A Pro-infrastructure and investment Budget - Dr. Samantak Das, Chief Economist and Head of Research, JLL India
(Time Zone: Arizona, USA)
Given that the economy is well on its path to recovery, Union Budget 2021 has focused on enhancing expenditure while keeping the fiscal targets at bay in the short term. This Budget focuses on augmenting infrastructure with a special focus on expediting urban infrastructure projects which will act as a strong catalyst in driving real estate in urban areas. There is also a continued thrust on the agriculture sector which is likely to result in higher incomes and drive consumption.
The proposed easing of restrictions on leverage by InvITs/REITs will attract more REITs listings and thus higher investments into real estate. The announced monetisation of surplus land of government and government bodies is a welcome move; however, the implementation will need to be monitored.
While the government has not announced any significant fresh policies and / or programs pertaining to real estate, its commitment towards boosting affordable housing remains intact. The Budget has extended the benefit of additional interest deduction on home loans for first-time homebuyers in the affordable segment. Further, there is a time extension to claim the tax holiday on profits from affordable housing projects until March 2022. The government continues to promote affordable rental housing schemes by providing tax exemption for notified rental housing projects. This will accelerate the pace of investments in this scheme and is likely to fall in line with achieving the overall objective of Housing for All.