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Housing Ministry urges for service tax exemption

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Considering the effects of newly imposed service tax on the construction cost of houses, the Housing Ministry has urged government to exempt at least central government housing schemes from paying the tax. Kumari Selja, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister, has recently written to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in this regard, saying that such move won’t affect government’s revenue collection much but will go a long way in giving respite to urban poor covered under these schemes.
The Housing Ministry during its pre-budget discussion with Finance Minister had asked for extension of concession under Section 80(I)(B) of IT Act as onetime interim relief to the housing and real estate sector. The Finance Ministry had agreed to this in respect of pending projects which have now been allowed to be completed within a period of five years instead of four years for claiming a deduction on their profits. The Ministry hopes the real estate sector would transfer these benefits to house owners and facilitate the dream of ‘Affordable Housing’ for masses in the country.

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