Budget’s boost for real estate

It is welcome that the Budget proposes several measures to rationalize tax and boost transparency in the policy-challenged real estate sector. Abroad, in the mature markets, real estate accounts for almost half the GDP growth; the like figure for real estate activity here is far smaller. Clearly, there is much potential for growth in the sector — of course, contingent on overall growth and dynamism in the economy as a whole.

The Budget seeks to shift the indexation base year from 1981 to 2001 for the levy of capital gains tax on land and real estate, which was long overdue. An unrevised indexation base year is perverse incentive to hide and not fully disclose capital gains in housing and real estate. Additionally, infrastructure status for affordable housing and its broader categorisation are both moves in the right direction of reform. Further, removal of the tax on notional rental income for one year, from the date.

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