The Union Budget 2022-23 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was received favorably by the real estate sector. Although there were some concerns about certain misses, an overwhelming majority of industry experts expressed hopes that the budget was growth-inducing.
Realty developers welcomed the government’s decision to allocate Rs. 48,000 crores for affordable housing under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The budget also had provisions for faster approval of affordable housing in urban areas. While these are much-needed positives, the home buyers felt left out.
“When one gets a home, a poor person gets courage,” were the words of the Finance Minister. But most home buyers felt that other than the focus on PMAY and affordable housing, the budget had nothing much for them. The average home buyer feels left out of the government’s decisions.
Let us look at some of the critical misses of the Union Budget 2022-23 with regards to the home buyer.
- Most home buyers feel hard done by the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) not getting an extension. An increase in CLSS would have benefited the buyer, especially the low and middle-income, a certain degree of financial leeway in making a purchase. Even real estate experts agree that it would have given the housing industry a much bigger boost.
- The absence of an expansion in the income tax deductibles on housing loans was another pain point raised by buyers. Expectations were at an all-time high about the government revising tax deduction on home loans leaving many dejected.
- A tax relief to alleviate some of the existing pressure on the sector given the disastrous pandemic was looked forward to by many.
These points were agreed upon by industry experts as well. According to Abhay Upadhyay, President of FPCE and Member, Central Advisory Council, RERA, MoHUA, the budget had no provisions for homebuyers caught out by delayed projects. Such buyers are left with no choice but to keep paying EMI and rent. Abhay believed that some sort of relief measures would have gone a long way in placating the home buyer.
While new Union Budget is certainly a step in the right direction for the sector as a whole, the home buyer has been left to his own devices. The absence of any policy or significant reforms to help the home buyer acquire their dream home has left a bad taste in the mouth of prospective buyers.