Builders, including several who have miserably failed to deliver houses to lakhs of home-buyers across the country, have put forward about half a dozen demands before the government including reduction in GST rates, rationalising income tax on the sale of flats and creating a fund for financing stressed projects.
Sources said the builders demanded reduction of GST from 18% to 12% and asked the government to resolve the issues relating to income tax at a meeting chaired by Union housing minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
“The minister said government could consider creating the corpus for providing fund to complete the stalled projects. But the builders’ representatives had no answers when he asked who will take the responsibility of quality work and completing construction within the new time frame. They were more concerned about their money and reviving the real estate sector rather than focussing on the battered home-buyers, who have been waiting for their homes for 5-10 years,” said an official, who attended the meeting.
Though the meeting with an agenda to debate ways to kick start the real estate sector, was called by Union finance minister Piyush Goyal, he could not attend the meeting.
Sources said the builders complained about how they were made to pay income tax for the properties sold as per the circle rate while the actual price is less. “Responding to this, the CBDT chairman said there is no mechanism to find out whether the builders were not charging buyers as per the circle rate. He said if the circle rate was not right, the issue must be taken up with the local authorities to correct them,” said another official, who was present in the meeting.
TOI has learnt that some of the builders suggested that government-owned entities such as National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) should step in to to take over incomplete projects. “We are collating all the suggestions. It may not be possible to agree to all the suggestions made by the stakeholders. We will need to hold another meeting with the FM and other ministers concerned to see how to take these forward. But the government is keen to see that home buyers get their flats,” a housing ministry official said.