Union Budget 2018-19: Education Sector Reactions

Budget Reactions on Education/skills sector” 

According to the  Association of Publishers in India (API), it is commendable that the government has given a significant focus on education and digitalization.  We whole-heartedly welcome the Government’s plan and focus to move classroom black boards to digital boards. This will help immensely in standardizing and ensuring teaching content and quality and increasing outreach particularly in rural areas where there are impediments such as teacher availability and teaching materials.

Accolades to the Government for proposing ‘Eklavya’ school, at par with Navodaya Vidayalas, for every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal people by 2022 in a bid to make education accessible to all.

In a laudable move, Arun Jaitley also allocated Rs. 1 trillion to a new scheme called Revitalizing Infrastructure in School Education or RISE to integrate its school education sector—from pre-school to class 12—implying merger of several school schemes in the near future to revitalize the infrastructure of schools in the country.

The new Prime Minister’s scheme to identify bright students pursuing B.Tech in premier engineering institutes, and providing them higher-education opportunities in IITs and IISc Bangalore will give the desired impetus to research and development in India. Plans to set up two new full-fledged schools of planning and architecture, 18 new schools of planning and architecture in the IITs and NITs and investment of Rs. 1 lakh crore in four years for higher educational premier institutes are a shot in the arm for the sector and will further the Government’s agenda of education for all.

“We also welcome the emphasis to be given to training of untrained teachers and allocation of 1 lakh crore for education research.Its also very commendable about the plans if coming up with 24 new Medical colleges. Also, praise-worthy is the plan of at least one medical college every three constituencies. However, government further increased the education cess by 1 percent which will be a blow to the middle class,” API said adding that  it is encouraging to note the focus on new generation technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, analytics etc. as far as skill building initiatives go with . The FM’s stance on embracing technology is progressive with Amitabh Kant-led Niti Aayog to establish a National Programme to direct efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development focused on research & development and its applications. It remains to be seen how partners from the private sector eco-system with knowledge & expertise in these areas get involved in this initiative.

It was heartening to hear the honourable FM state that while ‘the Government managed to get children to school but the quality of education is a concern’ – the focus on quality and learning outcomes is key to the longer term success of any education programme.

The allocation of 1 lac crore for the development of education infrastructure responds well to the needs of India’s schools and colleges that need upgradation in facilities. This allocation ties in well with the intent to augment digitization and the ‘shift from blackboard to digital board’, which is consistent with the Digital India mission, and will resonate with India’s young demographic.

Integrated Education is a worthy mention in the budget and we hope that it leads to a teaching-learning process that combines print, digital, assessments and teacher training. The focus on teacher training continues from last year’s budget announcement and it exemplifies the renewed focus on this noble profession given that teachers are the principle pivot in the learning eco-system.

Sivaramakrishnan V, Managing Director – Oxford University Press India

 The overall measures have a strong impetus towards social inclusion and economic growth. The budgetary allocation of 1 lakh crore towards higher education and research is a welcome move. In terms of development of cities, the budget gives an added fillip to the smart cities mission and urbanisation along with with the proposal to develop 10 prominent tourist destinations as iconic tourism destinations.

This is where the proposal to open 18 new schools of planning and architecture in order to to generate skilled designers and architects will create the necessary impetus and awareness towards the importance of design in every aspect of education be it urban planning, architecture, management or engineering. The need for sustainable environment friendly urbanisation and preservation of the fabric of an old city syncing it with modern growth can be addressed aggressively with the right education and awareness. The Smart Cities programme is progressing well and with continued budgetary support, these cities will greatly benefit from a new ecosystem of infrastructure leveraged with modern digital solutions and new age technologies like Artificial Intelligence, digital manufacturing, big data intelligence, quantum communications and art of the things.

Prof. (Dr.) Sanjay Gupta, Director General, World University of Design (WUD)

It is heartening to see that in the Union Budget 2018, the Finance Minister has allocated Rs. 1 lakh crore till 2022 to push research in technical and medical education under the Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE). In addition, the initiative to provide for an integrated B.Ed. program is a much-needed step towards training of our teachers. While technology is recognized to be the biggest driver in the education sector, technology alone will not enable, since it functions in our social system, and there are serious social challenges that the country still needs to address. I was also looking for specific incentives to enhance private and philanthropic participation and industry-academia collaboration in the sector, given that India spends only 0.7% of its GDP on research. A strong governmental push in the form of an innovation policy will help. The ‘PM research fellows’ need not be restricted to only elite public-funded institutions — one needs to create an entire ecosystem of excellence in the country, and not just a few islands of merit.

 Dr. Rupamanjari Ghosh, Vice-Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University

It is a progressive budget with the right emphasis on training of teachers, use of technology and funding for research.

Among the positive steps for the education sector, Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022 with a total investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in next four years stood out. The fact that the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) would be suitably structured for funding this initiative is a much appreciated provision.

Increase in digital intensity in education and envisaging move from ‘‘black board’’ to ‘‘digital board’’; using technology to upgrade the skills of teachers through a digital portal “Diksha”; national program on artificial intelligence under the aegis of Niti Aayog; mission on Cyber Physical Systems and a test bed for 5G technology at IIT Chennai were among the other encouraging initiatives.

Vijay Thadani, VC and MD, NIIT Ltd

I would like to congratulate Mr. Jaitley and P.M Modi’s Govt. to present a budget that has a strong focus on emerging technologies and the education sector. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, quantum communication etc. are going to drive future jobs and hence a national programme catering to these disciplines is a welcome initiative. District Wise Strategy to improve the quality of education and achieving standard learning outcomes based on the results of the National Achievement Survey, for me, is a path-breaking announcement, made for the first time. Usually, one gets to read about such initiatives in education policies and not in budget speeches. New medical colleges, planning & architecture schools and a special railway university are steps in the right direction. Overall, I am confident that initiatives announced for the education sector will prove immensely beneficial for our school and college going students.

Utpal Ghosh, CEO & President, UPES – Dehradun 

With an overall increase of 20.31% in the 2018 budget for Education, the sentiment towards the increase of quality of education by training the teachers and moving from the blackboard to the digital board, i.e towards a digitised environment in education is a good call by the government. Treating education holistically up to Grade 12 is a brilliant decision and will ensure that the future generations receive additional guaranteed schooling, that will do justice to their Right to Education.

With this pace of investment and concentration towards the education sector, I foresee India moving closer every day, towards a higher standard of literacy rate throughout the nation.

Husien Dohadwalla – Academic Director of International Programs – Middle, Secondary & High School

The government has presented a well-balanced budget with a focus on addressing the fundamental needs of education in India. The budget rightly focuses on movement from traditional blackboards to digital boards which offer enhanced learning experience to students. We are confident that the promotion of digital platforms and use of technology will increase reach and ensure superior outcomes. The government understands the need for quality of education and setting up of higher education finance agency, integrated B.Ed programme and revitalizing infrastructure and systems’ in Education by 2022 with Rs 1 Lakh crore in next 4 years, steps in right direction. Furthermore, significant budgetary allocation towards improving education infrastructure in the country augurs well for learners.

Harish Doraiswamy, Vice President – Qualifications, Schools & Vocational, Pearson India

We are very happy to see the continued focus on research and development in the education sector. The fact that Rs. 1 lakh crore has been earmarked for revitalising innovation under RISE over the next 4 years augurs well for the future. We at SRM are committed to creating an innovation and R&D focused institution and we believe that we are completely in sync with the aspirations of the Government in reaping rich demographic dividend and this is possible through high quality education. The focus on creating a corpus of the best brains of the country and getting top 1,000 B.Tech students from the top institutions to work for research is a healthy way forward and we are grateful to the FM for his programmes in the segment

Dr. P. Sathyanarayanan, President of SRM University

 Congratulating the government on Union budget, we appreciate the focus towards improving the quality of education and intensifying Digital India. Aiming from blackboard to digital board schools by 2022, will advance teaching and learning methodology for both teachers and students. We believe that the announcement of Rs 1 lakh crore to revitalise and upgrade education system will be a game changer towards increasing the digital penetration in education which will shift the country from a manufacturing base to a research base.

Dr. Prashant Bhalla, President Manav Rachna Educational Institutions

The Union Budget 2018–19 looks promising for the education sector. The government has earmarked Rs 1 lakh crore for a new scheme called Revitalising Infrastructure in School Education (RISE). Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley prior to the budget session had promised to address the infrastructure needs, and the K-12 sector was expecting a handsome amount for developing digital infrastructure in schools. He has certainly fulfilled his promise and met the expectations.

The government has also realised the importance of improving the quality of teachers to enhance the quality of education in our country. Thus, under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, lakhs of untrained teachers will receive training to use technology in classrooms, and this will eventually pave the way for a transition from blackboards to digital boards in schools.

The budget also addresses the education needs of students belonging to Scheduled Tribes. It has proposed the establishment of Ekalavya Schools in blocks with Scheduled Tribe population, with skill development being one of the focus areas.

Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO and Co-founder, Next Education 

I welcome the government initiative to move from “Black Board” to “Digital Board”.  Digital education is the only way to revamp our education system to provide quality education to every child in a vast country like ours. It’s a high time to leverage digital infrastructure to connecting students in Rural Areas with Teachers/Mentors from Urban Areas. Aadhar integrated Digital Education lifecycle Management (DELCM) gets a boost with the govt budget announcement for schools. Looking forward for IoT based solutions enabling the “Black Board” to “Digital Board” transformation.

Naresh Challagulla Founder/CEO of StudyMonitor (Subsidiary of YITSOL group)

The government acknowledging the requirement to train people on new technologies like Blockchain, Robotics and Artificial intelligence was very encouraging. This will encourage professionals to develop specific skillsets leading to a better up-skilled workforce. With this positive step for the sector, we expect a better and future ready India.

Nikhil Barshikar, MD, Imarticus Learning

The Government is coming good on its promise of putting education outcomes and skilling upfront. The allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore for improvement of education infra is one of the highlights of this budget. A medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies is a path breaking initiative and one that will give a huge boost to medicine as a career. FM’s plan to identify 1,000 B.Tech students each year and providing means to pursue PHDs in IITs and IISCs is again a great initiative to drive focus towards research and is in sync with the massive investment of almost 1 lakh crores towards education research. FM’s focus on teacher training and digital education is welcomed and was much needed! Agriculture, Research and Food related career domains have also got a huge boost with the massive fund allocation to these sectors, which shall create large number of employment opportunities in these domains. However, channelizing the right talent from school level to these career domains should  be the focus area. While teacher training is explicitly mentioned in the FM’s speech, training on leveraging technology in education across the board has not been defined and this will be critical to see the impact of digitisation of education.

Prateek Bhargava, CEO, Mindler

 The 2018 Budget looks very promising for the education sector. The Government’s plan to leverage technology in the education sector is a big leap forward. Their allocation of Rs. 1 lakh crore for research in the field of education is also a much-needed step.

Rohit Mann, Director, Lancers International School, Gurgaon

The Union Budget (2018), which has showcased government’s plan to transform India’s educational scenario by leveraging technology in education is commendable. The 1-day registration of a company will surely provide a boost to startups. The reskilling of teachers through the portal Diksha will not only improve the quality of education but will be a gamechanger for the entire education ecosystem.

Rohit Manglik,CEO, EduGorilla(an edtech startup)

This budget is propelling India towards becoming a digital economy with a clear focus on education and infrastructure development. It is  great to see the Government’s continued efforts towards Digital India by increasing investment for digital initiatives and enabling the NITI Aayog to direct efforts towards Artificial Intelligence.  Improving education is an admirable goal set by the government and technology will be the greatest enabler for enhancing the quality of education in our country. The government’s initiative to identify B.Tech students and provide higher education opportunities in premier institutions will increase the number of unique ideas originating from India. We look forward to partnering with the public and private sector, to create a technology driven ecosystem which fosters local innovation and research.

Mahesh Nayak, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Labs India

Capitalising on digital influence for quality education is a welcome move. We sincerely believe that technology has a very important role in education and we are glad that the government aligns with it. Education is critical to the future of India and any relaxations in taxes on education and technology would have been an added benefit. Recognising the importance of teacher training is another significant step to boost quality education in the country. We eagerly await the details and plan of action from the government following the announcements.

Zishaan Hayath, CEO & Co-founder, Toppr.com

I welcome the government’s  focus to move classroom black boards towards digital boards. I also welcome the emphasis to be given to training of untrained teachers and allocation of 1 lakh crore for education research. One great highlight of this budget was its focus on enhancing the quality of education. For more than a decade now there has been a lot of public debate surrounding the quality of school education and how to maximise learning outcomes rather than focus disproportionately on inputs such as school infrastructure, etc. I support the recommendation of treating education holistically without any segmentation and division of class from primary and above. And we firmly encourage the digital intensity and a mission to move from black board to digital board. And mentioning to focus on integrated B.Ed program soon will surely help to shape our future minds.

 Pradeep Jolly, Founder of Early Learning Village School and Wonderland School

We are glad that the 2018 Budget has a forward looking vision with benefits for those sectors that much need them. As announced, specifically for the education sector, having an integrated B.Ed. program, with teacher-training as its main focus, will boost the workforce towards being more aware and skilled. I am glad to hear that Rs. 1 lakh crore are to be invested over the next 4 years into a new drive to boost Research and Development. With cutting edge technology, we feel that DIGITAL INDIA will increase the digital intensity of the education sector. It is also a pleasure to hear about the move to digital smart boards, because it is a sign of how extensively education has been considered while forming the budget.

 Vandana Arora, Principal of Nahar International School, Mumbai

The budget announcements made by Shri Arun Jaitley has little to offer for higher education in the country. Whereas the finance minister offered several initiatives for the school education which involves transforming classrooms to digital classrooms, setting up of the Eklavya Schools for the tribal population and enhancing the scope of teacher’s training to bring in quality into the school education, he had nothing special to offer to the higher education sector.  

Setting up of the long pending Railway University and the new Schools of Planning and Architecture seems like a lopsided approach to a select sector within higher education. The finance minister has made no provisions for creation of infrastructure in the higher education space that could have led to higher GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio). The Finance Minister spoke about technology being the biggest driver for enhancing the quality of education in the country. However, we could not find any incentive to the Ed-Tech companies working in this space to help institutions implement and use technology for bringing in Total Quality Education. We are also grossly disappointed by Higher Education Services not being exempted out of the provisions of GST that could have provided a fillip to the sector.

Shantanu Rooj, Founder & CEO, Schoolguru

From an education perspective, the Union Budget proposals for 2018 – 2019 look progressive. One conspicuous highlight is its focus on enhancing the quality of education. For more than a decade now there has been a lot of debate surrounding the quality of education and how to maximise learning outcomes in India. The Hon’ble Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley’s focus on using digital technology for enhancing the scope of the sector is bound to be a game changer in the country’s education system. The start of an integrated B. Ed. program with teachers training as the main focus will ensure better educationists, which in turn will ensure better quality students and a more responsible education structure. The proposal to invest Rs. 1 lakh crore over the next 4 years for a new drive to boost Research and Development is laudable, and will go a long way in bringing in more professional education modules. The biggest driver in the sector will undoubtedly be the thrust on moving from ‘black boards to digital boards’ with increased emphasis on technology and digital intensification.”

Dr R Theyvendran, MDIS Secretary-General

The highlights of the budget is that the outlay Union Budget 2017-18 has been raised  from Rs72,394 crore in 2016-17 with a 9.9% rise. Of the total outlay, Rs46,356.25 is for the school sector and the rest for higher education The main budget highlight is the focus on vocational training for youth for  the tourism and textile sector   Another scheme which is new is the Access to SWAYAM education portal online, which will be introduced with 350 online courses All  these initiatives are an extension of the last budget which showed its intent on providing skill based education

At the Higher education level the significant statement is to provide greater administrative and academic autonomy to good quality institutions  These  will be identified based on accreditation and ranking provided by NIRF framework   This is also pertinent in the context of the  much talked about Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Bill that promises to grant autonomy

Prof. D K Batra, Marketing, IMI-New Delhi

Government allocation for revitalization of educational infrastructure is highly appreciable. Even though the Govt. has increased the allocation for education sector but it’s still below expectations.There is need to focus on quality of education. The proposal to invest Rs. 1,00,000 in revitalising infrastructure and systems in Education (RISE) by 2022, is a welcome step towards boosting and improving the quality of the education sector. The government has also tried to address the need for improving the quality of education by integrating technology with education. Technology will be used to upgrade the skills of teachers through its digital portal DIKSHA.This budget is geared more towards agriculture and rural sector and has addressed many relevant issues pertaining to this sector. However, in the process many sectors have been left out.

Dr. Shuchi Gautam, (CA,MCom, Ph.D.)- Associate Professor from TIMSR, Mumbai (Thakur Institute of Management Studies and Research)

While there was anticipation about a new employment policy, there was no indication of a formal policy being announced anytime soon. However, it is heartening to hear that there have been 70 lakh formal jobs created in the past year and that the government plans to spur job creation in the country through various incentives and reforms that were announced, such as the EPF contribution. Additionally, the EPF reprieve for women employees will improve the female participation rate in the Indian workforce. It is particularly gratifying to see that the government is also taking steps to tackle the issue of talent gap due to a lack of adequate skilling. Given the thrust on reforming the education system, it is safe to say that we will be seeing a much more equipped potential workforce. In addition to improving employability, the need of the hour is to modernize the Indian hiring industry through a more advanced platform that caters to the evolving requirements of job seekers in the 21st century.

Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Indeed India

We are delighted to learn that the Union Budget 2018 is focussed on improving the quality of education. It is indeed heartening to note that the Government shall now be treating education holistically, sans any segmentation, from pre-nursery to Class 12. The seriousness of the Government towards any sector can be gauged by the budget allocation for it. We are happy to hear about the RISE scheme (Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education) wherein a budget of Rs 1 lakh crore has been allocated over 4 years. There is a great disparity in terms of education infrastructure and systems in private schools and state-run schools and a scheme like this shall be instrumental in bridging the gap. He emphasized on training 13 lakh teachers under the RTE (Right to Education), as this shall improve the standard of students. We at BCTA welcome this move for we firmly believe that pedagogy should be an ever-evolving phenomenon and we are more than happy that the Government is investing a sizable amount in it.

Sumeet Nath, Secretary & Treasurer, Baptist Church Trust Association (BCTA)

The announcements in the Union Budget 2018 that technology will be the biggest driver in improving quality of education is a welcome one and, we believe, will provide an impetus to edtech players to partner the Government in its endeavor. The allocation of Rs. 1 lakh crore towards revitalization and upgradation of education sector, listing out all the new educational and training institutes that the government aims to introduce and the move to promote learning-based outcomes and research are steps in the right direction to advance the quality of education, and thereby the quality of the manpower.

Ashwin Damera, Executive Director, Emeritus Institute of Management

The Budget announced today has efficiently caught the pulse of the hour to provide quality education through various schemes and reforms to boost the sector in the country.  The move to increase digital density and the mission to upgrade blackboard to digital boards is a move in forward direction to improve quality education for students in digital era.

Most importantly, announcement of setting-up 24 new medical colleges across the country will open up more seats for medical graduates.  Besides, upgrading many existing medical colleges is also an excellent move by the government. The  improvement of standards and establishment of new medical institutes will not only help the aspiring medical students with more options, it will also help in increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio.

Additionally, investment of Rs One lakh crore for over next four years and to Integrate B.Ed. program with a focus on improving teachers’ training for imparting quality education in schools, the implementation of Ekalavya schools by 2022 that will be treated at par with Navodaya Vidyalayas in every block with more than 50% ST population will further help in improving education standards of schools across the country.  The government has also announcement to set-up PM Research Fellow Scheme where 1000 best B-tech students will be selected each year from premier institutions and facilitate them for PhD courses in IITs and IISc with a handsome fellowship.  This will energise the youth through education, skills and jobs and help in governments move to ‘Transform India’.

With the need to reach out to every household of old, widows, orphaned children, divyaang and deprived as defined by the Socio-Economic Caste Census, the implementation of a comprehensive social security and protection programme and the allocation of 9, 975 crore has been announced for the National Social Assistance.  This is a welcome move for building social security for public at large and also help the education programs in rural areas

Aakash Chaudhary, Director Aakash Institute

This is a balanced budget as far as education is concerned. While on the one hand the government has rightly focused on improving educational infrastructure in the country, there is also a clear intent to strengthen capacity building through improvement in teacher training. The decision to treat education holistically without any segmentation is a welcome move and will lend greater synergy in planning and execution of important schemes and programmes. This is also expected to help smoothen the process of mapping learning outcomes with curriculum across all levels. It is also heartening to see a greater emphasis on the all-important area of teacher training which will help in achieving the target of training all teachers by 2019. With focus on increasing digital intensity in education, the budget is quite futuristic as it looks to address the needs of today’s India emerging as a powerful knowledge economy.

Ratnesh Jha, Managing Director, Cambridge University Press, South Asia

 

Among the steps that I would go some way in giving a fillip to the education sector in India  are

  • Enhanced stress on digital education
  • Amendment to RTE act to facilitate training of 13 lac teachers.
  • Starting integrated B.Ed. programme for teachers.
  • Setting up Ekalavya schools for scheduled tribes at par with Navodya Vidyalayas

I appreciate the many steps that the finance minister announced, particularly with regard to the scheme to identify 1000 B.Tech students every year and support them in completing PhD degrees from IIT and ISC,while they undertake to teach undergraduate students once a week.

That being stated, I think the steps taken with regard to education are more technocratic than path-breaking, something that I had come to expect from this government. Nevertheless, I am glad that they realize the importance of supporting education as a sector. This is the only way that India can hope to become the leader among nations, which it has long aspired to be. The challenge would lie in implementing these initiatives effectively in order for these to deliver.

Kuldeep Surolia, Director Sorsfort School, Bangalore and Sadvidya proponent

“The Government in the budget has clearly acknowledged the need to improve the quality and scale of education across the country, through a continued digital push.  A significant population within India has been deprived of access to quality education and infrastructure in the past and the Government’s introduction of Eklavya schools for tribal children will help bring them into the ambit of the formal education model and empower them to explore a bright future. The Ministry’s announcement on giving formal training to teachers through the recently launched ‘DIKSHA’, will definitely boost the quality of teachers, a key pivot to improve the quality of education. This budget has also addressed the capacity gap within the sector by setting up 24 new Medical colleges at district level for medical students and 20 Planning and Architecture schools. Overall, it is a well thought through budget with the needed focus for the Education sector.”

Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON

  1. The focus on digital education is a very positive step towards Digital India. Digital education will be one of the biggest drivers of skill development in the country leading to employment opportunities for empowerment of its citizens. The Finance Minister has rightly recognized the most critical aspect, which is taking a step towards technology enabled learning solutions. Industry will welcome the move of shift from blackboard to digital education.
  2. The launch of Sankalp to skill youth and increase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras will give major impetus and thrust to the skill development movement in India. The initiative to establish India International Skill Centres to offer advanced training and courses in foreign languages will not only help our skilled manpower to seek job opportunities outside our country but also make these skilling programs aspirational.
  3. In my opinion, for the most part, the Finance Minister has presented us with a conducive environment by creating policies that would lead to skill development and employment generation. The announcement of creation of 70 lakh job opportunities will contribute positively towards building a robust economy.  Job creation will mean getting skilled manpower for those jobs which is a good sign for the skilling industry.
  4. One of the area which we were looking forward was GST exemption on all skill development programs. But looking at various other announcements supporting the skill development arena , I would like to congratulate the Finance Minister for a very forward looking budget.Sanjay Bahl, CEO and MD, Centum Learning

The Budget 2018 has highlighted technology as a key driver in the education sector. The efforts by the government will give impetus to tech-based educational reforms and further boost digital learning and MOOCs to reach out to more students and thereby provide access to quality education.

A focused step to leverage research in new-age technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and launch of PM’s Research Fellow Scheme will encourage industry-relevant research. This will aid in preparing students to compete at a global level and also, to face challenges posed by new technology.  Leading B-Schools in India have already taken the cue of increasing digitization and have introduced programs based on Business Analytics and Machine Learning.

The Indian government has rightly taken note of refining the quality of education and will look at improvising education infrastructure in the coming years. It is important for stakeholders in higher education to enable students to adapt to innovation taking place in this era of digital transformation in the job eco-system.

Emphasis on initiatives such as Digital India, Start-Up India and Make In India to truly reap the benefits of our dynamic nation. The focus on enhancing the quality of education will usher in the new India that we aspire.

Prof. Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, S.P. Mandali’s Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool)

“It is very encouraging to see the increased focus to further digitize education in India. Technology has just about started making an impact in education. A full-fledged intervention of technology in education will create a level playing field for students across geographies solving core issues like access to good quality content and teachers. The decision to move from blackboards to digital boards will change the way teachers teach and students learn and make learning an immersive and interactive experience. The right use of investment in the Indian education sector will provide an impetus to create an environment where learning is seamless for students irrespective of their learning proficiencies or geographical locations. Additionally, the focus to upgrade teaching skills will also play a vital role in the way young India learns. This will ensure and encourage students to love what they learn. Overall, if the planned investment is done in the right way, it will be a huge boost for the economy ,as it will create a the right set of talented workforce for India. And also, for most Indians, education is still the only way to make it big in life.” 

Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO, BYJU’S

Publication / Article Sourcecurriculum-magazine.com

Post-budget reactions from real estate sector

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1 presented union Budget in the Parliament. The real estate sector doesn’t take it as a boost for the sector, but sees it as a balanced budget. Here is how the participants of the real estate sector reacted to Budget 2018.

Mr Jaxay Shah, President, CREDAI

The explicit announcement on the real estate sector relates to the following-

  1. 31 lakh homes in 2018-19 to be built in urban areas and 51 lakh in rural areas.
  2. Dedicated affordable housing fund under NHB and priority sector lending accorded to achieve this goal.
  3. Government assuming ownership of NHB from RBI. This would translate into the focus of NHB shifting from regulation to development.
  4. Addressing the anomaly under Section 43 CA to tax real estate transactions at their real value rather than the value arrived at by applying the artificially higher circle rate.

These are very important. However,  it is the deeper economic logic of the Budget which is the major boost for housing and real estate.

The deeper logic of the Budget favouring real estate consists of the following-

  1. Long term capital gains are subject to capital gains tax at 10 percent from now on rendering investment in real estate more attractive than ever before.
  2. Senior citizens and salaried employees receiving tax breaks giving them money in the hand to go and buy a house.
  3. Push on infrastructure comprising public investment in the rural areas, agricultural marketing, urban connectivity; particularly Metros etc multiply investment prospects for real estate sector.

Nayan A Shah, MD and CEO, Mayfair Group

The deeper logic of the Budget favouring real estate consists of the following-

1. Long Term Capital Gains are subject to capital gains tax at 10% from now on rendering investment in real estate more attractive than ever before.
2. Senior Citizens and salaried employees receiving tax breaks giving them money in the hand to go and buy a house.
3. Push on Infrastructure comprising public investment in the rural areas, agricultural marketing, urban connectivity , particularly Metros etc multiply investment prospects for real estate sector.

Mr Ravindra Pai, MD, Century Real Estate Pvt Ltd

There were a lot of expectations from the Finance Minister in this budget for real estate. Unfortunately, other than some minor mention about a fund for affordable housing and increased allocation for smart cities there isn’t really anything for real estate or home buyers.

Mr Manish Agarwal, Partner and Leader- Infrastructure, PwC India

50 lakh crore for infrastructure is welcome is as it reaffirms continued funding of various initiatives in Roads, Railways and Urban Infrastructure. Quantum leap in airport capacity is key requirement to keep pace with the rapid growth in aviation. Other initiatives, outside the budget, to revive private sector play in these sectors, will complement and further the impact of the budget allocations.

Mr Mukund Patel – MD of Rutu Group Companies

The budget has been along expected lines, however the budget’s affirmation to affordable housing is a positive step. The affordable housing fund can also act as a stimulus for the real estate industry, driving demand for homes that’s both affordable and aspirational. We look forward to work with the government towards housing for all in a proposition that’s a win-win for all respective stakeholders as a whole.

Furthermore, the tax incentive for corporates will also provide a fillip for the real estate industry as the added liquidity can free up resources to further consolidate the growth of the industry.

Mr. Mrinal Kumar, Partner Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas

With Budget 2018, the government continues to boost the affordable housing sector by setting up an affordable housing fund under the umbrella of the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna, which will give impetus to the growth of industries ancillary to the real estate sector. Further, the relaxation of income tax adjustment in case of difference of less than 5% between the circle rate and consideration for real estate acquisitions, is a welcome change.

Mr Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India

The Union Budget 2018-2019 has predominantly focussed on revitalising the rural economy which is a good move. We also welcome the thrust on the healthcare, agriculture and infrastructure sectors outlined in this budget. Throughout last year, measures surrounding ‘Affordable Housing’ were the mainstay from the perspective of real estate industry. This was also evident in the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) and the last Goods & Services Tax (GST) Council meet where they brought down the effective rate to 8% from 12%. A similar trend is visible in this budget where the ‘Affordable Housing’ fund under National Housing Bank (NHB) has been created as a part of the priority sector lending. However, there has been a silence in the budget on stimulating mainstream real estate demand. The sector grappling with the reforms-driven new order has been bereft of any meaningful interventions that could have been achieved through the budget.

Mr. Rohit Poddar, MD, Poddar Housing & Development Ltd

We are delighted that this is an inclusive budget where the government has continued its thrust on infrastructure and targeting the rural economy with a commitment to affordable housing. Having said this looks like a ‘smart budget targeting the 2019 General Elections.

Mr. Ketan Musale, Managing Director, DOTOM Realty 

Decent budget has been allocated to boost the infrastructure & affordable housing of Rural areas in turn easing the load of metropolitan cities.MIG and HIG groups who are the major tax payers have been ignored in current budget leaving a sour taste. Upgrading their lifestyles will be challenging which would reduce the velocity of sales of homes in metropolitan cities. The scenario of 2017 has been extended to 2018 not enhancing much in Real Estate segment, carrying forward our hopes to 2019.

Mr Neeraj Sharma, Director, Grant Thornton Advisory Private Limited 

Affordable Housing and Infrastructure gets a significant push this Budget. As a result of the government’s move to create a dedicated fund for affordable housing, more developers will embrace this segment of real estate, creating much-needed traction on the ground. Enhanced spend on Infra aggregating to INR 14.34 lakh crore and monetisation of assets being held in the public sector undertakings through creation of InvITs, will fast-track the agenda of improving infrastructure in the country. Clarification around computation of tax in case of circle rate variation is a pragmatic step.

Mr Manoj Gaur, Vice President CREDAI-National & MD, Gaurs Group

This year’s union budget presentation missed on providing the much needed cushion to the realty sector. This was the first budget session post the implementation of RERA and GST, and thus we had hoped for certain incentives for this sector. Government’s seriousness and target to achieve housing for all by 2022 saw a boost for the affordable housing segment, where an affordable housing fund has been proposed. Apart from this, heavy allocation of funds towards infrastructure upgradation will help towards the nation’s development.

Mr Deepak Kapoor, President CREDAI-Western U.P. & Director, Gulshan Homz

For a sentiment driven sector such as real estate, it is imperative that the budget proposes benefits towards the personal income tax model. Today’s union budget did not address towards the taxation structure for the general masses, but did provide a benefit to MSME by extending the corporate tax of 25 percent for companies with an annual revenue upto Rs. 250 crores. Reduced tax burden on corporates might allow real estate to see new start ups and increase job opportunities.

Mr Gaurav Gupta, General Secretary CREDAI-Ghaziabad & Director, SG Estates

Union Budget 2018-19 has stressed a lot upon developing infrastructure and creating a pool of job opportunities. Though, there wasn’t a direct benefit accorded to the realty sector this time, but the proposal of development of 4 lakh Kms of road and upgrading rural infrastructure will greatly bring up the Tier 2 and 3 cities of India on the realty map. This is in the long run will help boost the housing demand and investment opportunities for those regions.

Mr Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific Group

The government has shown keen interest towards enhancing the connectivity and infrastructure in the country by proposing an amount of Rs. 50 Lakh crores. Agriculture sector was the biggest gainer in today’s Budget presentation along with a major relaxation to MSMEs by way of reduced corporate tax. Real estate sector did not see a direct incentive today, but better infrastructure and connectivity will pave way for greater housing and commercial demand in the developing regions.

Mr Pradeep Aggarwal, Co-Founder & Chairman, Signature Global

We welcome the union budget 2018-19 by the government which has aimed to provide a major thrust to the affordable housing segment in the country with a target to fulfil the dream of housing for all by 2022. Major announcements were made for the betterment of this segment once again. Proposal to open up an affordable housing fund will greatly benefit in the long run. Plan to develop over 1 crore houses in the rural areas will significantly help the housing mission. Announcement of development of new roadways across the nation will allow the untapped regions to develop. With such scale development, job creation is bound to happen as well.

Mr Vikas Bhasin, MD, Saya Group

Real estate sector got missed out in today’s budget presentation with just some indirect long term benefits in offer. Work on the infrastructure front has been the backbone and the same has received massive allocation of funds yet again. With rapid development, more and more smaller regions will come into lime light, and may become the next investment hubs. With such large scale development, ample of job creation will occur which will open the gates for housing demand as well.

Mr Dhiraj Jain, Director, Mahagun Group

This was the last full union budget presentation by the current government which has come out with a mixed bag for the realty sector. Since this was the first budget for the realty sector after the nationwide implementation of GST and RERA, we were expecting some gaps to be filled. Apart from affordable housing segment and infrastructure development, nothing much has been presented for the realty sector. Although, he are hopeful for the remaining budget session to bring some respite for this sector.

Mr. Shrinivas Rao, CEO-APAC, Vestian

The Union Budget 2018 held many expectations, primarily owing to the testing phase that the economy underwent in the past year. While the realty fraternity harboured hopes of relief measures such as lower taxes, rationalisation of the GST rates and infrastructure status, the budget decided to focus on strengthening agriculture and rural economy, providing healthcare to economically less privileged, care for senior citizens, infrastructure creation and working with the states to provide more resources for imparting quality education in the country. This budget, thus, is a measure aimed towards improving the rural sector, that forms 66.86% of the country’s population, which in turn shall work towards creating an equal economy in the country.

Mr. Farshid Cooper, Managing Director, Spenta Corporation

Reducing corporate tax rate to 25% for companies with turnover below Rs 250 crores will be very positive for the real estate industry. The trickledown effect of the tax saving will mean disposable income in the hands of the common man, thereby increasing consumption and investment in real estate. Disappointed that stamp duty was not incorporated in GST to ease pressure on homebuyers.

Mr Rakesh Makkar, Director, Grihashakti – Fullerton India Home Finance Company 

We welcome the announcement of a dedicated affordable housing fund in the National Housing Bank. This initiative, as well as the GST announcement last week on rationalization of affordable and low-cost housing, will encourage formal credit penetration into the sector. The Affordable Housing Fund will further add momentum to Government’s agenda of Housing for All by 2022 by providing easy access to formal credit.

Mr. Sarjan Shah, MD, Group Satellite

Disappointing budget from the perspective of private sector involvement in creating mass housing stock that will make homeownership a reality for all Indians. Budget has unfortunately ignored the stressed and vilified real estate sector that is in desperate need of Government support through specific targeted tax breaks that help make building affordable homes in India viable.

Mr Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director, Dalmia Bharat Limited

The budget reaffirms the strategic direction of clean governance, inclusive growth and bold moves on infrastructure and disinvestment. Very comprehensive and wholistic!

Ms Sarojini Ahuja, VP Sales & Marketing, Transcon Developers. 

This year’s Union Budget was inclined largely towards the fulfillment of government’s dream of ‘Housing for All 2022’ and allocation of fund for affordable housing was a boost yet lacks clarity. However, we were expecting a revision in GST rates so as to pass on the additional benefit to the home buyers, which was missing in this budget

Mr Manoj Paliwal, Chief Marketing Officer, Omkar Realtors and Developers Pvt Ltd

Understanding the government major focus on affordable housing to achieve the target of housing for all, the budget was largely inclined towards the same. Rural infrastructure push will surely boost added housing in these areas resulting in employment generation. Further, the introduction of a long-term capital gain tax of 10% on shares is a step towards creating a bit of level playing field these two assets classes i.e Real Estate and Stock market. This move is positive for Real Estate.

Mr Ashwin Sheth-CMD-Sheth Group

The Union Budget 2018-19 has struck the right chord in line with its affordable housing vision which will promote a robust development of the Real Estate Sector. We applaud the finance minister’s decision to establish a dedicated affordable housing fund in the national housing bank to make this vision a reality. The government has taken a step in the right direction by focusing on infrastructure development with respect to road and rail connectivity as this will catalyze the growth of the housing sector. Initiatives to boost the Mumbai suburban railway network will significantly boost the residential and commercial market in the city. Moreover, focus on the smart cities project will help in improving the standard of living for residents. However, clarity on single window clearance and GST was much anticipated. We also expected incentives for first time home buyers which would have helped increase demand and create equilibrium in the demand-supply gap. Most importantly, granting industry status to the real estate sector which is one of the largest contributors to the growth of the economy was the need of the hour. While this budget focuses on the overall growth of the economy, we will adopt a wait and watch approach and hope adequate measures are taken to complement their continuous endeavours to boost the real estate sector.

Mr. Yadupati Singhania, CMD, JK Cement Ltd 

On the infrastructure front, the Finance Minister has shown remarkable restraint, and therein lies the brilliance of his announcements. India is at the cusp of an infrastructure revolution, and the budgetary support of Rs. 5.97 lakh crore for FY19 will be a big positive for the sector and supplementary industries such as cement. The focus of the government will likely remain on effective and timely execution of existing projects, with the FM promising construction of 9,000 km highways by the end of FY19. Also, it was encouraging to see the reinforcement of the government’s commitment to the Bharatmala Project, which will be a major boost to demand in the next financial year. Besides this, the announcement of the Affordable Housing Fund was also a positive announcement, especially since it will create an impetus for the housing sector, which contributes around 65% to India’s cement demand.

Mr. Amit Ruparel, Managing Director, Ruparel Realty

Driven with the target to provide housing for all by 2022, we appreciate the government’s move to build 1 crore houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna in the rural areas. This move will create housing demand and generate employment. This budget saw the government offering several benefits to the infrastructure sector, at the same time missed out on a few important aspects of the realty sector. Infrastructure status to the entire real sector is still not implemented this could have reduced the developers cost of borrowing for projects. Also the real estate sector looked forward to Single window clearance mechanism which could have helped the developers in making the process more seamless and quicker.

Mr. Rohit Gera, MD, Gera Developments and VP CREDAI Pune Metro

The thrust of the budget on rural India, infrastructure, health care is positive. The budget unfortunately once again neglects the distressed real estate sector. While the finance minister has recognised the challenges around the anomaly between circle rates and actual consideration the difference of 5% is inadequate. This should have been at least 10%. The introduction of long-term capital gains tax on equities however will be positive for real estate. Typically a 3 year indexed effective tax for real estate works out to approximate 10% which will be equivalent to the same tax payable on equities. The LTCG tax on equities therefore will push some investors towards real estate. The increase in the turnover limit to Rs. 250 crores for the tax @ 25% will cover most real estate developers across the country.

Mr. Navroze Dastur, Managing Director, NCR Corporation India

True to its expectations, Budget 2018 has spelt out roadmaps and allocations across various initiatives of the Central Government. I welcome the budget and appreciate the clear commitment shown by the Government towards fueling the growth of digital adaptation by focusing on technology. The Budget kept the agenda surrounded by themes of transformation and energization. In the direction of making India a digital nation a needful decision was made, with the focus rightly on digital India, the budget also gave boost to the FinTech and manufacturing sector through Digital India. However, along with increased push towards digitization, cash continues to remain the world’s most trusted and fastest form of payment and consumers still want to use cash and rely heavily on ATMs.

This budget has made special provisions to ensure greater financial growth, with emphasis on enhancing cyber security in the financial sector. Initiatives to upgrade digital infrastructure, especially with regards to the protection of data has also been addressed.

As the global leader in Omni-channel solutions, we belief that the initiatives taken by the Finance Minister holds huge potential for enhancing economic growth and the government’s policies will usher in a new era of prosperity providing stimulus to cash and digital payments alike. The budget holds great promise and will have a long term impact.

Mr. Ashish Jindal, Co-Head, Real Estate, Sanctum Wealth Management 

The establishment of a dedicated Affordable Housing Fund under National Housing Bank, funded from priority sector lending shortfall and fully serviced bonds authorized by the Government, is a big positive for the real estate sector. It would go a long way in meeting the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of housing for all by 2022. Further, it could drive a few major real estate companies to look at affordable housing as a viable business opportunity.

Post demonetisation, the secondary market witnessed a bit of turbulence due to the absence of liquidity. Additionally, in major cities, the circle rates were increased and had become more than the market rates. This resulted in a gap between the two rates, which was counted as income in hands of both buyer and seller. Hon’ble Finance Minister has given a big relief by allowing upto a 5% gap between the two and this has the potential to remove the irritant and revive secondary market transactions.

Mr Shailesh Puranik, MD, Puranik Builders Pvt. Ltd

The year 2017 was marked as a year with highlights and challenges with various news and policy changes. The industry has going through a transition and challenging times due to many pivotal policy changes like RERA, REIT, GST, Demonetisation that occurred last year. 2018 also looks like to ride along the lines of 2017, However, we expect the government to take some corrective measures in the Union Budget 2018 that would provide relief to the real estate sector.

To begin with there should be no constraints and allowance must be given on the entire interest of housing loan as a deduction for taxation purpose which will again fuel demand for housing. We also expect that the Housing loss set-off limit should be increased from Rs.2 lakhs. The Budget 2018 should provide more incentives for the first time home buyers and developers who have been reeling the burden of RERA and general slowdown last year. It would be helpful if additional limit is set for the principal amount of the home loan, as usually this limit of INR 1.50 lakhs under 80C which gets exhausted under regular investments like PPF, FDs, EPF, insurance premium and much more. Considering the slowdown witnessed in the real estate market the above recommendation can help the sector to gain some momentum and will reap higher growth prospects for builders as well as better returns for the end consumers.

Mr. Pushpender Singh, Managing Director – JMS Buildtech Pvt. Ltd

As Real Estate makes pivotal contribution to the economy, the fall in the GST rate in budget 2018-19 would have provided the extra boost to the sector. However, investment of 2.4 lakh crore for 99 smart cities will attract more investments into the market which will uplift the commercial reality and increase the demand for office spaces. 

Mr. Gaurav Mittal, MD, CHD Developers Ltd

The Finance Minister presented the Union Budget 2018, we welcome the budget. It has paved growth path for the affordable housing segment. Finance Minister announced of establishing dedicated affordable housing fund is an announcement at right direction aims to meet the overall housing target of the government of building 1 crore houses by 2019. Expanding of coverage under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) will fulfill every buyer’s dream of owning a housing.

Mr. Vineet Relia, Managing Director, SARE Homes

The Union budget brings some relaxation for the housing sector. The 1 cr houses to be built under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) and establishment of a dedicated affordable housing fund will act as a booster for affordable housing sector. Besides, the announcement of allotting Rs 2.4 lakh crore for 99 smart cities, will increase the investments in the sector. However, lowering of GST rates was also expected to provide the extra push to the sector.

Mr. Rahul Singla, Director Mapsko Group

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented his Budget for the year 2018-19 in Parliament. The budget is largely focused on uplift of the affordable houses in the country. For next year, we expect a budget which will open a plethora of opportunities for real estate sector especially for ready-to-move-in which will help in the overall development of the country.

Mr Ssumit Berry, Managing Director, BDI Group

We welcome the Union Budget 2018-19 presented by FM Arun Jaitley with emphasis given to the affordable sector. The announcement of establishing dedicated affordable housing fund has brought more relaxation to the affordable housing sector not only this the benefit of increasing coverage under PMAY is also a positive news for the end users.

Mr. Ashish Sarin, CEO, Alpha Corp

The emphasis on strengthening rural income and giving a push to affordable housing segment is a positive development.  Although the real estate sector was expecting more in terms of getting industry status to the sector, the push towards “formal employment” and Infrastructure development will create a positive push for employment creation, which is the critical need of the hour.

Mr. Anshuman Magazine, Chairman India & South East Asia CBRE

It is fair to say that this year’s budget is a populist one, focusing on providing social security at the grass root level. The various announcements and funding provided are towards promoting the further growth of small scale industries as well as improving nfrastructure, particularly across rural India.

There is some good news for the real estate sector as well. With the aim of improving connectivity the Finance Minister has proposed the redevelopment of over 600 railway stations, completion of 9,000 kms of highways as well as improvement of regional connectivity with UDAN expected to connect 56 unserved airports and 31 unserved helipads in the country. This will have a positive impact on the country’s trade movement. Additionally, the budget also focusses on the development of the suburban railway networks in Bangalore and Mumbai. This focus on infrastructure development is in line with the governments long term objective of making India future ready.

The establishment of a dedicated affordable housing fund under the National Housing Bank for priority sector lending will provide a further impetus to the development of housing in this segment. Additionally, the fact that differentials between market value and circle rates for properties (upto 5%) will not be adjusted, will also help the demand for housing. From a taxation point of view, the increase in standard deductions to INR 40,000 per annum will help individuals have more disposable income which could be channeled towards higher investments into real estate.

It was hoped that this year’s budget would finally address the need to put in place single window clearance and accord infrastructure status to the sector. Though these issues continue to remain, this year’s budget has focussed towards strengthening the country’s agricultural and rural sectors, two significant contributors to India’s economy.

Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, President, NAREDCO

When he started his Budget Speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said what has been largely expected that the budget will focus on Agriculture and rural economy. He did not disappoint this expectation, with what is largely a ‘Socialist’ budget. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has managed to balance populist demands, the need to support economic growth and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on fiscal discipline and reforms.

From a real estate perspective, the Finance Minister said the government will establish a dedicated affordable housing fund in the National Housing Bank through various funding measures. “This is a welcome step”. The Finance Minister’s mention of reducing hardships faced in realty deals was ‘positive’.

It was also positive to see Suburban Railways in Mumbai find a mention in the budget, with Rs 11,000 crore of outlay. “Improved railway network and accessibility generally have a positive multiplier effect on real estate”.

Targets of Swacch Bharat, rural electricity and LPG connections have been increased substantially, which is a positive. The Budget take-away: Focus on ‘ease of living’ after ‘ease of doing business’.

Mr Sandeep Upadhyay, MD and CEO , Centrum Infrastructure Advisory Limited

Overall the initiatives announced in FM’s Budget speech for the infrastructure space seemed to be focused on the unleashing the capital expenditure cycle in line with the structural and policy reforms introduced in the sector over the last few years. While the key highlight for me was the renewed focus on augmenting rural infrastructure, however this Budget is in particular very positive for players in the transportation infrastructure sector.

Key Highlight: Augmenting rural infrastructure besides emphasizing on new roll out models in Transportation sector

Overall Comment: Highly positive for transportation sector (Roads, Railways, & Airports)

The budget as expected seems to be tilted towards the populist side driven by investments primarily focused into the Social, Agriculture and Infrastructure sector. However despite the huge capital Commitments the projected fiscal deficit being contained to 3.3% for FY19 is reassuring and commendable.

Increased weightage to push development of rural and agriculture infrastructure was one of the major highlights of the FM’s budget speech.

Overall it seems the Government’s exchequer shall have to be leveraged big time for undertaking the commitments to the Infrastructure sector which commands an all time high allocation in FY19.

The transportation sector including Railways, Road and Urban transportation sectors are the biggest beneficiaries. While the target set for the Bharatmala Projects is aspirational however completion of 9000 Kms of road projects on FY18 is commendable and demonstrates prudent policy and regulatory changes effected in the Roads and Highways sector.

While the plan to monetize assets through innovative models like the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) is still at nascent stage however it shall be a critical tool for NHAI to reach its target. Continued emphasis on the Bond market and the encouraging Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InVITs) is a prudent move however one was expecting to hear some more concrete steps being taken around the deepening of the Bond market.

The aviation sector which has continued to witness phenomenal growth would be augmented on the airport Infrastructure side to keep pace with the overwhelming growth in passenger traffic.

The capital expenditure budgeted for Railways sector is pegged at 1.48 Lac Crores. Majority of this Capex is supposed to be spent on track augmentation and enhancing safety standard which is also the need of the hour in the Railways sector.

Ms. Shubika Bilkha, Business Head of The Real Estate Management Institute (REMI)

In the run up to the electoral year, the Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley at the outset highlighted that strengthening agriculture, the rural economy, infrastructure, good health, quality of education, employment and the MSME’s was the focus of the Budget 2018. This is seemingly predictable as we gear up for an upcoming election year.

Infrastructure and urban development continued to see a thrust with Rs.50 lakh crores towards infrastructure, Rs.11, 000 crores towards the Mumbai metro, a focus on the warehousing and logistic segments, and the development of commercial land around the railways, to name a few. Further, the continued focus on the development of Smart Cities, digitization, sustainability, the provision of basic utilities shows an ongoing commitment towards urbanization. The budget also highlights the creation of additional architecture and urban planning institutions to fulfill the much needed skill gap in the built environment.

Budget 2018, however, shied away from addressing some of the key concerns of the real estate sector, a departure from the previous years. As one of the mainsectors of the economy vying for an industry status and a demand side boost, and one that has powered through the impact of a new regulatory regime and the GST, the budget seems to leave the sector at status quo.

Affordable housing, where the real shortfall exists, saw an encouraging boost with the creation of a dedicated Affordable Housing Fund by the National Housing Bank (NHB) to address the issue of funding constraints faced by all stakeholders. The additional commitment to rural affordable housing is also a welcome addition, as is the recapitalization that allows banks to lend Rs.5 lakh crores.

Will the LTCG levied on equities may be contribute to having investors look at alternative assets in real estate is something that is left to be seen?

The initiatives on job creation and healthcare, while seemingly necessary, are aggressive and in need of strong execution plans to see a successful fruition. The incentives provided to senior citizens were a welcome move, as were some of the initiatives in education and a much needed improvement of teachers in the educational framework. While corporate tax at 25% for companies with a turnover of up to Rs.250 crores I am sure has been welcomed positively, the fiscal slippage is something to carefully consider.

Honey Katiyal, Founder, Investors Clinic

The setting-up of Affordable Housing Fund under the aegis of the National Housing Bank (NHB) with a massive thrust on infrastructure development are welcome moves. A program like RISE to revitalize revitalization of infra and education systems with an initial budget outlay of Rs 1 lakh crore will have a long-term effect on the real estate sector and our society at large. Just a few days ago, the government reduced the GST rate on affordable housing units from 12% to 8% and I believe that such reduction would also be extended to all the types of residential properties which are under-construction across the country.

NSN Murty, Partner and Leader- Smart Cities, PwC India

Government expenditure on thousands of projects initiated under Smart Cities Mission across India going has already created a large marketplace for private sector and is going to further translate into jobs at all level, better and efficient infrastructure and liveable cities for everyone.

Mr. M Murali, Managing Director, Shriram Properties

The Budget 2018 is more of a welfare budget – an ad mixture of populism and pragmatism. Moves like National Health Protection scheme benefitting 50 crore people is highly laudable and much needed one in a country like India, since long. The budget seems to focus on rural economy and agriculture this time with emphasis on generation of higher income for farmers. This is feasible as India is traditionally an agrarian economy.

With the Economic Survey suggesting that the economy should grow between 7 percent and 7.5 percent in fiscal 2019, we were watchful on the government’s stance on containing fiscal deficit –speculating whether country will stay on the course of fiscal consolidation path.  It is welcoming that the fiscal deficit target for next fiscal would be 3.3% and target for 2017-18 will be 3.5%.

Announcement of dedicated affordable housing for priority sector fund is encouraging. But there is still a lot to be done to achieve the objective of Housing For All mission which has both social and economic benefits. The real estate sector was expecting much more from the Budget 2018, particularly under affordable housing segment. Government may have to revisit this area.  However the out lay of 2.04 lac crore for 99 cities under smart city mission is heart- warming.

Another important aspect that has surfaced during this budget is the step towards elimination of crypto currency and focus on digital transformations which are welcome social moves. Having successfully implemented the fundamental structural reforms without minding the political cost, perhaps this may be the best budget without much tinkering into the system.

Mr Sharad Mittal, Head – Director, Motilal Real Estate Investment (MORE)

Focus on Affordable Housing – Govt. Focus on Affordable Housing and their endeavor towards “Housing for All” continues. Demand side was addressed in the pre-budget development when the GST was reduced from 12% to 8% on Affordable Housing Projects and for buyers under the CLSS schemes. Through this budget, the Govt. has tried to address the supply side by the announcement of an Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) through the National Housing Bank(NHB)

Corporate Tax Rate @25% – In a welcome news, the Govt. proposed to reduce the tax rates of corporates having an annual turnover of upto Rs. 250 Cr to 25%. This will cover almost the entire universe of housing projects and would be another tax relief for developers.

Circle Rates – One of the issues pertaining to the sector was that while taxing income from capital gains or any other sources in any transaction of immovable property, the higher of circle rate or consideration value is taken and the difference is counted as income in the hands of the stakeholders. The Budget proposed that there shall be no adjustment where Circle rates are higher by 5% of the actual sales consideration. This would be beneficial in areas which have seen price reduction but where the circle rates haven’t moved down parallely.

Mr Pakshal Sanghvi, Director, Sanghvi Realty 

The budget was contrary to people’s expectations of being a populist budget as this is the last budget by the Modi Government before the elections in 2019. However, I personally feel that it is a good budget that has taken agriculture and rural areas into focus for economic development of the country. Real Estate as a sector was left out.

However, this budget also took one step towards granting real estate sector an industry status by setting up an Affordable Housing Fund. This effort will help realize the ‘Housing For All by 2022’ vision of our Honorable Prime Minister and slowly but surely grant the real estate sector an industry status.

The Finance Minister also mentioned about reducing the hardships faced in realty deals and addressed the anomaly under Section 43 CA to tax real estate transactions at their real value rather than the value arrived at by applying artificially higher circle rates. As per new announcement, if the circle rate does not exceed 5% of transaction value, no adjustment is required towards the capital gains on a real estate transaction. It will help in terms of some extra savings if there is parity between the market rates and the ready-reckoner rates. The five percent differential allowed from the ready reckoner rates will benefit the buyers at large. I feel that this is the right time for buyers who want to buy properties like these.

Mr Sundeep Jagasia, Managing Director, Shree Krishna Group

Key positives for Affordable Housing within real estate were, one being the dedicated fund for Affordable housing to be formed under National Housing Bank and the other was the inclusion of affordable housing loans under priority sector lending. Both these measures will increase the credit availability for real estate sector.

No good news for the housing industry as the much-awaited relief in GST and revision in home loan rates were left untouched. However, overall, due to focus on Housing For All 2022 and boost to rural infrastructure, the industry should prosper in the future.

Ashish R. Puravankara, Managing Director, Puravankara Limited

The Union Budget for 2018-2019 demonstrates an encouraging growth story for India. The pre cursor for Union 2018 for the real estate sector started with the notification of the GST council to extend the concessional rate (of GST) acquired under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for Housing for All (Urban) Mission/PMAY effectively came into force as on 25th January 2018. This now brings the current GST at 8% instead of 12% for under-construction homes.

A robust road map for housing for all was laid during the budget last year such as infra status to affordable housing and tax holiday for affordable housing and now the establishing of a dedicated affordable housing fund under the National Housing Bank will give it a huge fillip too.

The extension of corporate tax rate of 25% to companies with the turnover up to 250 crore from just 50 crore till last year, will have a positive impact on the health of corporate India irrespective of any sector. With the focus on development in rural India, infrastructure augmentation, healthcare accessibility, education enhancement, employment benefits and smart city expansion, our country is gearing towards a stronger, healthier and brighter economy. We will be happy to contribute to our nation’s growth story and accelerate development and inclusive growth.

Mr. Sanjay Bhutani – CMO, Rivali Park, CCI Projects.

Union budget 2018-2019 is offering a major boost to the ever emerging real estate industry. Government’s initiative of allocating dedicated funds for the affordable housing scheme under NHB and One Crore houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)  will prove to be a win-win situation for the supplier and the buyer alike. The real estate industry also welcomed the announcement of The Smart Cities Mission with government’s initiative to spend about INR 2,04 lakh crores to execute smart projects will be an added advantage for the Indian Property segment. The capital gains on immovable properties has brought about a positive atmosphere in the Indian Property segment.

Mr. Govind Sankaranarayanan, Chief Operating Officer – Retail Business & Housing Finance, Tata Capital

The Budget 2018 announcement seems to have struck a delicate balance between the populist demands and fiscal prudence, given the past year’s subdued economic growth. The world’s largest health care benefit programme could have dramatic and far-reaching implications for the health & insurance industries. The setting up of a dedicated Affordable Housing Fund reinforces the government’s commitment to this sector, which should also provide an additional fillip to the real estate sector and financial institutions supporting the government’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna scheme. Overall, the various initiatives should generate rural incomes and create jobs which should ultimately result in consumption.

Mr. Tushad Dubash, Director, Duville Estates

Budget 2018-19 focus on infrastructure and the Smart Cities initiative is a positive move for the real estate sector and Pune in specific. The Smart Cities Mission is an ambition to develop 100 cities across India that would also harness the Information Communication Technology (ICT) capabilities. Pune comes under the governments Smart City initiative and the allocation of Rs. 2.04 lakh crore towards the listed 99 Smart Cities will serve well for Pune’s real estate market.

Pune’s real estate is one is the lesser impacted markets in comparison to the other key cities and have proved to be one of the more resilient markets in the country. Unlike other metros where buyers have demonstrated a strong preference for ready-to-move in apartments, in Pune there has been a steady skew to in terms of interest in under-construction projects. It is important to note that strong Real Estate have had a steady momentum in terms of inventory off-take and that the excellent infrastructural connectivity has definitely lent a positive slant to sustaining the current momentum especially in some of Pune’s micro-geographies which have withstood the onslaught of a decline in prices due to the impact of de-monetization, RERA and GST.

Combining Pune’s growing infrastructure along with the sustained demand will boost Pune’s real estate market further. Infrastructure is a growth driver for the country and the budgets focus on infrastructure and connectivity will have an impact on not only the real estate sector but the economy on the whole.

Mr. Prashant Solomon, MD, Chintels India and Hon. Treasurer, CREDAI NCR and Convenor of CREDAI National (Media and PR Committee)

The budget has several incentives for the rural sector, women etc but I would have liked the benefits of tax reduction to be wide spread with more income tax rebates for middle and salaried classes in order to increase disposable income and boost spending power that will help the economy and our sector grow in the long run. Though there are no major incentives for the growth of real estate industry the re-introduction of LTCG will help in growth of other investment avenues. Concessions in the budget towards the affordable housing sector and the setting up of an Affordable Housing Fund under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna, will help the realty sector ancillaries grow. Though most of the recommendations that we had made on behalf of the real estate industry have not been addressed, the move towards no adjustment to be made in a case where the circle rate value does not exceed 5% of the consideration is a welcome move.

Mr. Nagaraju Routhu, CEO of Hero Realty

We must appreciate the fact that the government is very serious on the mission of housing for all and in the same light we have seen some extremely positive announcements in the budget today. The setting up of a separate fund for affordable housing is a welcome move as it will enable an efficient supply of housing projects in the country. The government move of the 5% deviation from circle rates to remove hardship is not enough as in many cases; the actual deviation of circle rates to prevailing market is as high as 30%.

Mr. Sarjan Shah, MD, Group Satellite

Disappointing budget from the perspective of private sector involvement in creating mass housing stock that will make homeownership a reality for all Indians. Budget has unfortunately ignored the stressed and vilified real estate sector that is in desperate need of Government support through specific targeted tax breaks that help make building affordable homes in India viable.

Mr. Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director of Pacific India Group 

The budget this year is a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiatives and aimed at a progressive development of the rural economy and growth of the entire country. The focus on infrastructure, social inclusion and progress, education, agriculture and healthcare are steps in the right direction. Though there is not much in terms of addressing the problems faced by the realty sector but the move towards no adjustment in case of the circle rate not exceeding 5 % of sale consideration is a welcome move. Standard deduction for transport, medical reimbursement for salaried taxpayers and incentives for Senior citizens will help increase disposable income at hand.

Mr. T Chitty Babu, Chairman and CEO, Akshaya Pvt. Ltd

The much-awaited Union Budget is out today with many new announcements across sectors, and as expected, there is a huge boost to infrastructure with a slew of announcements related to the capacity addition to roadways, railways and airways network. The great boost to infrastructure investment will pave way for real estate developments in a big way. Secondly, the huge focus and funding towards the SME sector will enable employment generation helping boost the economy and addressing the needs of the youth. When it comes to real estate sector, the push given by the Government towards affordable housing is really appreciable and will help in realising the dream of ‘Housing for all 2022’.

The existing Government initiatives like land reforms, REITS, FDI in real estate, RERA, GST, Smart Cities, Housing for all 2022, infrastructure status given to affordable housing, subsidies for buyers and tax benefits for developers will prove to be beneficial if the Government is also able to implement most of it through single window approvals, in the coming years. We are hopeful that this will create many jobs and accelerate the growth of the infrastructure and real estate industry and also contribute to the ‘Make in India’ effort of the Government.

Mr. Rattan Hawelia, Founder & Chairman, Hawelia Group

The budget has more misses than hits. The government initiative to establish dedicated affordable housing fund will act as a stimulus for the real estate industry and will help create more affordable supply as well as drive demand from genuine end-users. However we look forward to work with the government initiatives towards housing for all in a proposition that’s win-win for all respective stakeholders as a whole.

Increased allocation for smart cities and the relaxation of income tax adjustment in case of difference of less than 5% between the circle rate and consideration for real estate acquisitions is a welcome change. However, disappointed with no changes in tax savings on home loans, income tax slabs or GST slabs, means no extra benefit to new home buyers. Budget has failed to address any subsidies for the construction industry that implies high cost-pressure while constructing budget housing project.

The need of the hour was to provide a positive boost and momentum to the struggling real estate sector which could have make a decisive difference and positive impact on consumers and the overall sentiments of the market.

Bhairav Dalal, Partner, Real Estate Tax, PwC India 

Affordable Housing continues to get preferential treatment given the ‘Housing for all’ agenda. Creation of the Affordable Housing Fund will certainly ease the funding gap. While providing a safe harbour is a welcome move for property transactions, the margin of 5% may not serve the purpose. REIT investors would have to now factor LTCG tax while evaluating investment opportunities which would increase their return expectations.

Surendra Hiranandani, CMD, House of Hiranandani

I would term it as a pro farmers budget with a slew of measures well directed towards improving productivity in agriculture. With the increase in MSP for crops, thrust on organic farming, doubling the expenditure allocated to food processing sector, liberalization of agricultural exports, creating state of the art facilities at food parks, push to fisheries and allied sector, measures for senior citizens, this budget truly focused on uplifting the life of the “aam aadmi”. The introduction of various schemes in these areas will certainly bridge the rural-urban divide in the future. The announcements in the areas of healthcare in particular are path breaking and will empower the poor and under privileged sections of the society.

While there was no direct benefit to the real estate sector from the budget, some measures announced will positively impact the sector. The announcement of a dedicated affordable housing fund in the National Housing Bank (NHB) funded from priority sector lending shortfall and fully serviced bonds authorized by the Indian government is a welcome move and could act as a catalyst in the government’s vision of “Housing for All by 2022”. The move to allow a variation of 5% between transaction value and circle rates for computation of capital gains will not impact transactions significantly in any of the metropolitan cities in India. The massive push for improvement in infrastructure, including significant capital expenditure for roads, railways and development of smaller airports will indirectly benefit the real estate sector in the long run.

One of the concerns is the inability to meet the fiscal deficit in spite of surpassing the divestment target. New measures adopted for reducing the deficit might push up the yields leading to higher interest rates for both corporates and households. Investors in particular will not be pleased with Long Term Capital Gains on sale of equity and mutual fund investments. We could see some flight of capital from equity to the real estate class on the back of this move. The salaried class too stood to gain very little as the standard deduction of Rs 40,000 will provide nominal benefits to them.

We had certainly anticipated more for the real estate sector which is the second largest employment generator in the economy after agriculture. It seems the entire focus of the government was on the latter while undermining the importance of real estate to the economy.

Mr. Amarjit Bakshi, Managing Director, Central Park

After laying the foundation for a more robust and organized real estate sector, we anticipated the government to further reinvigorate the industry by way of lowering the GST rates, allowing single window clearance and affording an industry status to the real estate sector.  These changes would have contributed positively to hasten the recovery of the industry which is today one of the largest employer and contributor to country’s GDP.

Having said that, the Government’s continued focus on affordable housing with an establishment of a dedicated fund will further propel the realization of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) which aims to bring more people under the ambit of inclusion. Greater focus on developing the infrastructure layout by way of increased budget allocation for highways, acceleration of rural roads construction is a welcome move as it will drive greater socio- economic development around these regions.

Dharmesh Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, NIRMAL

This year has been rife with changes for real estate sector, starting with demonetization moving onto to RERA and eventually GST. Early industry predictions underlined the eminent slow down as a result of said fluctuations. The sector had to take a step back in order to understand, align and action in accordance. Although demonetization had an intense almost immediate effect amongst the supply side, demand has been steady, gradually picking up in the past months. Furthermore, the demand for office and retail spaces has remained strong. Both segments have witnessed stable and rising rentals across cities. Although the residential section did see setbacks initially, they have begun to bounce back.

Most developers have found it in their best interest to focus on existing inventory. PE Inflows have been the boost required to uplift the sector. Newer announcements during and post the course of the budget, like exemption of Dividend Distribution Tax on special-purpose vehicles have opened ways for REIT sector in India thereby anchoring professional real estate management. Lastly, the infrastructure status for affordable housing has provided the necessary tax relief to developers alongside other incentives. Taking all these into account, we are predicting a promising phase for Indian real estate in the coming months.

Sachin Bhandari, CEO, VTP Realty

With real estate being a major focus owing to the infrastructure development and housing for all initiatives by the Government, the Union Budget 2018 announced today did have some interesting inclusions. In fact, prior to the Union Budget being broadcasted, the Government had declared reduction of GST to 8% for all houses qualifying under credit link subsidy scheme under PMAY. This itself shows the Government’s keenness and commitment to make Housing for All a reality by 2022. Funds have also been allocated by the government for building 37 lakh houses in urban areas. These project the Government’s sanguine outlook towards the realty sector which is very encouraging for us as a business and also as consumers.

Out of 100 smart cities, 99 have been identified and Government announced budgets for development of various projects in these cities. The Finance Minister further announced that the Centre will create a dedicated affordable housing fund in collaboration with the National Housing Bank. For companies like ours, which have MIG and Affordable House offerings, this is a great opportunity to play a role in the development of India and contribute our bit in making our country one of the largest economies in the world. Government’s initiative to focus on both rural and urban housing will further help in accelerating the growth of real estate in our country.

Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson of Nahar Group

One of the key ask for last year was for a budget that acted as a catalyst for the salaried employees which is rightly reflected this year. Standard deduction of Rs 40,000 allowed for transport, medical reimbursement for salaried tax payers is a welcome reform. With a special focus on Infrastructure and urban development we will see a continued thrust with Rs.50 lakh crores towards infrastructure, Rs.11, 000 crores towards the Mumbai metro and a focus on the warehousing and logistic segments, and the development of commercial land around the railways, to name a few.

However by having least focus on the real estate sector, developers will  face a financial challenge in the current real estate scenario. Keeping in mind that 99 cities are selected for smart cities project with an outlay of Rs 2.04 lakh crore, the infrastructure is certainly help in boosting the overall economy. With the introduction of dedicated affordable housing fund under National Housing Bank, the lower segment of the society will definitely have a secured financial decision. As the budget also rightly highlights the creation of insttitutions in the architecture and urban planning we definitely are here building a skilled India.

Publication / Article Source: Content.magicbricks.com

Budget expectations by Real Estate Stalwarts

Indian Real Estate market went through a lot of ups and downs in 2017, for both developers and the home buyers it was a wait and watch situation. Homebuyers may be placed at various stages of the real estate cycle as home buying is considered a pivotal change in life in our country. And developers are the ones who play a vital role in the growing of any country. Real estate falls under 18% tax bracket of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act with 1/3rd abatement for land. On this back ground we spoke Real Estate stalwarts on their expectations from the Union Budget 2018. Their views are pin pointed in below-

Getamber Anand, Chairman, CREDAI and CMD, ATS Infrastructure Ltd. said – “The real estate opportunity to boost GDP mustn’t be missed by the Finance Ministry in this budget. We expect government to increase the exemption limits for deduction of interest from the income of the middle class and salaried homebuyer. Also the interest rates must further be rationalised as must tax rates as the burden is ultimately passed onto the consumer.” On the supply side, we respect the changes that the government brought in last year into the sector by giving it Infrastructure status for affordable housing”, but RBI has not given any directions to the banks per se on reducing cost of capital for projects which qualify as infrastructure. Also under section 80 IB, the push for smaller houses is welcome but we have requested the government to increase the size from 30 and 60 sq. m. to 60 and 90 sq. m. because this is a practical size which is even aspirationally more attractive to the homebuyer. Also for smaller towns the condition that 80% of FSI must be achieved is not practical and should be reduced to about 50%. Having said that we are very hopeful that the government in its wisdom like last year will bring in some new exciting announcements for the realestate sector this year too.

 

Shantilal Kataria, President, CREDAI Maharashtra,  

said – In last year’s budget infra-structure status was declared to affordable housing but still not implemented in true sense by RBI/ banks – it should be done on priority. PMAY subsidies should be directly through nationalised banks in addition to HUDCO, NHB. Some of the income tax provisions should not be co-related with ready recknor/ circle rates of states. There should not be additional burden of tax on flats sold below ready recknor rates. GST should include state stamp duty or reduce GST rates to 6% {like earlier service tax+ VAT (4.5% + 1%)}. Provide more incentives to first time home buyers.

 

Shrikant Paranjape, President, Credai, Pune Metro, said –  It is expected that government will give benefits mainly to affordable housing. Amendment to s80IBA so that very large developments can also participate in affordable housing thereby increasing affordable housing stock. Steps to bring in ease of doing business for affordable housing such as Sanctions by architects. Lowering of LTV ratio and risk rating for affordable housing which has hot infrastructure status, so that larger and cheaper housing loans for consumer and construction finance for developers will be available. Consumer centric relaxations like additional housing loan deduction for taxation, interest at lower rate from a special housing fund. Concessional GST at 5% for affordable housing, Relaxation for women buyers In PMAY norms.

 

Pakshal Sanghvi, Director, Sanghvi Realty, said – I strongly believe that the Union Budget 2018 will be good for everyone. The sentiment in the market is good with the affordable housing policy of the government. Also, lack of trust which used to be a big challenge for the realtors has been effectively addressed by the Government with RERA. There have been many landmark judgments under the act, since the time it is implemented.

By the end of two more quarters, the market is expected to be more stable. Also, Input Tax Credit under the GST module has helped the builders to pass on the benefits to the consumers. A mega advertising and promotion campaign on GST undertook by the Modi Government also helped in making the consumers aware of the different stages and benefits available to them under GST.

Real estate sector may be granted ‘industry’ status, which will help the sector to access long-term financing at a lower cost. The benefits of the low costing will be eventually passed on to the consumers. There should be concessions in the income tax slabs for home buyers. These would positively affect disposable incomes and would help spur sales on the real estate market. Since last year the sentiment was negative due to demonetization followed by a change in the policy environment, the consumers were sitting on a fence leading to a massive slowdown in the real estate sales. If the honorable government could think of lowering the GST slabs for real estate for a period of a year, it will boost the sentiment of the industry.

Stamp Duty and Registration charges which are outside the ambit of GST should be included in GST. Additional tax sops to homebuyers by increasing the Rs. 2 lakh tax deduction limit for a housing loan. Tax incentive for first-time home buyers under Section 80EE hiked from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

Single window clearances, which have been effectively implemented across many sectors, should be made available for real estate too. I strongly believe that this help the developer and his team focus on the core business and cut the time taken for stupendous paperwork.

The current Government has done a lot of work for the real estate sector. The sector will be benefitted in a big way if the above pointers are being considered and implemented.

Shivshankar K R, MD at Inovar Floors India Pvt Ltd, said  – Our industry the flooring is directly related to the real estate sector that includes both residential and commercial complexes. We expect some the benefits to be declared for real estate industry so that the demand picks up and the industry sees more healthy time. We look forward to the benefits that will generate demand in the real estate sector. It will be good if the GST in the building materials that goes in the construction of houses is brought down to 12 % from 18 %.

 

 

Ashok Mohanani, Chairman Ekta World & Vice President NAREDCO West, 

said – Looking at the upcoming election in mid of 2019, the feelers doing the rounds indicate that the Union budget 2018-19 is going to be more beneficial for the poor & Middle segment citizens in the country”. The government will hopefully look into reducing the income tax slabs and various other taxes, benefiting the common man. Bring back the lost luster to Fixed Deposits.

In terms of real estate, the government should increase housing loss set-off limit of Rs.2 lakhs this will allow tax payers to set off a larger part of the house property loss against other income & help boosting demand.

It would be wise to eliminate GST on affordable category, however if not that a lower GST on it like the discussions for 6% is being avidly sought by realtors. Further Interest rate subsidies on home loans must be provided to Middle Income Group households. Like, households earning between Rs 6 and Rs 12 lakh a year can claim a 4% subsidy on home loan amounts up to Rs 9 lakh. Households earning between Rs 12 and 18 lakh annually can receive a 3% subsidy on loans amounts up to Rs 12 lakh. We would want these caps to be raised so that they’re in tune with the ever-escalating costs of property ownership in urban area and yet again reboot demand in the industry.

Reduction in Corporate Tax to between 18-25%, lastly greater incentives to developers to encourage PPP model to achieve PM vision of Housing For All 2022. Furthermore, under section 80IBA of the income tax act, provision 2(b) to be amended to include, in cases where more than one approval has been obtained, the last approval taken to be considered under the act for tax benefits. To further bolster growth in the housing sector, interest exemption should also be included for second homes.

 

Amit Wadhwani, Director Sai Estate Consultants,  said – The year 2018 is going to be very important year from the center’s and state’s perspective as there are election right down corner. In the light of the election in mid of 2019, this year’s budget will be a positive, bullish and strategic, it would be an attempt to impress the citizens. There is been lot of sentiments bashing off the traders and the business owners in India. And in effects of that we saw the results of Gujarat. The budget 2018 should give relief to the tax payers, simplifying of GST norms, ensuring that the GST in certain areas are 28 percent,18 percent should be bought down to 5percent. As far as real estate sector is concerned, there will be GST waiver under affordable housing. There will be reduction or waiving in stamp duty because the way the country is proceeding if there is any further incremental in ready reckoner’s values of respective states in the year 2018 it will actually be a big hit for the development community nationwide. Without the infra and development companies it is very difficult for the center and the states to develop the cities. As far as GST is concerned rates will continue to go down then going up in 2018-19. Charging GST for ready properties is one thing that will also come into play to give a fair complexion between under construction and ready to move homes. Because ready to move homes are more in demand and anything which is in higher demand is taxed higher than the absorption will slowdown. The government should not tax ready position property in the budget 2018.

 

Dharmesh Jain, Chairman & MD, Nirmal Lifestyle,

said  The union budget is expected to be a positive ray of hope for the realty players this year. Affordable housing is a key driver for growth in the real estate sector and there will be an expectation of a better response from the buyers in the middle income category. Developers will benefit from tax holidays and it will aid in reducing endowment as affordable housing receives infrastructure status. Therefore, the developers will be able to pass more benefits to the buyers.

We are expecting the rationalization of GST rates coupled with merging additional stamp duty and registration with GST or reducing the overall cost could ensure the industry is seeing progress in the right direction.

Residential prices are expected to be stable in the coming months due to which there will be an improvement in the sales and new launches resulting in an overall recovery. Here is hope that the long term market dynamics for the sector will remain positive throughout, especially in the residential market. The industry is also expecting some reforms in land acquisition that will act as a stimulator for growth in affordable housing. Not only that, it will remove entry barriers for many private players, encourage new launches and ensure prompt delivery of projects.”

 

Manju Yagnik, vice- chairperson of Nahar Group, said – By all means, 2017 has been a turnaround year for the real estate sector. The industry saw some huge progressive developments and improvements which was needed for the enhancement of the sector. It is now clear that the industry is finally turning in to structured and organized sector. 2017 has been quite significant as the government has announced the right moves to drive growth of real estate sector. Government initiated a number of policies which will give a much needed boost if executed in the right method. As there is a need of approx. 20 million houses the government encouraged the participation of private players to enter affordable housing to achieve ‘Housing for all’ through financial or non-financial support, government has taken a great initiative by developing the PPP model. Apart from RERA and the GST, additional policy initiatives such as REITs, The Benami Transaction Act, Demonetization, are also expected to have a long term impact on the sector. With a tepid market sentiment over the last 2 years, combined with a host of new policy measures, it has never been more challenging to be a leader in real estate. Demonetization, Benami Property act are all steps towards increasing transparency across the real estate sector. The Benami Property Act is expected to bring greater clarity with respect to property ownership. All these measures are in the long run expected to create stable businesses and a mature industry. Also the recent move of linking the Aadhaar with all the property transactions and enhancement in carpet area, Mhada Houses are all positive steps taken for the growth of the industry which is benefitting buyers and developers too. The Indian real estate market is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020. The housing sector alone contributes 5-6 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).The market size of the real estate sector is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2% in the financial year 2008 to 2020. Commercial real estate, retail, hospitality are growing considerably, proving much needed infrastructure for India’s growing needs. The eco system of property market in Indian real estate is much better now as the economy is showing sign of improvement with stringent act that is thus leading to higher buyer’s sentiments. From the inventory standpoint, developers are sitting over quality inventory which will make the wishes of the home buyers for a ready-to-move in flats come true. The positive and brighter outlook for the year of 2018 comes from the innovative reforms that took place in the real estate sector in the year of 2017.

Publication / Article SourceInfrabuddy.com

Reflections of 2017 and 2018 Review

 

 

The year 2017 will go down in the history of Indian real-estate as the year that changed the sector forever. Realty Plus brings a year-end analysis and views and opinions of the sector leaders.

Never in the history of Indian real estate have so many major events taken place within such a short period of time. Indian real estate has witnessed a ‘systems re-boot’ – beginning with demonetization, the legislation on Benami properties, RERA, GST followed by the amendment to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code.

Additionally, the Union Budget for 2017-18 provided affordable housing with infrastructure status and the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY) offers interest subvention schemes to incentivize affordable housing segment. “Under the PMAY (Prime Minister Awas Yojna), the earlier MIG-1 carpet area of 90 sqm has been increased to 120 sqm and the earlier MIG-2 carpet area of 110 sqm has been increased to 150 sqm. So the housing under the above categories shall avail the benefits, subsidies and loans of the PMAY which is expected to give a big boost for the real-estate market in the coming year 2018,” said Parveen Jain, Vice Chairman NAREDCO and CMD, Tulip Infratech Pvt Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Parveen Jain

Certainly, Indian real estate market is agitating for a better tomorrow. The regulations implemented are stringent but were need of the hour. Over a period of time, they will act as catalyst in speeding up the realty growth. It is accounted that at least a time span of two quarters is required for the aftermath to bear its actions. Amarjit Bakshi, Managing Director, Central Park explained, “The growth of real-estate sector remained muted for large part of the year especially after the introduction of regulatory measures. Home buyers adopted a wait and watch approach in anticipation of property prices to be reduced while others considered whether to go for an under-construction or ready to move in property.  While the premium properties uptake has remained at the same level, the mid and aspiring housing segment has taken a blow with correction in property prices. The growing unsold inventory is resulting into developers resorting to reduce property prices further. From a markets perspective, many investors are actively considering adjoining areas of established residential and commercial centres for investments due to factors such as affordability and rapid infrastructure development, for e.g. Sohna being preferred over Gurugram.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Amarjit Bakshi

Reality Check

The residential real estate sector has been facing headwinds for the past few years, primarily due to weak demand. This is reflected in declining sales velocity and subdued cash collections (both in fiscal 2016 and in the first half of fiscal 2017), fewer project launches, and large unsold inventories. Demonetisation has further impacted demand, especially in secondary market transactions and in micro markets with high investor concentration. Demand remains muted as buyers adopt a ‘wait and watch’ mode.

Developers are likely to face funding challenges in the short-to-medium term, which could further delay on-going projects. In addition to high reliance on non-bank funding, developers with a diversified portfolio are further leveraging commercial assets and resorting to sale of assets to tide over funds crunch. Over the long term, however, demonetisation, along with the implementation of The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, should improve transparency and support the industry’s growth and end users’ confidence.

Demand is expected to remain muted in the near term and recover gradually over the medium term, with sustained improvement in macroeconomic conditions. In the affordable housing segment, demand is expected to stay strong given the relatively low ticket sizes and impetus from the government’s ‘Housing for All’ programme. The allocation under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana received a special allocation of Rs 29,000 crore for fiscal 2018, an increase of 38.7% over previous fiscal.

In commercial real estate, vacancies have reduced steadily on the back of increasing absorption over the last couple of years and limited additional supplies. Rentals have also been rising steadily. Occupancy is expected to stay healthy driven by improving business conditions.

The retail sector continues to witness strong traction given the healthy performance of large and established retail malls across the country. Large foreign institutional investors have been scouting for good properties across metros, and large and small cities, given the strong growth potential over the medium term.

Source: CRISIL Ratings Round-Up Fiscal 2017

 

The Sales & Marketing

The year started with speculation of prices correcting by correct 30% to 40% across the country. This as expected put a stop on new sales. The government however did try to promote the real-estate sector by loosening some of the conditions around the tax-free scheme for affordable housing. This along with the inclusion of middle income group into the category of people who can avail of the interest subsidy from the government pushed developers to reconfigure their product mix towards more affordable housing. As a result, the average size of homes launched has dropped drastically.

As per PwC report on Key Tax Issues at Year End for Real Estate Investors 2017/2018 for India, while optically the tax rate may appear to be higher, increased availability of credits to real-estate developers should lead to reduction in prices in the long run. Further, GST has also introduced anti-profiteering provisions, mandating the businesses to pass on the benefit of reduced tax incidence on goods or services to the consumers. This would in turn ensure reduction in prices for the consumers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Rohit Gera

While India has improved on the ease of doing business rankings put out by the World Bank, the one stubborn category that barely moved was the ease of dealing with construction permits where the movement was from the rank of 185 to 181.  “For the real-estate sector to actually start seeing a good momentum of sales (which is necessary to raise the overall GDP of the country) there needs to be a stable tax structure and tax regime. The current chatter around taxing the unsold ready inventory with developers further leads to instability in the mind of the home buyers.  This causes further deferment of the decision to buy a home.  This is detrimental to the industry and the economy,” expressed Rohit Gera, VP CREDAI Pune Metro and Managing Director, Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd.

Considering the pricing difference in the sector, a major fall in prices was observed across the cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. But the after effects over the year are on a positive end. Developers and buyers both have uplifted their game; buyers have become more intrepid with more transparency and opportunity in the market and the developers have observed a more smooth and regulatory business process. Manju Yagnik, Vice-chairperson of Nahar Group is of the view that property rates still stand independent of radical policy reforms and may witness some alteration in long term horizon. ”As developers have responded well to GST ad RERA, they will try certainly not to pass on any extra cost burden to the end user. Today’s market is very much stable for buyers, options are available, making it a good time to invest in a house.  Also the recent move of linking the Adhaar with all the property transactions and enhancement in carpet area, MHADA houses are all positive steps taken for the growth of the industry which is benefitting buyers and developers too.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms. Manju Yagnik

For funding, the industry continued to engage in primary sources i.e. bank loans, institutional investors and internal accruals. Of late, the industry has seen Joint Venture (JV) between developers for projects where finance component is brought in by another partner.  Talking about the newer funding options, Ashwin Sheth- Chairman and Managing Director, Sheth Group stated, “The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given its approval for the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) platform which will allow investors to invest in the Indian realty industry. This would help increase the cash flow in the sector and create opportunities worth billions over the years. Moreover, the liberization of the FDI norms will further improve the cash flow into the sector and promote a robust environment.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Ashwin Sheth

The Performance in 2017

This was truly a year for real estate that was favourable as also challenging. The progressive policy reforms and tax amendments, infrastructure status grant to affordable housing segment, RERA, GST, RBI Policy and REITs introduction has had a cumulative effect on transforming the fabric of the market. Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank India Pvt. Ltd briefed, “The testing times facing the real estate sector in wake of the reforms-driven new order has been much debated this year. New residential projects dried up as developers’ focus shifted towards becoming compliant to the new order. Similarly a slowdown hit home sales as buyers turned wary. The next 12 to 18 months are likely to be the ‘under observation’ period for the real-estate sector. Industry stakeholders should spend the period in reorienting businesses in line with the new order. We are also hopeful that India’s strong economic fundamentals still puts it among the fastest growing economies in the world.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Shishir Baijal

In line to boost the realty sector, the government reduced the holding period for computing long-term capital gains from transfer of immovable property from 3 years to 2 years. The government also paved the way for ease of doing business by announcing that construction permits would be issued in 60 days.  According to a recent JLL report, 50% of inventory of RERA registered projects has been sold.  Additionally, the RBI reduced the interest rates to 6% making it the lowest. This will surge demand in the housing sector with fence-sitting buyers finally making the plunge and buying homes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Sushil Raheja

Giving a comprehensive view Sushil Raheja – CEO, Raheja Homes Builders & Developers stated, “Luxury projects saw a decline in demand and sales but affordable housing is set to mark its success in the market.  One Crore houses are expected to be built by 2019 in rural areas, which will allow cheaper sources of finance and external commercial borrowings. The expectations are not completely matched as it is too soon to declare; by the 2nd quarter of 2018 substantial aftermath can be done. Year 2018 will show ascendancy in the real estate sector; all the policy reforms and structural modifications will manifest its profits and gain in this year.”

Demonetization squeezed liquidity out of developers, forcing them to change their business models. For instance, developers now prefer to enter into joint development agreement with land owners over outright purchase of land.

The positive impact of demonetisation from a home buyer’s point of view is a fall in home loan rates and home prices. Land prices are however expected to remain the same. The other positive effect of this reform measure is an increase in regulation and tax compliance, though how much of this would translate into an increase in tax collection will have to be seen.

In the residential segment, the supply of new homes was low, which is perhaps good as it will balance out the high levels of unsold inventory in major cities. Home sales will continue to be weak. Property prices will also be under pressure in regions such as NCR and Mumbai, which have high unsold inventory, more so in the luxury housing segment.

Real Estate Investment Trusts, which were much awaited in 2017, did not take off during the year because of confusion over GST and other regulatory matters. The experts expect the first REIT listing to happen sometime in late 2018 or early 2019.

In the office space, strong economic growth continued to generate demand. Vacancy levels in some cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune is around 5-10%, while pan India vacancy is at around 14-15%. On the supply side, there is a shortage of grade A office space and this gap is keeping office rentals strong.  In comparison, retail properties saw significantly less rental value appreciation, especially in the National Capital Region. Mumbai and Bengaluru fared better.

Sachin Sandhir, Global Managing Director – Emerging Business, RICS added, “The year saw India’s courts come to the rescue of distraught home buyers in multiple cases filed against developers. Organised real estate developers, with access to institutional funding will find it easier to comply with RERA which has increased both the compliance level and cost for developers. Demand for luxury homes has taken a hit, while affordable homes continue to attract buyers. It is difficult to quantify the exact impact of GST on property prices. While developers will be able to avail input credit on goods and services bought and used during the construction process it is yet to be seen if they will pass this benefit to home buyers. The new tax regime is expected to keep real estate costs low for the affordable housing segment, thereby making it cheaper.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Sachin Sandhir

The growth prospects in 2018

Due to major policy overhaul induced, it will take a few more months for the real estate sector to come out of the after-effects of the policy changes. However, the measures implemented will prove beneficial in the long run and will translate into a win-win situation for both consumers and developers.

Consumers will be more confident while making their investment decisions leading to increased sales in the sector. The market will be a lot less muddled as only established players will exist in the business and consolidation is expected to take place. This will lead to more investments in the sector by institutional investors. In the meantime, the developers need to be more resilient and support governmental measures in tandem to put forth a more responsible and progressive image of the real estate market.

Also, affordable housing will be a buzzword in the sector in 2018 due to Government’s focus on ‘Housing for All by 2022’ and is a good opportunity for developers to capitalize on.

In 2018, the demand for office space is expected to remain strong. Office rentals in the cities of National Capital Region, Mumbai and Bengaluru will continue to outperform thanks to strong demand from office space occupiers. Retail segment will maintain its status quo. In the home loan mortgage business, we expect newer players to give tough competition to older and more established players.

To sum it up, 2018 will continue to pose some challenges for the residential segment as far as home sales and prices are concerned. Compliance could be a problem for some developers, resulting in consolidation in the sector. Home buyers will emerge as the ultimate winners with RERA acting as a panacea to most of their home buying woes. Moreover, encouraging foreign and domestic investors by implementing progressive policy reforms will contribute in changing the business processes of the sector.

Giving his prediction for the next year, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO  & CMD, Hiranandani Communities and said, “Looking into 2018 and the future, rationalization of tax as a result of the move to cover real estate fully under GST, and providing a boost for rental housing are the two key drivers to look forward to. Then, adopting global best practices seems to be the apt way of working towards a better next year, and Indian real estate largely, has adopted this route through 2017, going into 2018. In the new post-RERA and GST regulatory regime, real estate and the Indian economy require proper working methodology, one that is transparent and includes accountability – which will ensure transparency and accountability. Given this, 2018 should be a year that brings sustainable growth to Indian real estate.”

Mr. Niranjan Hiranandani

Real estate developers are unlikely to forget 2017, which was like a bad dream come true, and look forward to better business in 2018. The current buyer sentiment is of wait and watch before taking a plunge into buying high end and mid segment housing due to changes taking place because of GST and RERA. Also these changes are totally new and buyers will take some time to grasp and get used to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Shailesh Puranik

Shailesh Puranik, MD, Puranik Builders Pvt. Ltd added, “For the Indian real estate sector, 2017 is marked as a year with highlights and challenges with various news and policy changes. Reforms like RERA, REIT, GST, Demonetisation have resulted in creating transparency in the real-estate sector which in turn has helped in improving the perception of investors and financial and thus will provide developers capital and cash flow for completion of the project with the stipulated time.”

Also, due to demonetization the fund flow in banks is increasing tremendously which is going to have a positive effect as far as banks giving housing loans are concerned. It is expected that the bank housing loans’ interest rates may further fall proving beneficial for the buyers and shall inculcate more interest in purchasing property. R K Arora, Chairman, Supertech Limited added, “”The government announced Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) during the year, has made loans availability at much affordable rates, thereby benefiting both buyers and developers community. Under the scheme, interest subsidy is credited upfront to the loan account of beneficiaries through lending Institutions resulting in reduced effective housing loan and equated monthly instalments”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. R K Arora

For sure, home buyer confidence is reviving, and more fence-sitters will spring into action in 2018. Overall, the coming year of market recovery will be defined by restricted new launches, gradually improving sales and declining unsold units. A notable phenomenon in 2018 will be a large-scale consolidation of developers and brokers and distressed assets changing hands.

“We may not see a scintillating residential market recovery in 2018, but it is certain that whatever recovery and growth we see from here onward will be sustainable and backed by stronger market fundamentals than ever before. The days of speculative peaks and troughs are safely behind us,” prophesized Anuj Puri, Chairman – Anarock Property Consultants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Anuj Puri

The upcoming year will be the year of consolidation in the industry, where developers with deep pockets, commitment to corporate governance and transparency will sustain their operations while non-serious players will be weeded out. Though RERA, GST and demonetisation hit the real-estate industry in the short term, these reforms are bound to benefit the sector and the economy in the long-term.

 

FICCI-NAREDCO-Knight Frank Sentiments Index

The analysis of the stakeholder expectations from the residential and office sectors for Q3 2017 versus the actual market statistics reveals interesting insights.

The survey conducted in Q1 2017 (January–March 2017) soon after demonetisation had a mixed industry outlook. The current sentiments had picked up in Q1 2017 as opposed to the preceding quarter, with respondents extending their support to one of the most important structural reforms in the country. However, the industry sentiments largely remained tepid for the coming six months.

The expectations in our survey in Q1 2017 reflected optimism regarding the residential sales in the following six months (April–September 2017); however, the buyers across major cities have stayed away from the market and have continued their wait-and watch mode. Buyer evasiveness and developer defaults have all contributed in marring the sentiments for the future of residential sales.

As regards residential launches, the survey sentiments in Q1 2017 are in sync with the current market reality. Developers are concentrating on completing their projects and are aligning themselves to reforms like RERA and the GST.

The stakeholder expectations towards price appreciation in our survey conducted in Q1 2017 was not too positive for the next six months. The ground reality substantiates these sentiments since property prices at the end of September 2017 have largely remained stable as opined by the stakeholders six months back.

On the office front, leasing volumes and new supply have been holding steady in Q3 2017 as was opined by stakeholders six months back. In terms of rentals, contrary to stakeholder expectations rentals across cities have remained muted at the end of September 2017.

Therefore, in a nutshell, our survey findings suggest that the real estate sector is going to be under tremendous pressure in the coming six months. The residential sector will see a further downward trend in sales and launches and the prices will remain muted.

Office supply will be under stress and leasing volumes will hold steady in the coming six months.

« Oberoi New Delhi reopened after renovation                                Building Customer Focused Business »

Publication / Article Sourcerealtyplusmag.com

 

Wheels of RERA & GST drive Realty to Recovery

Editor | October 24, 2017 

It will not be wrong to say that the Real Estate Sector of our country has seen a lot of developments in a short span of time. While demonetization did stump the sector for a while, RERA & GST soon gave it the strength to be up and running. Highlighting the two biggest initiatives, RERA & GST together are stimulating the existing uncertainty in the market. It will go a long way in ensuring transparency, efficiency, promote growth of buyer’s confidence and help boost investments in the real estate industry. GST will free homebuyers and investors from the hassle of paying several state taxes at different levels, therefore removing the double taxation impact. RERA on the other hand, will give all developers a level field and will drive them to ensure timely delivery which will encourage buyers and help the sector grow. It also seeks to bring clarity and fair practices that would protect the interests of buyers, imposing penalties on errant builders.

Genuine requirement for homes coupled with the advent of affordable housing also increased housing finance options; realty does seem likely to pick up more pace. Due to RERA, buyers and sellers will have the same type of information about projects in an area.

Research states that GST rate for under-construction development assets is 12% on property value (including land). This would only make the construction sector flourish. Now developers will get input credit on paying excise for cement, fittings, steel etc., which was included in the cost of the property. Although, the work contracts will attract around 12% and several goods connected to the real estate industry are falling under the 18% and 28% slab.

By allowing deduction of land value equivalent to one-third of total amount charged it is a win-win situation for both the developers and buyers because GST provides for an anti- profiteering provision which makes it compulsory for the dealer to pass on the benefit of GST to the end consumer. It will also boost foreign investment and benefit the NRI community for investment in the sector because of a seamless all-inclusive channel available.

RERA is implemented to align the sector, property prices are not likely to come down till the time ready reckoner rates are reduced. The high cost of land and construction too needs to be brought down to reduce the overall cost of a home. In addition there is a premier on stamp duty and transfer of development rights (TDR) which also adds up to the total cost. A dip in TDR and ready reckoner rates will solve the problem to a great extent.

There are a number of implementations happening along with RERA and GST. Property rates still stand independent of its radical policy reforms and may witness some alteration in long term horizon.As developers have responded well to GST ad RERA, they will try certainly not to pass on any extra cost burden to the end user.

By: Ms. Manju Yagnik, Vice-Chairperson of Nahar Group

Publication / Article Source: Magic Bricks

Nahar Group’s Amrit Shakti launches #iPledge campaign this Diwali

By 99acres Bureau | October 25, 2017

Nahar Group’s Amrit Shakti launches #iPledge campaign this Diwali
25th Oct 2017

This Diwali, the residents of Nahar’s Amrit Shakti, an award-winning integrated township located in Chandivali Andheri (East), conducted a march across the neighbourhood to sensitise people towards being eco-friendly this festive season. This #iPledge initiative by Nahar Group is to encourage people, especially the younger ones to ‘go green’.

Publication / Article Source: 99 Acres

Wheels of RERA and GST drive realty to recovery

October 27, 2017 | By Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson, Nahar Group

RERA and GST will go a long way in ensuring transparency, efficiency, buyer’s confidence and increased investment in the real estate industry.

The real estate sector has seen a lot of developments in a short span of time. While demonetisation did stump the sector for a while, RERA and GST soon gave it the strength to be up and running. Highlighting the two biggest initiatives, RERA and GST together are stimulating the existing uncertainty in the market. It will go a long way in ensuring transparency, efficiency, promote growth of buyer’s confidence and help boost investments in the real estate industry.

Where on one hand, GST will free homebuyers and investors from the hassle of paying several state taxes at different levels, therefore removing the double taxation impact. RERA on the other hand, will give all developers a level field and will drive them to ensure timely delivery which will encourage buyers and help the sector grow. It also seeks to bring clarity and fair practices that would protect the interests of buyers, imposing penalties on errant builders.

Genuine requirement for homes coupled with the advent of affordable housing also increased housing finance options; realty does seem likely to pick up more pace. Due to RERA, buyers and sellers will have the same type of information about projects in an area.

Research states that GST rate for under-construction development assets is 12 percent on property value (including land). This would only make the construction sector flourish. Now developers will get input credit on paying excise for cement, fittings, steel etc., which was included in the cost of the property. Although, the work contracts will attract around 12 percent and several goods connected to the real estate industry are falling under the 18 percent and 28 percent slab.

By allowing deduction of land value equivalent to one-third of the total amount charged it is a win-win situation for both the developers and buyers because GST provides for an anti- profiteering provision which makes it compulsory for the dealer to pass on the benefit of GST to the end consumer. It will also boost foreign investment and benefit the NRI community for investment in the sector because of a seamless all-inclusive channel available.

RERA is implemented to align the sector, property prices are not likely to come down till the time ready reckoner rates are reduced. The high cost of land and construction too needs to be brought down to reduce the overall cost of a home. In addition there is a premier on stamp duty and transfer of development rights (TDR) which also adds up to the total cost. A dip in TDR and ready reckoner rates will solve the problem to a great extent.

There are a number of implementations happening along with RERA and GST. Property rates still stand independent of its radical policy reforms and may witness some alteration in long term horizon .As developers have responded well to GST and RERA, they will try certainly not to pass on any extra cost burden to the end user.

Publication / Article Source: 99 Acres

No crackers, urges builder

Oct 12 2017 : The Times of India (Mumbai)

METRO DIGEST

Drill machine worth Rs 3L stolen from Metro site

A drilling machine worth Rs 3 lakh was stolen from a Mumbai Metro construction site at Dahisar (W) recently. Police suspect insider involvement and are questioning workers.

Bail for blast accused

A special NIA court on Wednesday granted bail to yet another accused, Sameer Kulkarni, n the Malegaon 2008 blast case on a surety of Rs 50,000.

HSC exam form dates

The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has extended the submission date for the HSC exam applications from October 9 to October 17, with regular fees.

Row over kabutarkhana

No crackers, urges bldr The builders of Amrit Nahar Shakti housing society in Chandivli will lead a march Thursday urging residents to pledge to avoid firecrackers during Diwali.

Man kidnaps 2 boys, held

A 39-year-old man, Imran Shaikh, was arrested on Tuesday for kidnapping two boys–aged five and seven–to force their mother to marry him

The Times of India_12th Oct

Publication / Article Source: Epaperbeta

A message to Celebrate Green Diwali

Posted By: Absolute India

अमृत शक्ति नगर के निवासियों ने दीप जलाकर मार्च पास्ट किया और तख्ती पर लिखे संदेश के जरिए हरित दिवाली पर जोर दिया।

मुंबई/एब्सल्यूट संवाददाता

स्वच्छ मुंबई, हरित मुंबई के बाद अब मुंबईकर स्वच्छ दिवाली, ईको दिवाली और हरित दिवाली मनाने का संदेश दे रहे हैं। महानगर में बढ़ते प्रदूषण को देखते हुए अंधेरी (पूर्व) के चांदीवली में नाहर अमृत शक्ति नगर के निवासियों ने प्रदूषण मुक्त, साइलेंस दिवाली और हरित दिवाली मनाने का संदेश दिया। दरअसल, पूरे देश में इन दिनों हरित दिवाली मनाने की अपील की जा रही है।

बांबे हाईकोर्ट ने पटाखा की बिक्री पर भी रोक लगा दी है। ऐसे में चांदीवली के नाहर अमृत शक्ति नगर के निवासियों ने हरित दिवाली मनाने का संदेश दिया। निवासियों ने दीप जलाकर मार्च पास्ट किया और हाथ में तख्ती लेकर हरित दिवाली मनाने का संदेश दिया। यहां के निवासी रूपल बोके का कहना है कि यह जागरूकता अभियान हम यहीं तक सीमित नहीं रखना चाहते हैं, बल्कि पूरे शहर को जागरूक करके बेहतर कल के लिए हरित दिवाली की शुरुआत करना चाहते हैं। कुल मिलाकर रहिवासियों का मकसद है कि नई पीढ़ी को प्रदूषण और स्वास्थ्य के प्रति जागरूक रहना चाहिए।

Publication / Article Source: Absolute India News