By Mr. Bijay Agarwal
“Last year, Modi 2.0 was extremely supportive of the real estate sector and the budget was instrumental in introducing various schemes, policies and guidelines which were beneficial for both developers and consumers whether it was rate cut of housing interest, NHB guidelines or affordable housing schemes.
The primary concern that needs to be addressed is the significant funding crisis. The budget should ease norms to ensure steady flow of investments. Although benefits for affordable housing have been provided, developers are unable to receive funding from major banks and NBFCs at lower interest rates.
As we are aware, due to lending market being cautious, mainly NBFC sector and banks, purchase of land has become very difficult since the last one and half years. The Real Estate developer can still use an alternate source of acquisition of property which is Joint Development Arrangement with the landlord to avoid large capital commitment. But due to lack of clarity on GST, even this alternative source has been totally ineffective and causing huge delay in proper supply of land for developers to carry out the development work. Thus, the impact on other industry employment will also be required to be kept in mind. Hence, few changes in GST can provide a huge positive impact in the Real Estate Industry for all sectors i.e., Residential, Commercial, Retail, IT Offices, Affordable Housing, Ware Housing, etc.,
a) Waiver on Applicability on GST (if intended to be applicable) on Transfer Development Right (T.D.R.) on Joint Development Arrangement.
b) Allowing of Input of Commercial GST during construction period against the rent receivables.
Both of the above changes in the nature of clarification or amendment would bring huge positivity and clarity for the real estate industry and the impact can be visibly seen in a short period in the form of commencement of number of projects across the cities.
Industry status to the real estate sector will further boost the increasing of low-cost funds, cut capital costs and make land acquisition easier, passing the benefits to consumers. A single-window clearance system can help to speed up the execution of projects. We also expect the implementation of land reforms and increased liquidity to NBFCs will lead to investors. If real estate industry gets a boost it will automatically have a positive impact and will accelerate the economic growth of the country and in turn the GDP.”
(Author is managing director of Salarpuria Sattva Group)