This is a bold yet prudent Budget for a nation seeking clear direction. Steps to address fiscal challenges, a commitment to transparent and stable policy, and aiming for a seven-eight per cent growth rate in the next three to four years send a strong signal to markets, industry and citizens.
The finance minister has recognised the challenges of rapid urbanisation, acknowledging that without new 'sister cities', major cities may soon be unlivable.
The significance given to key factors in housing - power, sanitation, roads, solar energy and higher income tax deduction limit on housing loan interest - combined with funding and facilitating affordable housing and smart cities, show a clear direction to enable housing for all by 2022. The finance minister addressed the financing of the likely demand, by confirming the tax pass-through status for real estate investment trusts and enabling foreign direct investment in low-cost housing. Further, the creation of industrial hubs/corridors will generate large-scale employment. Income generation and resultant consumption will give a fillip to economic activity. Overall, it is a focused Budget which knows where the best use of resources lies. Infrastructure and housing are clearly two priority areas for our government.
Managing Director, Lodha Group