Avneesh Sood of Eros Group shares his expectations from the upcoming Union Budget 2017 – 18

With the date of Union Budget 2017-18 coming closer, all eyes are set on it. People are eagerly waiting for this year's Union Budget which is to be announced on February, the 1st. The forthcoming budget is expected to offer relief to a majority of the population. Looking at the political scenario, it makes one think very optimistically that the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections are well planned just after the Budget announcements. Thus, all the actions clearly suggest that a populous budget is to be announced. One of the largest contributors to India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment generation - Real Estate sector, is very hopeful for a fruitful budget 2017-18.

From the past few months, the central government has been very actively involved in providing relief to the real estate sector, stakeholders, and the buyers. Acts like that of RERA, GST and then finally 50 days of demonetisation has provided the much-needed fuel to the realty sector in 2017. The incentives by the Prime Minister for affordable housing coupled with the relief provided by several banks through lending rate cuts on the New Year’s day has further provided relief to the realty sector. With such activity, hopes are high for a positive budget for the realty sector this time, if not directly then at least through indirect means.

Although, there are mixed reactions from the realty sector’s stalwarts and experts who somewhere believe that a balanced budget might be announced, where there will not be many benefits for the realty sector; but indirect announcements such as exemptions in tax slabs, etc. might help the consumers to increase their purchasing power and thus, maintain the flow of money in the economy.

Government has already been very active for the realty sector since the Union Budget announcement for 2016-17 last year. Major incentives for both, developers and buyers were announced under affordable housing initiatives and rental housing. Very recently we even observed rate cuts by banks for the housing segment in general, where affordable category received even bigger boosts by the government. This time we are predicting the government to ease the taxation slabs and provide higher spending power to the consumers that will indirectly benefit the economy and the realty sector. Infrastructure will be a crucial side where the government might announce big projects and greater spending. This in return will allow the conversion of rural to urban regions, thereby promoting tier 2 and 3 cities to gain real estate momentum and increase job opportunities.