Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a slew of relief measures for the real estate sector as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 economic recovery package. These include an additional grant of Rs 18,000 crore for the Prime Minister Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U).
Sitharaman said that Rs 18,000 crore will be provided over the budget estimates for 2020-21 for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna in urban areas. This is over and above Rs 8,000 crore already provided this year.
The extra budgetary resource will be used for grounding of 12 lakh houses and construction of 18 lakh houses which, in turn, will help create 78 lakh additional jobs in the housing sector. These policies will also help in augmenting steel production by 25 lakh metric tonnes and cement production by 131 metric tonnes. She also acknowledged that the real estate sector is seeing decent traction at the moment. 135 projects have been approved under the SWAMIH Yojana across the country with a total cost of Rs 13,200 crore.
Other measures to help the housing sector included the extension of registration and completion dates of real estate projects registered under Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) by at least six months.
In an attempt to boost the demand in the residential real estate sector, the Centre has decided to make amendments to the Income Tax Act to aid home buyers and developers. The IT Act restricts the differential between circle rate and agreement value at 10 per cent.
With the amendment in the IT Act, the value of the differential between circle rate and agreement value will double from 10 per cent to 20 per cent to ensure primary sales of residential units valued upto Rs 2 crores.
Apart from announcing these relief measures for the real estate and housing sector, the Finance Ministry has also extended the deadline for the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to all stressed sectors like MSMEs, aviation, hospitality and services till March 31, 2021.