In a bid to boost the country’s slowing economy, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of reforms on Saturday. She also gave assurance that industrial production was showing signs of revival and inflation was under control.
In a major boost to real estate, Sitharaman announced that the government will contribute Rs 10,000 crore to complete the construction of unfinished projects in affordable and middle income category housing. Consumers will get an additional Rs 1.5 lakh tax deduction on interest paid for home loans up to March 2020 for houses worth up to Rs 45 lakh, she added.
“Projects that are 60% complete shall get last mine funding through a special window. About 3.5 lakh dwelling units will benefit from this move. However, we will not interfere with the projects that are under NCLT. The tribunal will decide what has to be done about them,” she said.
More credit will be given to NBFCs and HCFs on loans for houses, automobiles and consumable goods. The minister also said that the partial credit guarantee scheme has helped 7 NBFCs so far.
The other major announcement was that the government will organise Dubai-like Mega Shopping Festivals in 4 Places to boost exports in four sectors – G&J, Handicrafts and Textiles, Tourism and Yoga. The first such event will be held in March 2020.
The government is also planning to modernise shipping ports to international levels so as to improve turn around times.
Refunds for input tax credits will be fully automated and will happen electronically. Small tax defaulters with amounts below Rs 25 lakh will not be prosecuted, she said.