The government on Monday extended the additional tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on interest paid on housing loan for the purchase of affordable homes by one more year to March 31, 2022, a move aimed at boosting demand in the sluggish real estate sector. The additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh over and above Rs 2 lakh was introduced in the 2019 budget. This was allowed for those buying homes for the first time and of up to Rs 45 lakh. In the budget speech for the 2021-22 fiscal year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government sees 'Housing for All' and affordable housing as priority areas.
"In the July 2019 Budget, I provided an additional deduction of interest, amounting to Rs 1.5 lakh, for a loan taken to purchase an affordable house. I propose to extend the eligibility of this deduction by one more year, to 31st March 2022," she said.
The minister said the additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh shall therefore be available for loans taken up till March 31, 2022, for the purchase of an affordable house.
Now, a person purchasing an affordable house will get an enhanced interest deduction of up to Rs 3.5 lakh.
"Further, to keep up the supply of affordable houses, I propose that affordable housing projects can avail a tax holiday for one more year – till 31st March, 2022," Sitharaman said.
The minister said that the government is committed to promote the supply of affordable rental housing for migrant workers. "For this, I propose to allow tax exemption for notified Affordable Rental Housing Projects."
These two Budget proposals are aimed at increasing demand as well as supply in the affordable housing segment, which has already been accorded with the infrastructure status.
According to property consultants and data analytic firms, housing sales across major 7-8 cities fell around 40-50 per cent during the 2020 calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, demand has been steadily improving since July last year on pent up as well festive demand.