Budget 2019: 'Boost housing initiatives with reforms'

Budget 2019: 'Boost housing initiatives with reforms'

By Amit Gossain

The Union Budget 2019 is expected to be pro-growth and forward-looking as the infrastructure sector has been identified as the backbone of nation’s development and quality of life by the government. It is likely to stimulate demand and boost economic growth, on the back of rising urbanization and increasing number of high-rise residential and commercial buildings across the country.

Landmark reforms like the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) & the GST, that have been instrumental in bringing transparency in the real estate sector, are expected to help accelerate the sector with the new regulatory regime. The earlier housing initiatives of the government should get a boost with necessary reforms, thus enhancing the overall growth of the Indian economy. There are many positives anticipated in the infrastructure sector; the introduction of tax-free bonds to boost investment, streamlining of the land acquisition process and increase in the capital outlay towards the infrastructure sector by 12 to 18 per cent, to name a few.

Prime Minister’s mission of Housing for All by 2022 will enter its significant second phase, which is bound to be an extremely exciting time for all industry stakeholders. The low-interest rate loans, special interest rate for women, tax exemptions with specific investments, rollover capital gains, capital outlay under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and other such schemes will support the infrastructure growth.  However while building such a large number of houses, much of which is based on tenders, it should ensure that houses and their related fixtures such as fittings, elevators and building material are of high quality with high longevity and safety factors.

The Budget is also expected to provide direction to the long-term projects being undertaken under the Smart Cities Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) programme. To continue the momentum for Indian realty and project the next wave of the economic growth, the government should allow tax benefits for investments in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).

Overall, we are looking forward to an inclusive Budget and waiting to see a NEW INDIA focusing on positioning the economy for future sustainable growth.

Mr. Amit Gossain is the MD of KONE India and the Chairman of Real Estate & Building Technology, CII.