Real estate sector welcomes 1% stamp duty discount for women

The real estate sector in the Pune Metropolitan Region on Monday expressed optimism over finance minister Ajit Pawar’s announcement of a1% concession of women homebuyers during his budget speech. Large real estate players and collectives in the region felt that the reduction in stamp duty would give a much-needed fillip to the sector, which went through a rough patch due to the pandemic last year. While the market enjoyed a purple patch of sorts in the last quarter of 2020, due in large part to the 3% reduction in the stamp duty, the rate was increased by 1% from January. The concession is to be phased altogether from March 31, an uneasy prospect for some in the real estate sector. In his budget speech on Monday, Pawar said the1% concession — coinciding with International Women’s Day — was an empowerment measure. The move is expected to cost the exchequer Rs1,000 crore, and the government has raised taxes elsewhere, particularly on Indian-made foreign spirits, to make up for this. “This (the concession) will not only help the construction sector but is also an important step towards women’s empowerment,” Poonam Gokhale, director of Gokhale Constructions, said. Credai-Pune Metro also lauded the proposal and noted that this had been a long-pending demand. “In fact, Credai-Pune Metro had earlier requested the state government to offer a discount on stamp duty if a flat is registered in the name of a woman. So, in a sense, our demand has been accepted,” Suhas Merchant, president of Credai-Pune Metro, told TOI.