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Pre- Budget quote

Published in Corporate Friday, 27 January 2023 16:27

 

Sanjiv Kanwar, Managing Director, Yara South Asia

 

 “We are enthusiastic about the opportunities and pathways that are opening up for engagement in the sustainability, food, and nutrition sectors as India assumes the G20 leadership this year. At Yara, we are hoping for a push toward simplifying regulations for introduction of innovative crop nutrition products, particularly micronutrients and speciality fertilisers. Nutrition will be critical to food security in India, given that we may take the title of the most populous country in the world this year. Therefore, we firmly believe that introducing the ‘Plant Nutrition Management Bill’ is necessary and ought to be a top priority for 2023.

 

Soil fertility and micronutrients will be critical to meet the quality requirements for the food being produced in the country. Hence, bringing parity between the taxation on bulk fertilizers and micronutrients will help farmers take advantage of these products to not only improve quantity, but also quality of produce. In fact, measures like direct benefit transfers of subsidy amounts into farmers' bank accounts, will empower them to make a choice of products and services to be used to improve overall productivity for the farm sector. This step will also give wings to the export aspirations of the country.”

 

Ravi Annavarapu, President, FMC India

 

“2022 was a challenging year for agriculture and food industry globally with factors such as climate change, supply chain, inflation and geopolitical issues disrupting every economy and triggering a possible global slowdown, apart from food crisis. This year’s budget outlay must be directed towards not only cushioning, but also adding resilience to Indian agriculture. As India is likely to become the most populous country this year, and has ambitions to be a major food supplier to the world, the need of the hour is to ensure higher productivity with minimal environmental impact. The investment made in agricultural research and development (R&D) pays back many times over in the form of increased production or mitigated losses, as well as higher incomes for farmers. The private sector players are dedicating a significant share of resources & investment in research, promoting sustainable agricultural practices in rural India, and must be incentivized or allowed tax exemptions basis the impact created by their initiatives. In the upcoming Union Budget. It will also  be critical to focus on creating an enabling ecosystem, with  faster registration process to introduce newer technologies and molecules for better productivity. This will be vital for an inspiring India.

 

Innovations in agriculture are being seen as a great enabler in revamping the sector and will be key to ensuring food and nutritional security, while enhancing input use efficiency over the next decade. The introduction of drones in farming has been a great step in this direction. Further, defining clear guidelines to facilitate the introduction of biologicals and microbial pesticide formulations will support integrated pest management & organic farming in the country. Additionally, the rationalizing GST on agrochemicals to be at par with other agri-inputs will reduce cost pressures on the farmer. There are already a host of agri-tech companies determined to serve the farming community, especially small holder farmers. Policies that enable hassle-free introduction of new global technologies, practices and molecules, while improving the ease of doing business will yield more efficient and sustainable farming practices in India. The availability of support and speedy access to new-age technologies to farmers will be a gamechanger in fulfilling India’s aspirations of being a global food supplier, while boosting farmer incomes.

 

 

 

Real Estate Developers' Expectations from Budget 2023-24


New Delhi: After the strong recovery the real estate made in 2022, the sector, still grappling with issues such as high input costs and rising interest rates, now pins its hopes on the forthcoming budget to be presented by the finance minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.  

However, despite the prevailing positive sentiments, specific challenges must also be considered. The threat of the pandemic is not entirely over. Decreasing income could also impact the demand in the price-sensitive, affordable segment and the real estate development in tier II and III cities.


“The realty sector has made a smooth transition from the pandemic-induced turbulences. We believe the sector should further be stabilised by introducing profound measures in the Union Budget. Reductions in GST, circle rates, and stamp duty would be significant fresh-start policies allowing the housing sector to gain an upper-hand advantage right at the year's outset. Besides this, interest rate subsidies should be provided to realtors to cushion the impact of torrid inflation rates and expedite the construction process of stalled projects. Tax waivers on interest paid on home loans are one of the most pressing demands of the realty sector,” says Amit Jain, Director, Mahagun Group. 


"The real estate sector is a significant employer of skilled and unskilled labour. Despite facing challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, the availability of affordable home loans and the desire to own a home continue to drive growth in the sector. The government should support the real estate sector’s growth by granting it "industry status" to allow easier access to financing and low-cost loans. Additionally, reinstating input credit in the GST regime for residential real estate and implementing a single window clearance system for faster project completion would benefit both buyers and developers. To further support homebuyers, the government should consider granting an exemption limit on interest for first-time homebuyers and implementing a principal deduction rule under Section 80C of the income tax code. Alternatively, the limit under Section 80C should be increased to Rs 5 lakhs," says Dhiraj Bora, Marketing head, Paramount Group.


“The CRE has come out of the pandemic headwinds and projected a strong recovery, with many calling 2023 as the year of the commercial real estate sector with remarkable retail leasing sale growth. The sector expects some incubatory measures to increase the sale velocity and stamp out impeding problems currently plaguing the sector, which include high mortgage rates on home loans. There is also a strong wave in favour of providing industry status to the real estate sector, which would also approbate taking easy loans and financial amenity assurances from banks. An apparatus of single-window clearance should be set up to augment the real estate sector’s growth in the right direction,” says Dushyant Singh, Director, Orion One32.


“The government should align its budget with the goals of the real estate sector and focus on measures that will drive growth. To achieve this, GST rates on construction materials like steel, cement, and tiles should be reviewed and adjusted to support the sector's health. Additionally, the government should provide assistance to distressed developers and allocate funds for the completion of stalled projects. The Reserve Bank of India's stance on the repo rate should also take the perspectives of developers into consideration. The budget should aim to be a catalyst for development and progress, removing any obstacles that may impede the growth of the sector,” Harvinder Sikka, Managing Director, Sikka Group.

 

 

Pre- Budget expectation 2023 on retail & D2C industry, attributed to Ahmad Hushsham, Co-Founder, Yoho.

 

“The Indian government is committed to promoting economic growth and development, and this focus has continued since the pandemic. We hope to see a budget that outlines a plan for increasing economic growth along with more investment in infrastructure and incentives for corporate capital expenditure. One important step in this direction would be simplifying the GST structure. Currently, the GST rate on footwear with a sale price above INR 1000 is 18% and the rate on footwear with a sale price below INR 1000 is 12%, which is confusing. Additionally, in the past, GST was set at a rate of 5%. However, it has significantly increased over the past few years and is now at 12% and 18%. This amidst increased cost of raw materials is hurting the industry. Reducing the GST rate and having a uniform rate on all footwear would lead to lower prices and potentially increase consumer demand. 


Another way to support growth and development would be to encourage the local production of footwear raw materials, components, co-polymers, moulds, and machinery at competitive prices under the “Make in India” initiative. This could boost India’s export ambitions and create employment, leading to lower overall prices and improving consumer sentiment.”

 

 

 
Devanshu Bansal, Director, UK Realty
 

"The Indian residential market sales have been at a decade high in 2022 and to continue this growth momentum, the sector will need some financial support in the upcoming Union Budget 2023.

In the budget, it is imperative to update the affordable housing policy by revising the price capping so that it can be in sync with the market dynamics of different cities. This move will also enable more homes to qualify for affordable housing. Currently, the unit size is 60 sq.m carpet area, which is suitable. However, the price range of up to Rs. 45 Lakh under affordable housing across India’s metro cities such as Mumbai is definitely something that needs to be brought into focus, where an upward range of Rs.85 Lakh or more seems more appropriate."

 

Nayan Raheja, Raheja Developers
“We have high expectations from Financial Budget this year. The Budget should focus on alleviating the real estate sector from ongoing problems. The Finance Ministry should take stock of the insolvency debts of realtors and delays in project deliveries. The Budget should introduce tax remissions on the interest rates of home loans levied by banks which have been triggered by the all-time high inflation rates in previous quarters. This will provide relaxation to developers and simultaneously pace up the construction activity on ongoing projects.”
 
Ashwani Kumar, Pyramid Infratech
To sustain the ever-growing demand, the real estate sector expects some incubatory measures to increase the sale velocity and stamp out impeding problems currently plaguing the sector, which include high mortgage rates on home loans. One of the most consistently voiced demands is upsurging the limit for deduction for principal repayment of housing loans which is currently capped at Rs 1,50,000, to bolster residential demand and encourage buyers to invest in homes. There is also a strong wave in favour of providing industry status to the real estate sector, which would also approbate taking easy loans and financial amenity assurances from banks. An apparatus of single-window clearance should be set up to augment the real estate sector’s growth in the right direction.
 
Mr. Narayan Bhadana, Managing Director, 4S Developers
“Steady work on the road and infrastructural projects are needed to accentuate the value of real estate offerings which are located in the vicinity. I hope some action-based policies are formulated in the Budget to expedite the construction pace and operational process of such projects. The real estate sector, especially luxury realty, will majorly benefit as the homebuyers’ demand continues to be buoyant and absorption levels remain high.”
 
Aman Sharma, Director, Spaze Group
“Strong, healthy consumer demand is the crucial driver of the growth of the real estate sector today. The Budget should reflect upon the aspirations of developers who are still tiding over the turbulence caused by the pandemic. The most crucial demand is to give tax relief to developers to expedite the completion of stalled projects and take a compassionate recourse in times of difficulties. The most recurrent demand is to bestow industry status to the real estate sector and allow players to be at the receiving end of many associative benefits.”
 
Rajesh K Saraf, Managing Director, Axiom Landbase 
“The inevitable rise in construction material costs and various other means of production capital is only pegged to increase on a bigger scale in the near future. The world will soon grapple with the stifling impact of the recession. The demand for increasing the price cap of affordable housing projects seems fair and justified. This will pay dividends for both buyers and developers. The developers assured of certain benefits are more likely to develop affordable housing projects, which will cater to mid-income level buyers.”
 
Mr Manoj Gaur, President, CREDAI NCR and CMD Gaurs Group 
Real estate contributes 6-8% to the GDP and employs more than 5 crore people. It has high hopes from the forthcoming budget. To begin with, there should be a separate deduction for principal repayment as currently clubbed under section 80(c). It should be raised from the existing Rs. 1,50,000 limit. There is also a need to redefine affordable housing from the current ceiling of 45 lakhs in urban and 30 lakhs in non-urban to take into account the inflationary factors. Further, the carpet area should also be increased to 90 sqm in the metros and 120 sqm in non-metro cities without any price cap. Long-term capital gains on capital assets should also be taxed at 10%. The holding period should be reduced to 12 months in line with the holding period of other capital assets like listed equity shares and equity-oriented mutual funds. The sector would also like the honourable FM to extend exemption under Section 80C to REIT investments starting with Rs. 50,000. The period of holding for units of REIT should be reduced to 12 months (as applicable for listed shares) to qualify as a long-term capital asset from the current 3 years. The deduction under Section 24 (b) on housing loan interest in the case of individuals with respect to the first self-occupied property should be allowed without any limit or at least capped at Rs 5,00,000 in respect of the self-occupied property. A single window clearance system should also be introduced in real estate as taking approvals from numerous authorities disproportionately increases the cost and time from concept to commissioning. The rising input costs, specifically cement and steel, should also be controlled. Besides, industry status should also be conferred on real estate.
 
Amit Jain, Director, Mahagun Group
The realty sector has made a smooth transition from the pandemic-induced turbulences. We believe the sector should further be stabilised by introducing profound measures in the Union Budget. Reductions in GST, circle rates, and stamp duty would be significant fresh-start policies allowing the housing sector to gain an upper-hand advantage right at the year's outset. Besides this, interest rate subsidies should be provided to realtors to cushion the impact of torrid inflation rates and expedite the construction process of stalled projects. Tax waivers on interest paid on home loans are one of the most pressing demands of the realty sector. 
 
Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Group
The Budget should mirror the aspirations of the realty sector and support growth-inducing factors. GST rates on construction materials like steel, cement, and tiles should be rationalised, keeping in view the overall health of the sector. The government should help distressed developers and allocate funds for the completion of stuck projects. The current stand of RBI on the repo rate should also take the views of developers into account. The Budget should offer a premise of agents of development and progress and stamp out hindrances impeding the growth of the sector.
 
Amit Modi, President, CREDAI, Western UP
The real estate sector is one of the largest employers of both skilled and unskilled labour. Though it has come out of the challenging impact of Covid, the availability of affordable home loans and the importance of owning a home are still the growth drivers of the sector. The Union Budget should identify the growth inducers and accentuate its pace to mobilise the sector’s progress. One of the most crucial demands is to accord ‘Industry Status to Real Estate Sector’, which will allow the sector to avail legitimate finances and low-cost loans from banks and other financial institutions.  The cost benefits could then be transferred to the end users and homebuyers. For the benefit of homebuyers, the input credit regime should be reinstated in the GST regime for the residential real estate atleast. This will help in making homebuying an affordable and buyer-friendly process. It will protect buyers and developers from the ramifications of the capricious cost of raw materials. The government should facilitate a Single Window Clearance to enable faster deliveries and project completions. An exemption limit on Interest on Home loans should be granted for first-time homebuyers. The Principal Deduction Rules Under Section 80 C should be enacted. This will formalise that the deduction of the principal amount of the housing loan repaid would not be conflated with other deductions under Section 80C. Alternatively, the limit under Section 80C should be increased to Rs 5 lakhs.
 
Mr. Sanchit Bhutani, Managing Director, Bhutani Grandthum
The Real Estate industry has recovered smoothly from the volatility brought on by the pandemic. According to us, the sector needs to be further stabilized by including significant changes in the Union Budget. GST, circle rate and stamp duty reductions would be substantial fresh-start reforms that would give this sector the upper hand at the start of the year. In order to enhance the overall amount of the stress fund and make it easier for us to use it when we need it, we also anticipate some reduction of the GST rates and an increase in SWAMIH. In addition, realtors should receive interest rate subsidies to lessen the impact of exorbitant inflation rates and speed up the building of stalled projects.
 
Sanjay Sharma, Director, SKA Group
The real estate sector is one of the strongest growth pillars of Indian economy. Giving industry status to the real estate sector has been one of the most forwarding demand. This would allow developers to take loans at relatively low interest rates, avail tax incentives, and waivers, which will be act as relievers in times of grave economic crisis. The real estate sector has had a strong resurgence post-Covid 19 and needs government support to keep the momentum going.”
 

 

Realty sector seeks industry status, tax sops in Budget
 
NEW DELHI: The real estate sector has high expectations from the upcoming budget, with stakeholders seeking industry status, tax breaks, policy rationalization and incentivization. They also want projects approved under a single-window clearance.
 
Surinder Singh, director GLS group said the real estate sector, especially the residential segment, has bounced and is playing a significant role in bringing momentum to the economy. Keeping in view high inflation and significant rise in borrowing cost in the last few months, there is an urgent need of tax sops, especially for home buyers in affordable and mid-segment housing, to overcome the financial hardship. “Also the government should enhance the deduction limit against interest payment on home loans. For home buyers in the affordable housing segment, entire interest on home should be allowed as a deduction” he said.
 
Ramesh Nair, CEO, India and Managing Director, Market Development, Asia, Colliers said "The Union Budget 2023-24 is highly anticipated by the real estate sector to keep up the momentum seen last year. While many expectations on the residential side can aid homebuying, we believe that some push on the commercial office side will go a long way in overhauling and improving the ease of doing business. For instance, clarity on the proposed DESH Bill will give impetus to businesses catering to domestic demand. To achieve India’s target of becoming a USD5 trillion economy by 2026, DESH hubs can play a huge role in strengthening the domestic manufacturing infrastructure. India’s domestic consumption is growing by the year, and a pro-investor policy for investment hubs can take India’s manufacturing abilities to the next level”
 
Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, PropTiger.com & Makaan.com said that the government should consider the industry’s long-standing demand for an increase in tax incentives for both principal and interest paid on home loans by borrowers and a single window clearance mechanism for projects.
 
The government should also rationalise GST rates for construction material like steel, cement and tiles. Additionally, it should also put aside more funds under the stress fund SWAMIH and policies should be widened so that the stuck projects can be completed, said Pradeep Aggarwal, founder & chairman, Signature Global (India), Ltd.
 
 
 

 

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