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  India   All India  06 Jul 2019  Guest column: Focus on growth in all facets

Guest column: Focus on growth in all facets

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 6, 2019, 7:54 am IST
Updated : Jul 6, 2019, 8:02 am IST

The FM has incentivised the people buying affordable houses by increasing fiscal incentives on a home loan.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget for Modi 2.0 government. (Photo: ANI | Twitter)
 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Union Budget for Modi 2.0 government. (Photo: ANI | Twitter)

As Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden budget, public expectation towards the Union Budget 2019-20 have been extraordinary given the massive victory of the Modi government and the state of the economy.  GDP growth has slowed down, global outlook turning gloomy amid heightened trade tensions and fear of prolonged slowdown in the euro zone. Against this backdrop, the finance minister presented a budget that focuses on growth touching every aspect of the economy especially job creation. The most reassuring aspect was the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% for FY 20, although a large segment of intellectuals would have been comfortable even with 3.5% in lieu of a growth budget.

The government’s focus on international borrowings will prevent crowding out the private sector borrowing in the domestic market as well as help establish sovereign yield curve. Lower borrowing in the domestic market should be positive for the currency, interest rate, and therefore interest cost will come down.

The FM has incentivised the people buying affordable houses by increasing fiscal incentives on a home loan. The budget has provided for an increase  of up to Rs 1,50,000 deduction p.a. on the interest component of a home loan borrowed before March 31, 2020, provided the property value is under Rs 45 lakh. With this, the total fiscal incentives on a home loan by way of interest deductions are Rs 3.5 lakh pa. This additional fiscal benefit also will lead to increase in the loan eligibility of the borrower.  Apart from this there is already a tax benefit on repayment of Principal of up to Rs 1.5 lakh.

Having said all this if the borrower buying such a property also fulfills all the requirements of the PMAY scheme then the effective overall interest rate on his home loan can be below 4% pa even though the nominal home loan interest rate being 8.7% pa. This should provide a huge boost to affordable housing.

There has been a massive cleanup of the NPA’s of banking sector in the past few years and the Rs 70,000 crore recapitalisation plan will adequately bolster the PSU Bank’s capital base and improve credit uptake.

The FM has acknowledged the role played by the NBFCs  in  the growth of the economy and said that the government will provide one-time six-month partial credit guarantee to PSU banks for first loss up to 10% for the purchase of high-rated pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs, This will incentivise banks to lend to NBFC’s.

The FM has cut the tax rate to 25% for all the corporates with annual turnover of  up to Rs 400 crore from the earlier Rs 250 crore thus covering 99.30% of all corporates in India. This is a step in the right direction to support the smaller companies as they have the ability to provide more jobs with the same amount of capital as compared to large corporates.

Mrs Sitharaman has made a great start and one looks forward for bold measures going forward.

Renu Sud Karnad Managing Director, HDFC Ltd

Tags: union budget 2019, nirmala sitharaman