Thursday, 12 February 2015

Realty sector pushes for sops in Union Budget

With the Union budget round the corner, every section of society, especially businesses, are looking for signs of relief from finance minister Arun Jaitley. In the real estate hubs of Noida and Gurgaon, the realty sector is hoping this budget would bring sops to revive the moribund sector.

Along with the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), individual developers have already written to the ministries about the sops they are hoping for in the budget.

P Sahel, the vice-chairman of Lotus Greens India Inc., is eagerly awaiting the 2015 Union Budget. "We expect attractive tax norms for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), etc. We'd be most happy if interest rates for home loans are reduced, which will boost the sector and help bridge the gap between demand and supply. If the government initiates steps towards providing special benefits to green and sustainable development, it will have a profound impact, as it is the future of the real estate industry," Sahel added.

S S Bhasin, the MD of Bhasin Group, said, "The entire corporate world is looking up to Narendra Modi, ever since he became India's Prime Minister. With his government about to present the budget, the real estate sector wants him to take decisions that will rejuvenate it. We're reeling under a slump. The government should consider the points of view of both developers and buyers. There is need to control interest rate and create single-window systems."

"The last budget had brought some relief to our sector. To meet Modi Ji's ambitious project of housing for all by 2022, we hope for special packages for low-cost housing, such as exemption from tax under 80IB for flats under 1,000 sq ft, which was removed in 2008. We need such steps to speed up development," said Amit Gupta, Assocham member and MD of Orris Infrastructure.

At the other end of the spectrum, homemakers, too, are a worried lot. "Prices of vegetables and pulses are soaring. In the last six months, the rates of pulses have seen a 20-25% hike. Vegetables prices have risen by 25-50% in the last month alone," said Vibha Kumar, a resident of Noida.

"There is no relief for the common men, especially senior citizens, for whom there are no special facilities as in Western countries. People like me fail to meet monthly expenses from pension alone. Arun Jaitley should initiate steps for immediate relief of aam aadmi," said S C Sachdeva, a resident of Noida's Sector 39.

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