The slash in GST rates to 5 per cent without ITC from the previous 12 per cent with ITC for premium homes, and to 1 per cent minus ITC for affordable homes from the earlier 8 per cent, gives the beleaguered realty sector the much-needed breathing room and will certainly help it maintain some forward momentum in 2019.
Higher capital expenditure outlay for the railways (increased by 11.8 per cent from 2017v18 and 22.1 per cent from 2017v18) at Rs 1.46 lakh crore to support infrastructure projects. Of this, the budgetary allocation from the government stands at Rs 53,060 crore (up from Rs 40,000 crore in 2017v18, and marginally lower than 2017v18).
The mechanism proposed to buy surplus solar energy from solar pumps by the distribution utilities as well as push for deployment of solar energy under the smart city programme are encouraging for PV module manufacturers, EPC and system integrators/channel partners
With more than 1,500 delegates and channel partners, 130 visiting journalists from 28 countries, showcase of more than 50 projects and countless announcements and sessions, the larger-than-life expo by Bentley Systems, was an exhilarating experience.
The Budget is likely to continue its pro-poor image with a slew of concessions for agriculture, skilled labour and the rural sector, along with incentivisation to move to a digital payment economy. Employment-related incentives are likely to go up considerably.