What is your take on Budget 2023-24?
Overall, the budget is a balanced one that focuses on both fiscal prudence and growth. The budget aims to improve infrastructure and job creation, both of which need our attention. The increase in capital outlay to Rs 10 lakh crore will boost infrastructure development. Better roads, railways, bridges and airports are always good news as far as the real estate sector is concerned.
Can you please list out a few hits and misses for the real estate sector in this year’s Budget?
This year’s budget does not have anything specific for the real estate sector although some schemes and announcements for the sector would have been welcome. However, the 33% rise in capital outlay announced in the budget for the third year will have a multiplier impact on real estate. The increase in income tax rebate limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh under the new tax regime will put more money in the hands of the salaried class which will improve spending. Some relief for home buyers, given the high-interest regime, would also have been welcome.
You have been elected as President of the Naredco NextGen Committee. What's your vision and mission for the committee?
The growth of the organisation and NAREDCO NextGen’s members is an obvious priority and so is adequately representing their concerns and suggestions about the sector to the government and its representatives. As part of the committee, we will work towards addressing the many challenges that young realtors face and spearhead the evolution of all things associated with realty. We will also work towards creating an environment that will help, foster, share and promote information and professional help for realtors.
Real estate sector needs stimulus packages. Your views on this
Real Estate at present accounts for approximately 6% to 7% of the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a stimulus will have a positive and far-reaching effect on the overall economy. The growth in real estate will boost demand for about 270 ancillary industries including cement and steel. Moreover, this sector is one of the major employment generators and its development will also help address the problem of unemployment in the country.
What are the tweaks required in government policy and regulation to propel the real estate sector?
Any policy or regulation that will help generate more capital infusion in the sector is welcome. Reduction in GST, better income tax benefits to home buyers particularly first-time home buyers, easing the labour laws to make it more flexible to reflect the market demands and improving ease of doing business for both developers and home buyers will also help. Liberalising the land acquisition process will also go a long way in propelling the sector to new heights.
What are the best practices worldwide in the realty sector which you would like to see its implementation in India?
One thing that the Indian real estate sector needs to aggressively embrace is the green building concept. This does not mean planting a few trees here and there. It means opting for raw materials and processes that have a minimum carbon footprint. A lot of projects these days focus on energy conservation and encouraging renewable energy, which is a welcome development. Also, more projects need to revolve around the walk-to-work concept and that is something which urban planners and government have a major role to play. We also need to focus on trained and licensed brokers to help avoid mis-selling.
Please share with us your upcoming projects and their USP?
As a major realty player in Mumbai and Dubai, we have completed over 3 million sq ft of real estate across these two major cities so far. Our upcoming iconic projects for the Mumbai and Dubai skyline include the uber-luxurious Level-The Residence in Andheri West and Regent IV in Dubai which is a residential villa project. Other projects include residential units in Mahul, and Virar and a residential-cum-retial project in Ghatkopar among others.
What are your plans for the next financial year for your organisation?
We will continue to be the pioneers in refining and redefining the real estate luxury segment in the country and Dubai. We will be coming up with new projects that will have our hallmark quality, exclusivity, innovation and service. We will work towards further enhancing our superior technical competency and construction capabilities so that we can continue to provide our customers with a transformative experience when buying real estate.