Hope Floats

Two long standing objectives of every government at the center are affordable housing for all and increasing tax collections. Both are seemingly unrelated with the only key commonality being in the relative failure of each successive government to deliver on well-intended goals. It is widely understood that the real estate sector is a major source of/destination for unaccounted/black money in India. This leads to widespread under-reporting of value in a large number of real estate transactions resulting in revenue losses to the exchequer. This practice also inflates real estate prices by not allowing value to be discovered efficiently.

The government is now aggressively driving policy initiatives that will curb the use of unaccounted/black money in the country. Measures announced in the recent Union Budget speech include prohibiting payment/acceptance of cash of Rs. 20,000 or more for any transaction in immovable property. Tougher measures are expected to be in place to…

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