While the incumbent government at the Centre led by PM Narendra Modi has been quite instrumental in addressing the housing con- cerns of the people especially those belonging to lower income groups and weaker sections of the society, the Budget 2023 presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently in the Parliament has dis- appointed the prospective home buyers as they have been unable to find any substantial relief for them.
Though the budget has taken up the cause of afford- able housing; however, the announcements made do not provide the end-user with much relief in terms of the amount the homebuyer pays to procure an asset. It is a fact that amid rising home loan interest rates, homebuy- ers were expecting a lot like the enhancement of income tax deduction on home loans; substantial reduction in the stamp duty and registration expenses and they would have rejoiced some announcements that would make home loans more affordable.
However, there doesn’t seem to be any reflection of reform or any new policy for the housing sector so far as common home buyers are concerned. In such a sit- uation when the homebuyers were anticipating reliefs and relaxations to get a step closer to their dream homes, the absence of policies on addressing the same has given them a big jolt shattering their dream and leaving them disappointed. It would not be wrong to state that in view of the myopic push to affordable hous- ing without considering the revision of its upper limit, there is every probability of multiple gap holes even in the recovery of the housing sector including the big players amid rising inflation. While the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) stands extended to 2025, the cur- rent Budget focuses on increasing its scope and reach besides focussing more on infrastructure, green devel- opment and connectivity. It needs to be realized that skyrocketing inflation and rising EMIs are troubling the people as there is no relief from higher home loan rates. There is definitely some relief in the tax slab but that is not enough for the home buyers. They are pay- ing interest to the banks and taxes to the government but their problems instead of ending continue to pile up.
In such a background there does not appear to be any serious provision in the budget to provide any substan- tial relief to the homebuyers who have lost their earn- ings of years by purchasing houses with borrowed cap- ital and seem to be struggling hard to be able to at least pay their EMIs regularly. It is hoped that the govern- ment announces more incentives including the tax incentives to housing sector under a meticulously planned strategy to cover up especially the common home buyers i.e. their every family and individual in its policies so that they heave a sigh of relief and at the same time the goal of ‘Housing for All’ can be achieved at the earliest. Moreover, it is expected that the pace of progress in implementing the housing schemes on ground shall be taken due care of by the policy plan- ners as well as those executing these schemes for the common people at large.