rs 45 lakh in the upcoming Union Budget 2022.
Measures to boost affordable and mid-income housing by extension of the cost bracket and expansion of tax benefit for first-time buyers, sops for developers engaged in affordable and rental housing projects, and industry status for the sector are the key expectations. “The sector’s long-standing demand to widen the definition of affordable housing to include houses priced over 45 lakh in big metro cities is expected to be fulfilled this time. Also, industry status for the sector will help it access cheaper funding, said Ramesh Nair, CEO (India) and managing director (market development, Asia) at real estate management company Colliers.
He said the government’s support in the form of liquidity infusion, fiscal support and reform-driven investments is timely to keep the real estate sector, amongst others, remain afloat and recover.
Dhruv Agarwala, group CEO of Housing.com, Makaan.com and Proptiger.com, too said the sector needs aid from the Centre. “The realty sector is still plagued with two problems — unsold inventories and stalled projects. To deal with the challenges, the sector needs a hike in the corpus of the government-backed stress fund, SWAMIH, to at least Rs 1 lakh crore. This will help in completion of stuck projects and help regain consumers’ trust,” he said.
Amarjit Bakshi, chairman and managing director of Gurgaon-based developer Central Park, said they also need credit availability for under-construction projects and more exemptions for buyers. “We hope that the government will work on reducing GST, circle rates and stamp duty,” he added.
“We expect the government to double the amount of fund allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Attention to input tax credit, reducing GST on building materials and tax holiday for affordable housing developers are needed,” said Pradeep Aggarwal, chairman of realtor Signature Global Group and of industry body Assocham’s National Council on Real Estate, Housing and Urban Development.
Rajat Goel, joint managing director of MRG World, another realtor, said the government should address the issue of making cheaper land available in major cities for affordable housing. “Apart from that, income tax benefits must also be increased, which will help bring in more investment in real estate,” he added.
Credit Source – https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/widen-affordable-housing-bracket-give-tax-benefits/articleshow/88886205.cms

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