Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants
All eyes were on the Finance Minister as he delivered his fifth full Union Budget – the last one before the general elections in 2019.
As expected, the budget turned out to be populist and sounded excessively cautious while the need of the hour was to provide a positive boost to the economy, which is reeling under the pressure of structural changes and policy reforms.
The Budget did not offer any substantial incentives to individual taxpayers, with slabs remaining constant. A change in the standard tax deduction in lieu of transport and medical expenses, which now stands at INR 40,000, was the only gift to the salaried class.
There was no change in tax savings on home loans, nor were the 80C limits raised. While this put paid to any hopes for significantly increased home buying appetite, there were some notable announcements with positive implications for the real estate sector:
The continued push for affordable housing
As many as 51 lakh houses in rural areas are to be built in 2018-19.