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  • Top News Abhishek Goenka

    Abhishek Goenka

    Partner (Tax), PwC India

    TOPIC: Real Estate

  • The real estate sector is a major contributor to economic growth in India. It accounts for high inflow of foreign investments and has a considerable job potential. Even so, this sector has been under a serious stress over the past few years. Considering the situation, significant measures are needed to give a boost to the sector, which is eagerly awaiting an industry status to enable a reduction in interest costs and collaterals. On the buyer?s side, a reduction in multiple taxes incurred while buying a house and an increase in deduction on housing loans (principal and interest) to enhance disposable income of individuals are expected. Other expectations from this year?s Budget is the introduction of a single-window clearance mechanism for real estate projects and implementation of the real estate regulatory Bill.



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    Do you think the govt will increase the tax deduction on housing loans in Budget 2016?

    Abhishek Goenka


    Under the current provisions, a tax deduction is available on principal repayment of loan under Section 80C. This is capped at the overall limit of ~1.5 lakh. Additionally, deduction on interest paid is available, capped at ~2 lakh in case of self-occupied property. We believe there is scope to increase the limits in the Budget. Further, the income-tax laws provide a mechanism for claiming interest paid during the construction period.

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    What are the challenges for a govt infra project aimed at building basic low-cost houses that can serve as shelters to footpath dwellers?

    Abhishek Goenka


    A temporary arrangement may not be a good solution. For low-cost houses to be successful and sustainable, both development and throughput need to be speedy. There is a dearth of affordable and adequately sized land parcels in inner urban localities. This takes us to outer localities, but the challenge then is to provide a mass rapid transport system to enable people to commute to the urban areas. Also, high amount of taxes paid to get ownership hurts the cause of low-cost housing. The local development rules seem more attuned to premium housing.