24 May, 2018, 02:11 PM

The CREDAI Youth Wing organized a conclave that discussed affordable housing, GST and the PMAY  scheme at the Conrad hotel on 9th May, 2018. With the attendance of many eminent builders for the event, the National Housing Bank (NHB) led the session on the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme and PwC shed light on affordable housing and GST.

Elucidating the PMAY scheme, Mr. Hem Kumar from the NHB discussed it in great detail, highlighting the important role of builders in the process of implementing PMAY. Introduced 2 years ago, the scheme is aimed at providing housing for all – a pucca house to be specific, by 2022. Mr. Kumar mentioned that there is lack of awareness about the scheme among stakeholders and beneficiaries and stressed the critical role of initiators builders play to take this scheme forward. Through the scheme, over 1 lakh houses are currently coming up in Bangalore. Pointing out how the scheme performed well in Gujarat and Maharashtra, Mr. Kumar said that these two states were responsible for 60% of the statistics of the PMAY scheme. Analyzing the urban component of PMAY, he spoke about how affordable housing has more potential in planning areas than developed areas. However, tier II and tier III cities are not active executing the scheme. The PMAY CLSS (Credit linked subsidy system) was also discussed and its objective is to expand institutional credit flow to housing needs of economically weaker groups (EWG), low income groups (LIG) and middle income groups (MIG) segment in urban areas. With the scheme having over 40,000 takers among MIG, and 1.5 lakh customers among LIG; the government is providing around 3000crores in assistance. He also enumerated how the scheme can help builders’ projects; and how banks at a branch level, especially public sector banks, are usually not aware of the scheme and that the success of the scheme also depends on the efficiency of the lending system.

The engaging session on affordable housing and GST was led by Mr. Shubendhru Saha of PwC, who detailed the definition of affordable housing, the life cycle and how the government is looking to incentivize affordable housing. He spoke about policy initiatives undertaken and focused on the tax and non-tax aspects of affordable housing. Discussing the 6 different PPP models introduced by the government in affordable housing, Mr. Saha said it would be best suited and commercially viable for private developers to target MIG due to the relevant incentives that can be availed. He identified the various challenges pertaining to affordable housing – location, land availability, connectivity, price, sales & marketing, etc. and acknowledged the importance of asset management. Mr. Sandesh Kumar spoke about how there would be tax benefits to entities who are engaged in the business of building and developing affordable housing and the various parameters that need to be met in order to be eligible for the deduction. Mr. T R Venkateshwaran provided an overview of indirect tax prior to GST and post GST, and its implications on the real estate industry. He provided a comprehensive presentation on the nature of the real-state and housing environment prior to the introduction of GST and after it, and enlightened the audience about the grey areas and challenges of the new law. He detailed the technicalities of the law, with respect to various facets relating to the developer’s industry. He specified how GST can help benefit the affordable housing sector and spoke about its implications on the builders & real-estate fraternity involved in the same.

The audience actively engaged with the seminar, asking questions that helped provide further understanding on the topics being discussed. The session ended with delectable dinner and drinks.

In line with creating a new generation of real-estate developers, the Youth Wing at CREDAI hosted this session in order to enlighten the real-estate fraternity with valuable insights that will developers and builders take their companies to new heights.