Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday called for exempting affordable housing from service tax under the goods and service tax (GST) regime so that prices for low-cost homes do not rise. He also asked states to waive stamp duty for affordable housing projects and rationalise it for others. Naidu said his ministry has also recommended that the property sector should be taxed at a rate “which is revenue neutral and not at a higher tax rate”.
Addressing the realtors’ body CREDAI event, he assured that the GST (Goods and Service Tax) would not lead to rise in prices and certainly not for the affordable housing segment.“Currently affordable housing is exempt from service tax. My ministry has already taken up with the ministry of finance the need to continue with this exemption under the GST,” Naidu said.
The affordable housing has been given infrastructure status in the Budget and this would go a long way in placing more cash in the hands of home buyers and acting as catalyst for the development of such projects in the market, he added.
The minister said although there is no clarity on the inclusion of real estate within the ambit of GST, the real estate sector would be benefited from this big reform ‘One Nation One Tax’.