WISH LIST - BUDGETING ON GOOD SENSE
Developers are expectant that the government, this time round, accords the sector `infrastructure' status, which would open the flood gates to investments and funds at competitive rates.
Discussions around the real estate bill must reach a positive conclusion which will give homebuyers confidence to return to the market and deal with responsible builders. GST bill, too, is on the radar of market watchers, who say that it would eliminate multiple levels of taxation and bring down cost of projects, which could be passed on to buyers. Reform of the lengthy approval process would facilitate speedy project execution, they say, while arguing for raising present limit on the principle and interest amount of home loan repayments for individual buyers, as this would make it easier for people to purchase their dream homes.
Raj Singh Gehlot, CMD of Ambience Group, says: “It is time SEBI approves the structure of REITs in the country. This Budget session would be crucial: we would appreciate a few changes like reduction in the current minimum stock size and minimum investment amount. Also, provisions should be brought in to allow investment in residential real estate as well, which till now is limited to commercial real estate only.“
Anil Sharma, CMD of Amrapali Group, says: “The interest rate on retail loans should be brought down between 6.5% and 7%. For affordable housing, loans should be provided for acquiring land and external commercial borrowings (ECB) be allowed for the housing sector also.“
Prashant Solomon, MD of Chintels India, said: “The country's real estate stands in anticipation of a lot from this year's annual Budget. There are few pointers though which need immediate attention and that would include the awarding of the much awaited industry status and allowing single-window clearance for approvals. Industry status once accorded will mean cheaper loans for developers and work flow becoming much more realistic. Single-window clearances will mean timely approvals and allow developers to avoid unnecessary delays in their promises of delivery time frames.“ Rakesh Yadav, chairman of Antriksh India, said: “A major miss of the last year was GST, whose implementation will basically work on three major elements for this sector--simplification of tax structure, reduction in construction costs, and enhanced transparency. We are predicting a nationwide realty sector growth by almost 1520% than projected in the course of the next 5-7 years. There will be a quick reaction towards the sector by customers, as demand is bound to increase due to reducing costs and improving transparency in the sector that has been the major hurdle so far.“
Dinesh Jain, MD of Exotica Housing, says: “The government must focus on and ensure smooth operation of the Budget session this year and try to pass as many bills as possible, as the market sentiments will be determined, to a large extent, how this session directs the course for this sector. Major issues like RERA, GST, land acquisition bill, industry status, etc, are extremely important for this sector to grow and perform. This government has left no stones unturned in announcing mega plans for the future, but these can only fructify through the implementation of the above mentioned bills and policies.“