'Increase tax rebate on housing loan interest rate'

Budget 2021: Increase tax rebate on housing loan interest rate

By  Piyush Bothra

This Budget is a critical one considering that the GDP contracted significantly in the last fiscal year due to the pandemic. Real estate being one of the key industries that contribute towards the GDP, we expect the government to take measures to boost demand in the sector.

One such measure taken by the government in recent times has been the stamp duty reduction in Maharashtra which in turn resulted in increased sales. Taking a cue from this, my request from the finance minister would be to introduce more such measures to bolster demand for housing.

For instance, reducing the GST on under-construction properties from the present 5% to 1-2% might help revive demand for under-construction homes that had taken a hit due to COVID. Even a limited period waiver would go a long way in pushing up demand.

Secondly, increasing the Rs 2 Lakh tax rebate on housing loan interest rates under Section 24 of the Income Tax Act to at least Rs 5 lakh will also boost housing demand.

Lastly, we also expect the finance minister to consider the long-pending demand for an ‘Infrastructure Status’ for the real estate sector. The infrastructure tag would definitely ease the process of getting multiple approvals apart from aiding in the availability of capital.

(Author is CFO of Square Yards)