Union Budget 2018: With a keen eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the much-awaited budget 2018 earlier today in the Lok Sabha. The budget managed to fulfill dreams of rural India and gave a much-needed boost to empower women in the country. The budget also had provisions that effect an increase in the prices of mobile phones and televisions with an increase customs duty from 15% to 20%. However, the budget giving the real estate sector almost a miss was notable. Yet, it did shed some light on the prospects of the sector for the next fiscal year. Biggies of the real estate sector have lauded the government’s initiative with respect to the affordable housing fund in the National Housing Bank.
Here are how hot-shots of the real estate industry reacted to Budget 2018:
Niranjan Hiranandani, President, NAREDCO: Hiranandani welcomed the budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. From the perspective of real estate, he rated the budget 3/5 and also welcomed the government’s move of an affordable housing fund in the National Housing Bank The NAREDCO chief also appreciated the move by the government towards Suburban Railways in Mumbai. The government has decided to get Rs 11,000 crore to the project. He said, “Improved railway network and accessibility generally have a positive multiplier effect on real estate.”
Manoj Gaur, Vice President CREDAI-National & MD, Gaurs Group: Welcoming this year’s union budget, Manoj Gaur said that heavy allocation of funds towards infrastructure upgradation will help the nation’s development. However, he did share his concerns about the budget. He said that presentation missed on providing the much-needed cushion to the realty sector. Since the budget 2018 was the first after the implementation of RERA and GST, Gaur said he had hoped for certain incentives for this sector. He did welcome the government’s commitment to achieve ‘housing for all’ by 2022.
Deepak Kapoor, President CREDAI-Western U.P. & Director, Gulshan Homz: Deepak Kapoor welcomed the government’s move towards MSMEs. Kapoor said that the budget may not have addressed the tax structure for the general masses, but it did provide benefits to MSMEs. Kapoor said that government’s move to extend the corporate tax rate of 25 percent for companies with an annual revenue up to Rs. 250 crore is much appreciated. The reduced tax burden on corporates might allow real estate to see new start-ups and increase job opportunities.
Gaurav Gupta, General Secretary CREDAI-Ghaziabad & Director, SG Estates: Gupta noted the focus on job-creation in the infrastructure sector in the Union Budget 2018. He also said that though there wasn’t any direct benefit accorded to the realty sector this time, the proposal to develop 4 lakh kilometers of road and upgrading rural infrastructure will greatly bring up the Tier 2 and 3 cities of India on the realty map. Gupta said this will help boost housing demand and investment opportunities for those regions.
Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific Group: The Pacific group chief was optimistic about the government’s interest towards enhancing infrastructure in the country by proposing an amount of Rs. 50 lakh crore. He did, however, mention that the real estate sector missed out on any direct incentive, but hoped that better infrastructure and connectivity will pave way for greater housing and commercial demand in the developing regions.
Dikshu C Kukreja, Urban Planner, Architect & Expert on Infrastructure: Kukreja said, “The allocation of 50 lakh crores in the budget 2018 towards infrastructure is welcomed as it is a necessity for India to remain firmly on a development path.” He further continued by stating, “Good infrastructure is the foremost requirement if we expect any kind of foreign investments and for the success of Indian business and industry.”