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Housing and construction sector nearly got benefits of infrastructure status, says Shri Venkaiah Naidu



Housing and construction sector nearly got benefits of infrastructure status, says Shri Venkaiah Naidu 

 Asks States to spend quickly and seek more resources from Centre


 Urban sector got its due in Budget : 2016-17 despite focus on farming and rural development- Shri Naidu

 Consumers getting restive over delay in passage of Real Estate Bill-Says Minister   

            Minister of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today said that the housing and construction sector got the benefits of infrastructure status in the Budget for 2016-17, even without being formally declared so. He was speaking to media on the implications of Budget: 2016-17 for urban sector. The Minister said that various tax concessions and reliefs announced would go a long way in meeting the long standing demand of the construction sector for infrastructure sector. 

            Shri Venkaiah Naidu stated that despite the focus of the Budget for next fiscal on agriculture and rural development, urban sector got its due. He said that as against the increase of 15% in the total Central Plan Outlay for 2016-17 over Revised Estimates for  current fiscal, Plan Outlay for the urban sector has been increased by 55%. The share of urban sector in the total Central Plan Outlay for the current fiscal and the next fiscal remained at about 5%. Stating that he would have liked more allocations for urban sector right in the beginning, Shri Naidu said that the Budget for next fiscal has acknowledged the importance of urban sector as evident in the allocations.

            Shri Naidu expressed concern over slow offtake of central assistance by States under Jawharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and urged them to improve planning and execution capabilities. He asserted that required resources will be made available as per the commitments given by the Central Government under new flagship schemes like Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana (Urban), Atal Mission, Smart City Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission. He urged the States to quickly spend the resources provided by the Central Government and ask for more, if they can.

            Referring to the social media campaign by consumers and potential home buyers seeking early passage of Real Estate Bill, Shri Naidu urged all concerned to enable early passage of this Bill which aims at promoting confidence of consumers and credibility of real estate sector.

            The Minister asserted that the Budget for next financial year proposed several concrete measures to enable flow of investments into  affordable housing and construction sector. These include:

1.Introduction of Public Utility (Resolution of Disputes ) Bill later this year to streamline institutional arrangements for resolution of disputes in infrastructure related construction projects, PPP and public utility contracts;

2.Guidelines for renegotiation of PPP Concession Agreements to be issued keeping in view the long term nature of such contracts and potential uncertainties without compromising transparency;

3.A new credit rating system for infrastructure projects with emphasis on in-built credit enhancement structures, instead of relying upon a standard perception of risk which often result in mispriced loans. These initiatives to make PPP workable are significantly useful ;

4. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) will set up a dedicated fund to provide credit enhancement to infrastructure projects;

5.To promote affordable housing projects, Service Tax Exemption has been announced on houses up to 60 sq.metres including PPP projects;

6. 100% deduction on profits allowed for affordable housing projects approved during June 2016-March 2019 and completed in 3 year time from approval. Houses up to 30 sq.mt in four major cities and up to 60 sq.mt in other cities are eligible for this benefit. This will motivate quick formulation and completion of projects.

7.To promote rental housing which meets the needs of migrants and those who can’t afford to build a house, deduction limit has been increased by Rs.36,000 (from the present Rs.24,000 to Rs.60,000)

8.For the first home buyers, an additional deduction of Rs.50,000 allowed if loan amount is less than Rs.35 lakhs and loan sanctioned in 2016-17 and cost of house is below Rs.50 lakhs;

9. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InVITS) encouraged by withdrawing 17% Dividend Distribution Tax; and

10.Exicse Duty exemption extended to Ready Mix Concrete.

            Other announcements like Modernisation and digitization of land records, facilitating Ease of Doing Business and further liberalization of FDI conditions would also go a long way in channeling the much desired investments into housing sector including affordable housing, Shri Naidu said.

            Allocations made for the two urban ministries and major schemes there under  for 2016-17 are : 

Ministry of Urban Development : Rs.21,000 cr

            MRTS and Metro Projects : Rs.10,000 cr

            AMRUT                          :  Rs. 4,000 cr

            Smart City Mission              : Rs.        3,205 cr

            Swachh Bharat Mission      : Rs.  2,300 cr

            CPWD                                        : Rs.     879 cr

            (for residential and office

            Accommodation) 

              HRIDAY                                  : Rs.     200 cr

              North-East                    : Rs.     250 cr

Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation : Rs.5,400 cr

            PMAY                 : Rs.5,041 cr

            DAY-NULM        : Rs.    325 cr 



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