The following is the report by Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, JLL India
The Finance Minister has definitely tried to manage expectations by having a balanced budget. While major expectations i.e. increase in HRA deduction, removal of Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) from REITs and boost to affordable housing by allowing 100 per cent deduction on profits made by entities constructing them have been addressed, no financial protection was offered to buyers from project delays.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) could become a reality soon – The DDT got exempted, clearing a final hurdle on the way of the
successful listing of REITs in India.
Boost to affordable housing developers – 100 per cent tax deduction has been announced for developers building houses up to 30 sq m in four metro cities and 60 sq m in other cities, for projects approved between June 2016 and March 2019 and is completed within 3 years of the
Digitisation of land records – There is a clear emphasis to make land records more transparent and this is an important parameter that
contributes towards the overall transparency in real estate sector in India.
Road infrastructure and new land opening up – Budget has adopted measures to significantly step up NHAI capabilities. Infrastructure creation – The Budget has outlined revival plans for nonfunctional airports in partnership with state governments, with a vision to spend around Rs 100-150 crore on each airport. This will boost the infrastructure in many tier-II and tier-III cities.
Release of land – Going by today’s Budget announcements, Central PSUs are going to be encouraged to reduce their exposure to excess land holdings.
Retail sector – Unorganised retail could receive a fillip, as smaller shops will now also be given the option of remaining open for all 7 days
of the week, like organised malls. Office occupancy perspective – The Budget made a strong case for promoting start-ups in India with 100 per cent tax rebate on profits announced for them for three years.