Budget’s welcome boost for real estate

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Key Points:

  • It is a welcome move that the Budget proposes several measures to rationalise tax and boost transparency in the policy-challenged real estate sector.
  • It is important to note that abroad, in the mature markets, real estate accounts for almost half the GDP growth; the like figure for real estate activity here is far smaller.
  • Thus, clearly, there is much potential for growth in the sector.

Specific Observations

  • The Budget seeks to shift the indexation base year from 1981 to 2001for the levy of capital gains tax on land and real estate. It has been suggested that this was long overdue.
  • Additionally, infrastructure status for affordable housing and its broader categorisation are both moves in the right direction of reform.
  • Furthermore, removal of the tax on notional rental income for one year, from the date of issue of completion certificate, would allow real estate developers to liquidate inventory and avoid additional tax burden.

Concluding Remarks

  • The way ahead is to frame concrete rules under the Real Estate Act, 2016, and also revamp regulatory oversight across jurisdictions.
  • We do need to systematically shore up resource allocation for housing and real estate nationally.
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