Realty sector disappointed with ‘lacklustre’ interim budget (Lead)

February 16th, 2009 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) The Indian realty sector, which is reeling under a severe fund crunch, Monday expressed disappointment over the “lacklustre” interim budget for 2009-10 and said the government has done nothing to provide relief to the industry.

“The budget has failed to meet the expectations at this time of global downturn,” said Navin M. Raheja, managing director of the Delhi-based Raheja Developers.

“The government has taken no initiatives towards reviving the sector, which is under serious recession and employs larger proportion of the workforce,” he added.

Raheja said the industry had expected tax incentives, but the budget disappointed them.

“We had interest benefits under income tax on home loans, reduction in duties and taxes, and setting up of a special financial institution for financing real estate projects at cheaper rates,” he said.

Added Parsvnath Developers chairman Pradeep Jain: “It was completely (a) non-event. It was (more a) political statement than (an) interim budget. There was nothing for any sector, forget about real estate.”

“In order to revive the real estate sector, the government should have shown concern and taken steps to improve the demand for the housing sector. It was expected that through the interim budget the government would send a strong message to RBI to take necessary steps like reduction in the home mortgage interest rate to the tune of 6 percent-6.5 percent,” Jain added.

“The interim budget announced was not in line with industry expectations as it has not brought in any relief for the real estate sector in order to bring economy back on the growth track. It is very disappointing that the interim budgets had no focus on improving the sentiments of the consumer and encourage the home buyers,” Jain said.

According to Puravankara chief financial officer Ravi Ramu: “It’s an extremely dry budget.”

“The hard-hit real estate sector had been leading the call for fiscal sops for it,” he said.

Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) managing director Sarang Wadhawan also shared the same view. “I personally feel it was a non-event. For HDIL, there is nothing,” he said. `

Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director of CB Richard Ellis South Asia Ltd, said: “Although the expectations from the vote-on-account was limited as elections are due soon, the real estate industry was still hoping to get some stimulus, and nothing was announced.”

Saying the budget was “completely lacklustre”, Omaxe Ltd chairman and managing director Rohtas Goel said: “While one can understand that this was an interim budget, given the adverse business sentiments, government could have taken exception and announced some sops for reviving the market.”

“Benefits for housing would have created a ripple effect in the market and helped in giving a positive push to the economy,” he said.

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