The budget speech indicated further progress on the Direct Tax Code (DTC) as well as the GST – both critical measures, which is a welcome move. Though, I feel that it would have been better for the industry if GST was also rolled out along with the DTC.
For the Union Budget 2011-12, rising inflation, tight liquidity, high interest rate, industrial slowdown, delayed reforms and negative market sentiment were some of the key concerns to address.
Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI), most prominent body of the real estate developers today described the Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as “Budget with few positive steps focused on the common man who is interested in buying a house in rural and urban areas”.
The Budget is relying heavily on maintaining the trajectory of growth in the economy to provide solutions for inclusive growth that touch the ‘Aam Aadmi’ and parallelly stressing on governance aspects, which hopefully will be covered separately through concrete action plans to deal with the menace of unaccounted wealth. The trend for consolidation is expected to continue.
The budget of 2011-12 has certainly given due importance to the affordable sector. The current scheme of interest subvention on 1 percent on housing loans is now extended to Rs 15 lakhs where the cost should not exceed 25 lakh.
It would seem that the Union Budget 2011 pointedly ignored the larger issues affecting the Indian real estate sector at this sensitive stage of revival and growth.
We are happy with the governments focus on affordable housing. Loan amount that qualifies under priority sector lending. Now, a home loan of Rs. 25 lakh would qualify as priority sector lending.
The unfulfilled demand of more than 24 million houses in the country needs large scale impetus to achieve desired results. Allowing deduction for investment into affordable housing is a welcome step and will surely boost morale of housing industry and will accelerate investments in affordable housing.
Affordable Housing development is expected to be encouraged with the announcement of a new Housing Mortgage Guarantee Fund which will cover the risk of Housing Finance Companies for lending to less advantaged sections of society.
The move to increase the priority housing loan limit to Rs 25 lakh was a positive one that will lead to increasing the base of home loan takers and thereby a boost for affordable housing.