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Home > Lifestyle News > Culture News > Article > Budget 2024 No tax incentives for homebuyers real estate continues to lack industry status

Budget 2024: No tax incentives for homebuyers, real estate continues to lack industry status

Updated on: 01 February,2024 07:01 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Ainie Rizvi | ainie.rizvi@mid-day.com

The Interim Budget 2024 made no big-bang announcements for real estate, but it continued its focus on infrastructure upgrades and building connectivity across the country

Budget 2024: No tax incentives for homebuyers, real estate continues to lack industry status

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget 2024 earlier today which has sparked mixed reactions. While it hailed positive sentiments for farmers, women, youth and the poor; no substantial announcements have been for the real estate sector. 


Anuj Puri, Chairman of ANAROCK Group - Mumbai-based real estate services company tells Midday: "As anticipated, the Interim Budget 2024 made no big-bang announcements, but it continued its focus on infrastructure upgrades and building connectivity across the country. This will benefit real estate growth in not just the top cities but in Tier 2 & 3 cities across the country."
 
The FM made some announcements that will go on to benefit the sector both directly and indirectly: 
 
•    PM Awas Yojana (Gramin): Despite all the challenges, the implementation of this scheme continued, achieving the target of close to 3 crore houses and now aims for 2 crore more houses to be taken up in the next five years.
•    Housing for the middle class: The Government will launch a scheme to help deserving sections of the middle class, living in rented houses or slums or chawls and unauthorised colonies, to buy or build their own houses. This is likely to free up encroachment areas like slums for easier redevelopment.


Also read: Budget Session 2024: Key highlights of interim budget


•    Capex outlay allocation to be increased by 11.1 percent to INR 11,11,111 lakh Cr, accounting for 3.4 percent of GDP:  This will unlock the potential for real estate development across assets because a major part of this allocation will be used for various infra upgrades and new projects.
•    Transit-oriented development in urban areas: This may give a boost to housing demand in cities and lead to a rise in residential prices.
•    Development of iconic tourist centres: This is likely to favourably impact the hospitality sector with hotels and restaurants across categories. Moreover, long-term loans proposed to states for tourism. 
•    Extending tax benefits to startups for another year: This may help the office real estate to rejuvenate.
 
Puri highlights the key unmet expectations:
 
•    Industry status: The industry has been requesting industry status for years, believing it would unlock benefits like easier access to credit, tax breaks, and infrastructure development. This wasn't explicitly addressed in the interim budget.
•    Tax benefits: Tax incentives for homebuyers, such as increasing the deduction limit on home loan interest under Section 24, were expected. The interim budget remained silent on this as well.

Also read: Budget 2024: No changes in tax rates for direct, indirect taxes, says Sitharaman

•    Affordable housing: Boosting allocations for schemes like PMAY (Urban) to improve affordability and encourage new projects in this segment was a key expectation. No major announcements appeared in the interim budget regarding this either.

Transformative waves in Indian industries: A deep dive into the Interim Budget 2024

While the real estate sector was faced with disappointment, other industries are anticipating an upward trajectory of growth. In a groundbreaking move for the education sector, the Interim Budget 2024 unfolded with Amit Kapoor, Co-founder and CEO of Eupheus Learning, welcoming a noteworthy 6.1 percent increase in the schooling outlay. Kapoor expressed elation over the substantial Rs 4,200 crore boost in the School Education Budget and a significant allocation of Rs 6,000 crore to the PM SHRI program, marking a remarkable 50% surge from the previous year. This allocation underscores a dedicated focus on enhancing the quality of school education, with a strong emphasis on digitalization.

Gaurav Goel, CEO of Toprankers, added to the narrative, envisioning transformative changes in education. He highlighted the success of the Skill India Mission in upskilling 1.4 crore youth and establishing 3000 new ITIs. The surge in female enrollment, especially in STEM at 43 percent, showcased a commitment to inclusivity and innovation in the evolving education landscape.

Dr Kavita Pathak, Director Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow, acknowledged the budget's thrust on start-ups, support to farming communities, and encouragement of solar panels. Although noting the support for overarching visions, she considered the budget to be mostly supportive of the government’s broader vision.

Dr Arvind Chaturvedi, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director, School of Management, IILM University, underscored the Interim Budget's significant emphasis on women empowerment and housing. The commitment to ensuring homes for every homeless individual within the next five years was lauded as a major boost to the country's infrastructure, aligning with the government's dedication to an inclusive society.

Also read: Budget 2024: Sitharaman says govt to set up more medical colleges

Mayank Bhatnagar, Co-founder and COO of FinEdge, deemed the budget balanced, appreciating its tight fiscal consolidation with an eye on future economic growth. He acknowledged the importance of the main budget in July to reveal a more detailed plan for the next five years.

Crypto

Ashish Singhal, Co-Founder and Group CEO, Peepal Co emphasises that cryptocurrency is experiencing a resurgence this year. "The markets are showing positive growth, retail activity is increasing and there is clear regulatory progress happening worldwide. However, due to it being an election year in India, the Interim Budget had limitations that prevented the necessary tax adjustments for the sector."

On a positive note, the Government of India now has the chance to introduce comprehensive crypto regulations and improved tax policies in the upcoming full Budget, with the full support of the electorate. Singhal makes an appeal for:

i) Allowing the offsetting and carrying forward losses
ii) Reducing the TDS on VDAs, from 1 percent to 0.01 percent
iiI) and treating income from VDAs on par with other capital assets

At a broader level, the Budget is a statement of intent. From Skill India Mission to Startup India to Digital India, the growth engines of the country have been cranked up with special schemes and financial outlay. The corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore long-term loans to encourage innovation in sunrise sectors and the renewed commitment to develop deep technologies will be the GDP multipliers for the coming decade.

MSMES

Ketan Mehta, CFO, CredAble remarks that while there were commendable announcements, there is a missed opportunity to enable the growth of MSMEs as part of the Indian ecosystem. Acknowledging MSMEs as a cornerstone of our economy is crucial for sustainable global competitiveness.

"Without enhancing the competitiveness of our MSMEs, India cannot generate the requisite jobs and effectively compete on the global stage. A prime illustration of the potential impact lies in the announcement of long-term interest-free loans for R&D in sunrise sectors. This implicitly recognises that strategic debt can act as a catalyst for innovation and research, positioning the younger generation of India to excel in emerging industries. The recent governmental emphasis on tourism (which was conspicuously absent in the budget speech), encompassing the construction of new monuments, exploration of remote areas, and a call for celebrating milestones within the country, necessitates robust tourist infrastructure development, both in terms of rail and air connectivity. This impetus on localised infrastructure growth is poised to catalyse the expansion of MSMEs, fostering their overall development," he adds.

Additionally, the budget's recognition of technology's transformative role across sectors, particularly the proposed scheme for enhancing deep technology in defense for achieving self-reliance ('atma nirbharta'), is noteworthy. India currently boasts world-class digital public infrastructure, set to strengthen over time, facilitating easier access to both self-owned and borrowed funds. While the budget speech lacked focus on skill development in AI, a critical area for our future, we anticipate and hope for such initiatives in subsequent announcements.

EV Industry:
In the realm of electric vehicles, the Interim Budget 2024 received applause from Hari Kiran, Co-Founder and COO of eBikeGo. He expressed thrill over the government's commitment to expanding and strengthening the EV ecosystem, foreseeing substantial boosts in manufacturing and infrastructure development. Kiran emphasised the contribution to achieving Net Zero Goals and the foundation laid for sustainable mobility and a greener environment.

Anmol Singh Jaggi, CEO and Co-founder of BluSmart, echoed the sentiment, highlighting the budget's positive impact on promoting EV adoption and boosting charging infrastructure. He emphasised the critical role of cleaner and green transport alternatives in achieving India’s climate goals, pledging eagerness to contribute to this transformative journey.

Art Industry:
In the art industry, Punit V. Sood, Founder & Director of Karabi Art Community, hailed the PM Vishwakarma Yojana as a potential game-changer. The significant financial investment and comprehensive methodology of the program were deemed transformative for the artisan and crafters community. Sood highlighted the program's inclusive nature, covering a wide range of 18 trades and providing free registration, which he sees as a shining example of empowerment within the sector.

Healthcare:
Chandra Ganjoo, Group Chief Executive Officer of Trivitron Healthcare, spotlighted notable initiatives for the healthcare sector in the Interim Budget. The focus on maternal and child healthcare through Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 was commended, with emphasis on cutting-edge technologies like Newborn Screening playing a crucial role in early health issue detection. Ganjoo praised the commitment to eradicate sickle cell anemia by 2047, marking a transformative step in the diagnostic industry.

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