Following agriculture, the real estate sector employs the most people in India and accounts for approximately 6-7% of the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP). Recognizing its significance, the Central and State Governments have taken proactive measures to strengthen the real estate sector. For instance, in the previous budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman allocated Rs 48,000 crore to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for affordable housing. The thrust on making affordable housing available to all, seeks government intervention in the forthcoming Union budget to address the acute shortage of demand situation. Realtors want the government to provide an impetus package that fetches relief to home buyers on the costing front.
The realtor companies too are seeking remedial action by speedy implementation of the Model Tenancy Act on a pan-Indian scale, as it gives a level playing ground to all the players in the sector. The Act calls for a system of checks and balances that protects the interests of all, landlords, tenants and agents.
The top priorities on a scale of five were, increase tax rebate slabs, encourage consumption by home buyers, enhance building of social infrastructure to invite home buyers, make room for more buying capacity in terms of employment and jobs and ensuring housing for all turns into a dream come true.
The Centre on its part had initiated measures beginning with Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) to mitigate the housing shortage problem that has precipitated massive slum pockets and shanties in the urban and semi-urban areas of the country. Currently, the Centre is also mulling with the proposal of bringing down the costs of under construction properties as in most instances the developers have failed in passing on the benefits of input credit tax to the home buyers, despite repeated pleas from the government.
The forthcoming budget session will also be keenly watched for providing relief to prospective tenants in metro cities like Mumbai. This envisages the speedy implementation of the Affordable Rental Housing Scheme (ARHS). The ARHS falls under the aegis of PMAY and seeks shelter for everyone including those falling in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.