The annual budget of the state or central government is not just an annual fiscal exercise, but also a way to gauge the financial health of the government. In addition, it provides insights into upcoming government initiatives, policy changes, or fund allocation. The recently presented Goa Budget 2023-24 by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is marked by its usual share of cheer and criticism. However, the budget hints towards several positive changes that could benefit the real estate sector, including luxury housing.
Preventing Land Fraud and Promoting Transparency
Sawant’s budget speech includes several significant steps to prevent land fraud and promote transparency in property transactions. The state government plans to upgrade its ‘Property Register’ to allow the public to carry out due diligence before purchasing land. Moreover, financial institutions will be linked to the register to identify any encumbrances. The ‘Record of Rights’, a crucial land ownership document, will be linked with Aadhaar numbers and modern, upgraded Records Rooms will be established for all talukas. A mobile application will also be developed to locate and identify properties in real-time. The Department of Settlement and Land Records has been allocated Rs. 43.35 crores to implement these objectives. These measures are expected to reduce the occurrence of fraud in real estate transactions in Goa, providing peace of mind to both buyers and sellers.
The budget also proposes a ‘home-stay policy’ to encourage and simplify the process of setting up and running homestays, supporting homestay owners in the state. The policy aims to lay down uniform norms for setting up of home-stays in the state, doing away with the chaos which has previously marked the vertical.
New Land Rates and Revenue Rationalisation
The announcement in the budget to notify new land rates as per the current market scenario and the rates for built-up properties to be used as ready-reckoners for the purpose of calculation of stamp duty and registration fee will bring the government’s property books up to date. The move will also help the government treasury earn more revenue through the modified fee structure, while also helping rationalise land prices in the state.
The Goa Budget 2023-24 has provided a shot in the arm for the real estate sector. If the initiatives announced in the annual financial document are implemented in the right spirit and in earnest, they would provide a great deal of relief to the buyers and sellers of property in the coastal state. The focus on transparency and prevention of land fraud is a welcome move that will enhance confidence in the real estate sector. The home-stay policy and rationalisation of land prices are likely to attract more investments, contributing to the growth of the sector.