Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has called for higher tax rebates for affordable housing, an industry status for the cash-strapped sector to ease financing of projects and consolidation of all state-run schemes for housing sector.
Sachin Sandhir, Global Managing Director – Emerging Business & MD – South Asia, RICS said, “Despite the inherent fundamentals of the real estate market, things have slowed down in recent times and we must introspect as an industry the reasons why this has happened, and address the issues. The core issue of increasing affordability and supply of housing should be addressed.”
The other consensus that emerged from among the bevy of industry leaders and consultants was that all the schemes currently run by the government for promoting affordable housing in the country should be put under one umbrella.
“This would make the market efficient and will help meet the rising housing demand. But for low cost affordable to grow and prosper in the country, developers need to be incentivised through various tax rebates and seamless availability of land,” said Devina Ghildial, Deputy Managing Director, RICS South Asia.
On behalf of the industry, RICS has also demanded more clarity on tax structure of real estate investment trusts (REITs). In last Budget, the finance minister (Arun Jaitley) announced REITs for deepening the real estate leasing market for generating more funds through legit channels. As the government did not address tax-related concerns groping REITs, the industry is still in the dark and waiting for the tax clarity for listing their REITs.
As per industry’s view, the new government at the centre seems to have hit bull’s eye when it announced last year that it will be building 100 smart cities.
“The 2015 budget should present a definitive roadmap with a reasonable corpus to support technological and infrastructural development at such a mammoth scale. The budget allocated last year of Rs 7,060 crore is not sufficient for the project of this magnitude, and larger corpus is required to execute the plan in a timely manner,” Sandhir added.