This article was authored by Nath Sharma, Partner.

The real estate sector has been hit hard by recent events. Affordable housing has been the focus driver and significant priority in real estate sector for the Government, in line with its 'Housing for All' policy. As expected the Budget proposes to extend certain tax breaks till March 31, 2022 (i.e., for an additional 12 month period) for affordable housing projects, and also proposes tax breaks for certain specified or notified affordable rental housing projects. Further, the Budget also proposes to extend the Rs 1.5 lakh benefit on interest paid on affordable housing loans by the same period, to bring additional persons within the umbrella of this benefit. With these announcements the Government has reiterated its stance on affordable housing for all, and affordable rental housing, which benefits the economically weaker sections of society including migrant workers. We expect that the impetus provided by these allocations will provide a much needed shot in the arm to the real estate sector, and also create avenues for weaker sections of society to avail appropriate means of meeting housing needs, all leading to growth of the sector and the economy."

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