Mumbai : A large number of big corporates and reputed developers are entering the affordable housing segment, attracted by huge tax benefits and reforms initiated by the government, eminent banker Deepak Parekh has said.

He also expressed hope that real estate prices would decline more once RBI allows banks and housing finance firms to lend to developers for land purchases and approval processes for projects are further streamlined and shortened.

Lauding the NDA government for coordinated efforts of the Prime Minister’s Office with various ministries and departments on the ‘Housing for All by 2022’ mission, Parekh said this has been one of the main promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several steps have been taken, especially this year, to achieve this goal.     “I will call this year’s Budget an ‘affordable housing budget’. I am very excited about housing growth in India in next 3-5 years and I have never been so enthused about it,” Parekh told PTI in an interview. Parekh, Chairman of housing finance major HDFC Ltd, said the government is focusing on “practical and realistic steps” which are good for developers, consumers and even the lenders. Speaking in detail about various schemes and measures, Parekh said the government has extended the 100 per cent tax deduction scheme for affordable housing projects approved between June 2016 and March 2019, by two more years till 2021. “What this effectively means is that any developer, for affordable housing project, has to pay zero tax. I do not know of any industry in India where you have to pay zero tax even if you make profit, other than in affordable housing. “It shows the importance, the urgency and the critical need that housing requires in a vast country like ours,” he said.

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