Budget 2014-15 -Different industry players on budget 2014

Mr. Sandeep Sabharwal, CEO, SLCM Group

It is a good initiative on part of the government. The allocation reflects that the Govt. is understanding and addressing the issues in the agri markets, the marked shift is in the word scientific , wherein earlier the talk was only of infrastructure but now we see the emphasis is on scientific which encompasses both management of infrastructure and knowledge of scientific practices for management of agri products.

Ms Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank on Union Budget 2014-15

The budget has sought to lay out a prudent fiscal path for the country; and address existing issues that have halted infrastructure investment. The budget has announced a range of initiatives to boost investment & growth. The policy direction is clear, and as the decisions and plans announced today are executed, I am sure the country will move back towards a robust growth path.

Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL

The Budget has evoked a mixed response from market men. While many rejoiced at the lack of devils like hike in corporate taxes and reaffirmed commitment to the fiscal deficit target set during the interim Budget, others possibly expected a lot more positive news due to the strong mandate this government received. This was evident as the market swung wildly during the more than 2-hour long Budget speech by the Finance Minister.

Given the limited time at hand, we believe, the FM has done a reasonable job by promoting growth through higher Plan expenditure spend, opening up FDI in defence and insurance sectors, laying emphasis on agriculture and infrastructure and partly addressing inverted indirect tax structure.

He has encouraged financial savings by raising individual tax-payer slabs, added deductions under Sec80C, higher ceiling on PPF and reintroducing Kisan Vikas Patra.

The FM has relied heavily on non-tax revenue to make good the higher expenditure and target 4.1% as the fiscal deficit target for 2014-15. What would have excited the FDI community and stock market more would have been a clearer assurance to end retrospective taxation and details about simplification of transfer pricing.

Ravi Saund, COO, CHD Developers Ltd

The new government's maiden budget claims to contain reform measures to revitalize growth and drive engines of the economy burgeoning again. Will this growth oriented budget withstand the test of time? There's no denying it's a common budget, yet it's difficult to prophesize at this moment. However, couple of reforms announced is a welcome move. It is positive for the housing sector, though the focus is clearly on affordable segment.

The government has encouraged the home buyers by widening Housing loan interest exemption U/s 24 B from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh coupled by personal tax exemption slab raised to the level of 2.5 lakhs per annum. The latter will definitely boost investor's sentiments in the real estate sector.

Real Estate Investment Trusts(REITs), Infrastructure Investment trusts and granting pass through status for taxation is a welcome and essential step for successful implementation of REIT's in India. It will help in easing liquidity requirement for developers, paving way to raise easy capital and also provide access to retail investors to benefits from regular income and appreciation benefits from real estate. This is bound to give the much needed fillip to the sector.

The government is focused on the vision of developing and modernizing with the introduction of smart cities. To make this dream a reality, the finance minister announced allocation of Rs 7,060 crores in the current fiscal for development of the smart cities and 7 new industrial cities. This will drive real estate development in these pockets and create newer markets.

Infrastructure has received a major thrust. The steps to increase funding for roads, highways, airports, power and SEZs will surely add more terrain on the Indian realty map taking tier 2 and tier 3 cities on new growth trajectory.

Lalit Kumar Jain, CREDAI Chairman

Describing Union Finance Minister's Arun Jaitley's maiden budget as "half glass full" and half filled with hopes, realtors' apex body CREDAI Chairman Lalit Kumar Jain said it met with some expectations and left some out.

Mr. Jain welcomed the announcements on REIT and FDI and said the subsidized rate of interest for low income group and economically weaker section groups is not enough.

"Giving pass-through status to REIT and CSR status for Slum Redevelopment Programmes are major welcome announcements by the finance minister," he said and expressed the hope that will contribute to revival of the real estate sector.

FM has in his speech mentioned that he will consider housing Industry demands in due course, which is comforting.

Some SOPS in Affordable housing, funding for low income housing through NHB do recognize fact that much is needed to be done. We hope FM will look at this Industry as an Engine of growth and major action is needed to achieve homes for all.

Incentivizing REITs will help in easing liquidity requirement for developers, making way to raise easy capital and also provide access to retail investors' benefits from regular income and appreciation benefits from real estate. This will not only help developers but also to Private Funds and Financial Institutions as well.

Mr. Jain added "The proper implementation of REIT structure can generate almost one lakh crore worth equity over some period."

Mr. Jain, however, said the Finance Minister was not clear about policy neither on according industry status to housing nor on the demand for giving infrastructure status to the sector.

The details of affordable housing schemes are also missing in the speech, CREDAI chairman said.

He welcomed the government's commitment to revive SEZs by taking "effective steps" to make them instruments of industrial production, economic growth, export promotion and employment generation.

"We are happy that the government plans effective steps to operationalize the SEZs, to revive the investors' interest to develop better infrastructure and to effectively and efficiently use the available unutilized land," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surely begun to take measures towards his vision of creating a 'Shresht Bharat', and the proposal of Rs 50,000 crores for urban infra projects is definitely a welcome move, he said.

"We have been suggesting to the government for long to help revive the real estate sector to rejuvenate the economy and we definitely hope to see a radical change coming to the state," he said.

The minister has given some relief to individual tax payers by raising the income tax exemption limit by 50,000 and has also raised the limit of the interest part of home loans from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh. The combined effect will definitely lead to renewed interest in home purchase by Indians.

"This measure is bound to encourage home buyers, who have been fence sitters in view of the increasing cost of housing, to go in for loans," he said.

Mr. Jain hailed the announcement on setting aside Rs. 8000 crores fund under the umbrella of the National Housing Bank

"Yet, we see the glass half full and the remaining half is filled with hope," Mr Jain said.

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman and Managing Director of CBRE South AsiaPvt. Ltd

The biggest announcement for the real estate sector was SEBI being directed to introduce REITs in India. We expect the entry of this much-awaited investment instrument to provide alternative funding channels to the realty sector. Going forward, it will also act as a key enabler for capital markets in the country, and provideinvestors with exit options. I perceive this announcement as the single most consequential reform witnessed in the sector in recent times.

Allowing FDI in smaller projects of 20,000 sq. m. instead of 50,000 sq. m. by companies with capitalization of US$5 million instead of US$10 million will encourage more FDI, including in tier-II and III cities.

Allocating Rs. 4,000 crore for providing cheaper loans for low cost housing to support the 'housing for all by 2022' scheme is a positive move.

Allocation of Rs. Rs. 7,060 crore to SMART Cities; announcement of 20 industrial clusters; Rs. 5,000 crore for warehousing in rural areas; the development of more airports at tier-I and II cities; and including slum development in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities are all encouraging."

Raising FDI in the insurance sector to 49% will also bring in funds in the long-term to the infrastructure and real estate industry.

The deduction of interest on the housing loan from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh is disappointing as this will have no impact in encouraging purchase of homes, this exemption should have gone up to Rs. 5 lakh instead.

Although the statement on the revival of SEZ was encouraging, the demand for removal of MAT and DDT was not mentioned.

Overall, this was a good budget and will stimulate growth in the real estate and infrastructure sector. However, the real impact on the economy will be upon investing all the funds allocated in the Budget through project implementations, with a sense of urgency for which our country does not have a good track record.


It's a satisfactory Budget for the industry. ShopClues is truly a marketplace for the masses and we heartily welcome the focus laid by the Budget on empowering the new middle class in India - whether it is with a higher tax exemptions for salaried individuals and on home loans, greater benefits in provident fund provisions, pension schemes, etc. The announcement on building of airports and better connectivity for tier 2/3 cities is very encouraging since it will bring them into the mainstream of commerce in the country. We're delighted that the government is committed to simplifying the indirect tax regime by bringing about the Goods & Services Tax (GST) by end of the year. Also, we commend the measures outlined for encouraging entrepreneurship in the country, including the fund for boosting capital flow to startups and SMEs.