India's troubled real estate sector is in desparate need of sops which could help boost demand for housing.
In its Budget proposals, the urban development ministry has sought removal of service tax on rental income from commercial properties arguing that renting of space is not a service and due to a court stay on the proposal there has been no loss to the government exchequer.
On its part the housing ministry has sought a three year extension in tax exemption under section 80 IB for developers of affordable housing projects. The exemption was granted in 2007 but was withdrawn last year.
No one is addressing the larger issue. The most important need of the hour is for us to get industry status. We generate more jobs than any other sector and the trickele down effect is huge, said Pranav Ansal, Vice-Chairman, Ansal API.
However, not everyone is impressed.
There's no denying the fact that UD and housing ministries are doing their bits to bring the needed relief to the sector. We now need to see, the response that finance minister eventually gives, said Rajeev Talwar, group executive director of DLF.
These are demands that the real estate sector has been pushing for the last many years, and all eyes are on the response Mr Mukherjee gives to them.
Amidst all this, the only ray of hope is that, with stringent norms already governing the sector, there is only scope for the better.