It is a get well soon type of Budget, the ‘V’ shaped recovery being powered by the Covid-19 vaccination program.
On real estate aspects, the proposals for the annual budget reinforce the Government’s focus on affordable housing. For the home buyer, the second extension of the deadline till 31 March 2022 for the additional Rs1.5 lakh tax deduction given on loans taken to buy a house in an affordable housing project is welcome, as is the developer whose affordable housing projects also get an extension for tax benefits, for projects completed till March 31, 2022. Similarly, tax exemption for notified affordable housing for migrant workers, and the deduction on payment of interest for affordable housing being extended by a year will give a fillip to this emerging segment. As affordable housing attracts only 1% GST and Rs 1000 stamp duty in the state of Maharashtra will augment the production of affordable housing in the state. The enhanced spending on public infrastructure projects like ports, railways, airports, warehousing, gas pipelines, metro, economic corridors is laudable and welcomed by industry that will give impetus to the employment generation and attract the essential investment to lift up the economic revival.
The strong focus on digital covering setting up of a Fintech hub at Gift City, seen in sync with moves to enhance digital payments and use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning etc. in governance, will give a fillip to creation of Digital India.
Given the challenged scenario, the proposed annual budget has been largely positive, no major taxation enhancement is something that is welcome. As the Prime Minister pointed out last year saw mini budgets across the pandemic impacted time frame; the unsaid thing for most industries across the economy is that similar steps may happen with more positives in the offing. Continued focus on ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ will enhance ‘ease of doing business’, this government spending will provide stimulus for GDP growth, and is laudable.
Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani is the Founder & Chairman of Hiranandani Group and National President of NAREDCO.