Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday said the government has taken a number of steps in the last four years to make the real estate sector more transparent and responsible, and the industry should now work towards gaining the trust of aspirational customers.
Speaking at an event organised by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), he said demonetisation and a series of steps announced in this year’s Budget are at aimed at boosting the sector. The construction and real estate sector is at the centre of job creation, as it creates employment in a number of sectors like steel, cement, and other related jobs. Even as the sector is so vital, why is it that the builders and the industry did not get the due respect that they deserve, he asked, while exhorting them to adopt honest and transparent ways of business dealings.
“… Yaani aap rozgaar ki ek ecosystem ko aap catalysation ka kaam karte hain … aap log batayiye jitni izzat honi chahiye, utni hai kya? kyun chup ho gaye? kyun aisa hua? kaun zimmevaar hai? main aaj bhi maanta hun aur aapki bhaagidari aise logon se hai ki koi aap par haath daalta nahi hai, aapko sudharne ke liye kehta nahi hai, aur isi logon ne aapko barabaad kiya hai, (You act as a catalyst for job creation. Do you get the kind of respect that you should get? Why did it happen, who is responsible? Nobody asked you to get your act together and these people spoiled you),” he said. Modi said the current government is supporting the industry but wants it to run its affairs honestly and transparently, providing timely delivery of flats to aspirants.
Enactment of The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, Benami Act and demonetisation are all aimed at comforting the aspirational customer and bringing transparency in the real estate sector. “Notebandi ka jo faisla tha uska bahut bada laabh real estate ko yeh hua ki jo galat paise se, brashtachaar ki kamayi se yahaan phalne fulne ka soch rahe the unke liye raste band ho gaye, ab wahi log is sector mein aage badh payenge jo munafe (se imaan) ko upar rakhte hain (Demonetisation has been highly beneficial to real estate industry. Only honest players will be able to survive now),” he said.
Modi said the proposals in the interim Budget will help the industry tremendously, as they leave more incomes in the hands of people and encourage them to buy second house. The interim Budget proposed that the benefit of rollover of capital gains under Section 54 of the Income Tax Act be increased from investment in one residential house to two residential house for a tax payer having capital gains up to Rs 2 crore.
The government also proposed to extend taxing period of unsold inventories, from one year to two years, from the end of the year in which the project is completed. It proposed to extend the period of exemption from levy of tax on notional rent on a second self-occupied house. Currently, income tax on notional rent is payable if one has more than one self-occupied house. The Budget also proposed no tax- deducted at source (TDS) on house rents up to Rs 2.4 lakh from the previous limit of Rs 1.8 lakh.
These measures will provide a stimulus to the construction industry, he said. He touted his government’s speed of building houses to say it is working to fulfil the ambitious target of providing housing to all by 2022. He said 1.5 crore houses for the poor have been built at twice the speed to realise the target of 2022.
The houses being built under Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana are of much better quality and are being built with greater speed and scale than compared to previous governments. “Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana aur pehle ki yojanaon mein sabse bada antar toh niyat ka hai. Yeh yojana aisi hai jisme kisi ke naam ko amar karne ki koshish nahi hai, sikka maarne ki koshish nahi hai, jo bhi pradhan mantri banega, chalta rahega…kisi naamdaar ki publicity ke liye yeh yojana nahi hai. Jab aap kisi yojana se naam ka ya swarth ka bhaav nikaal dete hain, toh aapki niti spasht ho jati hai aur isliye isme corruption ka, apne paraye ka, mera tera ka, yeh saara bhaav khatam ho jata hai,” he said.