Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today presented Union Budget 2017 and reacting to that Surendra Hiranandani, CMD, House of Hiranandani, called it as ‘reform oriented budget’ in which the expenditure was well directed towards economic growth and development, especially in rural areas. Hiranandani said, “It (budget) also reflected the government’s concern and priority to improve the investment climate with a view to stimulate growth. The massive push for improvement in infrastructure including record capital expenditure for roads, railways will indirectly benefit the real estate sector in the long run.”
Welcoming the move to grant infrastructure status for affordable housing, Hiranandani said that it will act as a catalyst to the government’s vision of ‘Housing for All by 2022’.
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He further added that along with tax rebates for the salaried class which will lead to higher disposable income and interest subventions this can be a potential winner in the long run. However, he raised his concern that the government should redefine affordable housing clearly keeping in view the different geographies in India.
Hiranandani marked the decision to tax capital gains on Joint Development Agreement upon completion of the project as a significant move. However, he also said that this might require more clarity so as to avoid litigation which is bound to happen given the current ambiguity.
Further adding Hiranandani said that a major impediment to real estate development in India remains the approval process and while the government has done a lot to ease the functioning of the real estate sector and protect the consumers, it must get the statutory authorities responsible for clearing the projects within the purview of law.
Hiranandani also highlighted other major concern remains that corporate taxes and dividend distribution tax remains the highest in the world. “We hope this is addressed in the future to attract more investments in the corporate sector,” he said.