The Interim Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saw the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) set out an additional 2 crore homes to be built for the rural poor. As per budget estimates, the outlay which was ₹79,590 crore in 2023-24 has been pushed to ₹80,671 crore for 2024-25.
The Ministry of Rural Development which is implementing the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) since April 2016 had an overall target to construct 2.95 crore houses with basic amenities by March 2024. As of December 2023, according to the ministry as against the target of 2.95 crore houses, more than 2.94 crore houses had already been sanctioned to the beneficiaries by various States/UTs and the construction of 2.5 crore houses had been completed at the end of November 2023.
"Despite the challenges due to COVID, implementation of PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) continued and we are close to achieving the target of three crore houses. Two crore more houses will be taken up in the next five years to meet the requirement arising from increase in the number of families," says the finance minister in her speech.
Samantak Das, chief economist and Head of Research & REIS, India, JLL, says that while on the real estate front, there were no big bang announcements, however, the infrastructure augmentation, housing for all, and creation of tourist centres will be important elements in creating a robust ecosystem for the sustainable growth of India’s real estate sector.
The government has also indicated that it would launch a scheme targeting the middle class "living in rented houses, or slums, or 'chawls' and unauthorised colonies" to buy or build their own houses.
While the details of the scheme are anticipated in the full budget, Anuj Puri, chairman of ANAROCK Group, says that this scheme will help deserving sections of the middle class, living in rented houses or slums, or 'chawls' and unauthorised colonies, to buy or build their own houses is likely to free encroachment areas like slums for easier redevelopment.
The long-standing demand of the real estate sector for industry status or tax incentives to home buyers might have been missing, but Murali Malayappan, chairman and managing director of Shriram Properties, says that the announcement of capex of ₹11.1 lakh crore in 2025 is a welcome move. "We can expect better provision of infrastructure development in the regular budget that will be tabled in July 2024," he says.