Real estate developers applaud the decision to cut GST rate on under-construction flats , affordable housing

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NEW DELHI: Real estate players and National President, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) have welcomed the reduction in the goods and services tax (GST) rates on under-construction housing properties to 5 per cent without input tax credit, from the existing 12 per cent.

Here’s what the realty major, NAREDCO have to say to about reduction in the goods and services tax (GST) rates.

RK Arora, Chairman, Supertech Ltd.

As one of the largest real estate companies in the country, we welcome the reduction in the GST rates applicable on under-construction properties to 5 percent, from 12 percent earlier, by the Goods and Services Tax Council. Further, the fact that now, affordable housing projects will attract 1 percent tax. This will provide a much needed impetus to the real estate market that is facing severe liquidity shortages. No new home buyers can go ahead with their plans much more easily. However, it is disappointing that the council has chosen to not allow developers to claim input tax credit. The real estate sector is currently in a very poor shape and needs significant help from the government to finish current projects and grow at the rate that is needed for the economy as a whole.

The Indian real estate sector is one of the most important for the economy and GDP. The move of the GST council to reduce the GST to 5% for under construction houses and houses yet to get completion certificates would have significantly helped the sector prospects in the coming year. The sector is slowly coming back to normal growth rates after taking massive hits with demonetisation over the last two years.

GST was introduced to replace the cascading and multi-layered taxation system with a unified tax which was expected to not just simplify the systems in place but also improve adherence. Implementation of GST marginally brought down construction costs but affected luxury residential and commercial real estate significantly. However, taxes like stamp duty, property tax were not subsumed under GST causing home buyers to pay higher amounts for the same homes. It is imperative that the government remove the stamp duty and reduce the GST rate applicable, especially keeping in mind the housing for all target of 2022.

Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance 

GST council meet has granted a big relief to the Indian Real Estate Sector. The highly awaited decision to lower GST on under-construction homes will ease some of the uncertainty around the real estate sector. The move is expected to stimulate demand within India’s growing urban middle class and boost sales. The tax reduction led price correction would be beneficial for both developers and end-consumers and there should not be any major dent in tax revenues as sales pick up. The current move is in line with our expectations from the Government to revive the real estate sector which plays an important role in the Nation’s growth and employment generation.

Madhusudhan G, Chairman and MD, Sumadhura Group

The approved reduction in the levy on under-construction homes and the raised threshold for affordable housing by the GST Council is largely seen as a welcome move by the industry, especially for the home-buyers segment. As pointed out by our finance minister, the move will certainly make housing affordable for middle class, neo-middle class and aspirational class. However, in order to fulfill the government’s mission of ‘Housing for all by 2022’, the ITC (input tax credit) I opine should continue or else it is likely to put the entire tax burden on developers hitting the real estate down further.

Dr Niranjan Hiranandani National President, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).

Industry lauds the GST rate cut on real estate to 5%on Non-affordable and 1% on affordable housing without Input tax credit as a welcomed and positive move which brings a big relief to the home buyers and help to narrow down the demand mismatch gap. This announcement gives an impetus to the affordable housing and enthuse homebuyers to close the sale deals. The GST rate on cement has not been reduced as was expected, at 28 per cent it remains among the highest taxed inputs for construction – and there will be no input tax credit, so developers will face a challenging time. Also, if the announcement was ‘with immediate effect’, we would have seen sales of residential real estate units in the current financial year; the w.e.f. 01 April aspect means we will see rise in sales figures only in the next financial year.

Parveen Jain, NAREDCO Vice Chairman & CMD Tulip Infratech 

The slashing of GST rate from 8% to 1% for Affordable Housing which cost upto Rs 45 lakh is a good move which shall give a big relief to the Home buyers and shall give a boost to the Real estate sector. The other measure taken which is slashing of GST rate from 12% to 5% on Housing under construction but withdrawal of benefit of ITC ( Input tax credit) has the apprehension that the same may become the part of the cost, culminating in the rise of sale prices and may hinder the sale of the under construction housing. Now home buyers may prefer only Ready to move in homes as GST is not levied upon them.

Manoj Gaur, MD, Gaurs Group and VP, CREDAI National
GST council’s decision to reduce GST on affordable housing to 1% and of under construction properties to 5% from 12% is a wellcome step for the entire sector. The recommendations are in sync with government’s push for housing for all and also for the ongoing projects. These steps would surely ease up buying for home seekers, augmenting the demand in all segments.

Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder & Chairman, Signature Global and Chairman, National Council on Affordable Housing, ASSOCHAM
“Today’s recommendations from the GST council is a major step towards housing for all. It’s a big step towards a better future of the masses. We applaud the step of reducing GST to 1% for affordable; to be precise any unit costing less than 45 lacs and smaller than 60 sq. Meter in metro and 90 sq. Meter in non- metro which again is very thoughtful. This is a major boost for middle & neo class segment which actually are the masses.

Prateek Mittal, Executive Director, Sushma Group
Today’s GST council’s recommendations are big boost to affordability. Though we are expecting that the prices may go up marginally because input tax credit cannot be claimed. Exemption of intermediate tax on development rights was also a much required step.

Kamal Taneja, MD, TDI Infracorp
The reduction in GST is welcoming as it will benefit parts of NCR such as Kundli which will see fresh sales. Applicable GST at 1 percent for all properties upto 45 lacs and carpet of 90 Sqm will cover majority of existing inventory and fresh launches.

Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Hone and Former President, CREDAI Western UP
Today’s GST reductions are one of the biggest steps after budget. This a major boost to the entire sector. The middle along with the neo- segment of home buyers will benefit largely. We can expect demand going up soon for under construction projects, which can surely bring positivity in the entire sector .

Amit modi VP CREDAI western UP and Director ABA corp
Government announcement on reducing GST from 12% to 5% on real estate housing does make housing affordable on paper but practically it will increase the construction cost in short term as new regulation doesn’t allow developers to take input tax credits which eventually offset the costs added in final price of the house.

Hence we do believe that there has to be rationalization of the inputs cost by reducing tax levied on raw materials used in real estate construction especially raw materials eg Cement and Steel that significantly contribute towards the cost of making real estate.

With this announcement even though homebuyers will pay less tax on there real estate purchase, but the over all cost of housing will increase in the absence of cost offsetting input tax credits and due to high cost of raw materials for construction.

Ankur Dhawan, Chief Investment Officer, PropTiger
This is a very good news for home buyers, not only it reduces taxation for them but also makes it simpler. Now buyers need not worry about input tax credit and anti profiteering authority. For developers, it will require recalculation of pricing if they had assumed certain input tax credit while setting prices post GST era. Like restaurants we might see some price increase by developers as well.

Amit Raheja, CMD, Wealth Clinic
GST of 1 per cent for affordable housing down from 8 per cent and area of 90 sq m for non-metros will be a big boost for the real estate in these areas. An area of approx 1200 sq ft is a comfortable space and people will lap up such offerings really fast after GST Council brought down the rates.
Dhiraj Jain, Director, Mahagun India
GST reductions are a major boost to entire sector. Post budget it’s another major steps towards pushing the sector. Undergoing projects will surely see a major boost along with homes under 45 lacs. This is going to majorly benefit the satellite towns which has a major demand from middle and neo segment of buyer”

LC Mittal, Director, Motia Group
In last few years, affordable housing is playing a major role in booming up the sector and Government is helping in the best way they can. Reducing GST on affordable housing from 5% to 1% is a big decision post the union budget. Also, decreasing GST on under construction property from 12% to 5% will also attract the buyers to come forward and buy the property. End users will get direct benefit on cost and this will definitely boost the residential real estate market.

Ashok Gupta, CMD, Ajnara India Ltd.
The decision by GST council today, is a big step for home buyers and it will help them to buy property at more affordable rates now. Decreasing GST to 1% on houses with carpet area under 60 sq. mt. in metro cities and 90 sq. mt. in non metro cities is a major decision for mid and lower segment home buyers. This announcement will attract more and more buyers to buy their dream home.

Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing & President, CREDAI Haryana
Real estate market of Tier II cities are banking a lot on affordable housing. From central to state government everyone is launching different schemes to cater mid and lower segment of the society. Announcement of reducing GST from 5% to 1% on houses below the carpet area of 90 sq. mt. in non metro cities is a wise decision. It is a welcome move by the GST council and realty sector of tier II cities will definitely get upward push from this.

Vikas Bhasin, CMD, Saya Group
It is much-needed respite by the GST Council for the buyers. Many home buyers were waiting for the time when they can save some money on their home and this is the perfect time for that. Given the fact that real estate prices have already bottomed out, the decrease in GST on under construction and affordable housing will make these buyers come out and take a final decision on buying a home.

Nipun Gaba, CEO, Fairwealth Group
The announcement by GST council on reducing GST rates is great move for affordable segment buyers. Reducing GST to 1% on non metro cities like Bhiwadi will help developers to sell houses at more affordable rates now. Also, buyers were focusing more on ready to move in properties, but now GST on under construction properties is also reduced to 5% from 12% and it will attract buyers to buy under construction properties too. Undoubtedly if is a win-win move for both buyers and developers.

Rajesh Goyal, CMD, RG Group and Vice President, CREDAI NCR
The announcement of reducing GST on affordable housing by GST council is a great move and it will give boost to affordable housing segment. However, it may increase the cost also as the benefit on input tax credit will not be provided. The government the working hard for realty sector and we appreciate their move.

Harvinder Singh Sikka, MD, Sikka Group
A trend was witnessed in recent past that under construction projects were going through a slow phase of sale. With the latest decision the boost to sales is provided by the authorities and soon we will see the real estate market move towards an era when the projects will be sold within a few days of their announcement. Of course, this will depend on the credibility of the developer and the location of the project.

Dhiraj Bora, GM, Corporate Communication
Last four years have seen many steps being taken by the government to help real estate sector. The biggest of them being the RERA and after that the reduction in GST is going to be the game changer. Having said that there is still scope for some more amendments if we want to see an India that has houses for all. We hope that in near future government will take steps to provide industry status to the sector so that the developers can fulfil the housing dreams of billions of people effectively.