Subsidies Can’t Be Essence of Survival for Realty Sector: Jaitley

Mumbai: Hopeful that the age of slowdown will end soon for the real estate industry, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the sector must survive on market economy and subsidies should not be the “essence of survival”.

He also asked the sector to submit taxation-related suggestions to the recently-appointed panel on tax issues and said the government would seriously look into the committee’s final recommendations.

Speaking at a housing market conference here attended by real estate players and housing finance firms, Mr Jaitley said the sector will be the next big mover as far as the Indian economy was concerned.

He said that easier availability of land for housing is very important while interest rates have already come down to bring down the cost of funding.

“The real estate should survive on market economy (and) subsidies should not be essence of survival for the industry,” Mr Jaitley said.

He said that inflation has been brought under control and the Reserve Bank of India has already cut rates four times this year, adding that this was a positive for the sector and “hopefully those moves are here to stay”.

“Age of slowdown for realty sector should now come to an end,” he said.

On macro issues, the Finance Minister said the global environment has not been helpful and the impact was visible in exports slowing down in India.

“The biggest strength of India and the silver lining is its resilience… Our systematic firewalls have to be such that the ability to resist the global volatility are strengthened,” he said.

“We are unquestionably one of the fastest, if not the fastest growing major economies… On revenue collection, the indications look more on the optimistic side,” Mr Jaitley said.

The minister further said that the savings from low global commodity prices were being used in irrigation and infrastructure while improving the health of power sector was also one of the most important tasks.

“After roads and highways, very soon we will be looking into the issues of the power sector,” Mr Jaitley said.