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Realtors seek tax sops, lower rates in Budget

Press Trust Of India 

The real estate on Thursday sought more tax incentives and lower interest rates for home buyers in the upcoming Budget, to revive demand. It also sought infrastructure status for housing. Addressing a conference, Credai President (elect) Getamber Anand said the government should provide some fiscal incentives to real estate developers to build affordable housing.

Naredco Chairman Naveen Raheja said: "There should be some stimulus for the home buyers in form of lower interest rates. Please give infrastructure status to housing if not the entire real estate." CBRE South Asia Chairman and Managing Director Anshuman Magazine said: "We are at the bottom, it can only go up from here.".

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Embassy Office Parks CEO Michael Holland demanded that the government provide some clarification on tax treatment of real estate investment trusts (Reits), particularly on dividend distribution tax (DDT). In September 2014, Sebi had notified norms for listing of new business trust structure Reits that would help attract more funds in a transparent manner into the realty sector.

The norms were notified after the finance minister, in the last year's Budget, had provided REITs pass-through status for the purpose of taxation.

SARE Homes Managing Director Vineet Relia said in order to make housing for all a reality, the government should look into relaxation of taxes, incentivise cheaper financing for the developers and build adequate infrastructure.

Commenting on the need to incentivise the affordable housing segment, RICS Global Managing Director-Emerging Business & MD-South Asia Sachin Sandhir said: "Despite the inherent fundamentals of the real estate market, things have slowed down in recent times and we must introspect as an the reasons why this has happened, and address the issues. The core issue of increasing affordability and supply of housing should be addressed."

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First Published: Fri, February 20 2015. 00:18 IST