Union Budget was presented in the parliament on February 29th, 2016. ICR team has tried to capture the impact of the budget on cement, infrastructure and real estate as viewed by CRISIL Research and various experts in the industry.
CRISIL Budget Analysis
Cement, impact positive
Higher spending on infrastructure to benefit in medium term Positive
Key budget proposals:
CRISIL Research´s View:
The government´s focus on infrastructure is evident with the total targeted spending in FY17 increasing 28 per cent over FY16.
This, along with a number of benefits provided on affordable housing, would aid recovery in cement demand. Further, the rise in duties and tariffs in the form of clean cess on coal is expected to have a muted impact on total cost, which is expected to increase 0.2 per cent. Power and fuel cost (~25 per cent of cost of sales) will increase 1 per cent. However, amid rising demand, players will be able to offset this with a hike in prices.
Infrastructure, impact positive
Focus on dispute redressal, tax clarifications to aid investor confidence Positive Key budget proposals:
Budgetary allocation: Total outlay for infrastructure has been increased by 28 per cent to Rs 3.4 trillion (roads, railways and power the biggest beneficiaries). Of this, Rs 1.29 trillion is on account of budgetary support
Roads: Investments for development of national highways is proposed to be hiked 49 per cent on-year to Rs 1032 billion.
This is on the backdrop of spending being 16 per cent lower than FY16 budgeted estimates in the segment
Railways: Total outlay raised by 24 per cent to Rs 1,210 billion. In Railway Budget FY17, there have been numerous announcements for improvement of port connectivity and three new dedicated freight corridors
Airports & ports: No new projects announced barring Rs 8 billion earmarked for greenfield ports and national waterways. Overall, outlay for civil aviation has been reduced by 30 per cent to Rs 44 billion, mainly in line with reduced equity support to Air India
Funding availability: The government has provided flexibility for select state entities to raise capital up to Rs 313 billion by way of bonds across infra segments
Other measures: Dividend distribution tax waiver to be applicable on income distributed from SPVs to INVIT holding entity. Furthermore, a mechanism to renegotiate of contracts and a public utility bill will be introduced to streamline resolution of disputes in infrastructure related construction contracts
The Budget reiterated focus on roads and railways with almost 76 per cent of the incremental government spending (budgetary allocation plus inter and extra budgetary resources) focused on these two segments. Also, the increase in budgetary allocations of Rs 250 billion towards various infra segments were muted compared with Rs 1090 billion in the last Budget.
This clearly reinforces a shift in funding dependence from government outlays to cash flows of government entities and their borrowing capability to drive public investments in the sector.Of the Rs 250 billion incremental budgetary support, almost Rs 130 billion is directed towards railways, followed by Rs 40 billion towards power, Rs 30 billion for urban development and Rs 25 billion, for roads, respectively. Given the targets relating to electrification of villages, the Budget provides a thrust on investments in the distribution segment of power with a 84 per cent on-year increase in planned expenditure for key schemes.
For EXIM-focused sectors such as airports and ports, focus on single window customs clearance, backed by process simplification, is targeted towards de bottlenecking of capacity amid lower budgetary allocations.
The Budget continued to build up investor confidence for investing in infrastructure segments by providing clarity on dividend distribution tax for entities like INVITs and giving confirmation on contract renegotiation and introduction of the public disputes utility bill. This comes at a time when private sector interest in infrastructure development is low and the balance sheets of many developers in the sector remain stretched.
We believe the rise in overall government spends will boost execution of national highway projects to about 5,200 km annually in 2016-17 and create a robust construction opportunity for road and railway engineering procurement & construction companies.
While the Budget provisions are positive, it will continue to put to test the execution capability of implementing agencies such as the National Highways Authority of India and Indian Railways. This comes on the backdrop of overall spending in national highways being 16 per cent lower in FY16 as compared with the allocations. Addressing on-ground issues such as clearances and land acquisition becomes extremely critical to ensure a sharp increase in project execution.
Affordable housing gets a shot in the arm; commercial realtors also benefit Positive
Measures on affordable housing projects
Interest deduction limit under Sec 80EE increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh for first-time home buyers (applicable only on loans not exceeding Rs 35 lakh for houses costing below Rs 50 lakh and sanctioned during April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017) for the entire loan duration
Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, 100 per cent deduction on profits from housing projects approved between June 2016 and March 2019, and completed in three years of getting approval and satisfying the following conditions, refer to Table 1
Service tax exemption on construction of affordable houses up to 60 square meters (646 sq ft) under any central or state government scheme, including public-private partnerships (PPPs)
Phasing out of deductions allowed on capital expenditure (other than land, goodwill and financial assets) under Sec 35AD from 150 per cent to 100 per cent w.e.f. April 1, 2017, for affordable housing projects
Exemption of dividend distribution tax (DDT) on distribution made by special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Revival of national land record digitisation scheme with a funding of Rs 1.5 billion
0.5 per cent Krishi Kalyan Cess on all taxable services
CRISIL Research´s View
Boost to affordable housing - especially tier II and tier III cities
Affordable housing segment has received a shot in the arm with the abovementioned measures and will see increased demand and PPPs in the medium term.
Increase in interest deduction for first-time home buyers will boost demand for homes priced in that bracket. Currently, nearly 40 per cent of the upcoming supply in the 10 major cities tracked by CRISIL Research is priced under Rs 50 lakh. The proportion of upcoming supply in this price bracket in tier II and tier III cities is expected to be even higher.
Refer to Graph 1
Middle and low income groups are benefitted by providing exemption on service tax on construction of affordable home and increase in tax exemption on home loan, a boost to first time home buyers. That makes housing more affordable. Infrastructure being part of the key pillars of the budget is something to look forward to in the long run. With 85% road projects coming back on track.
The industry has also acknowledged that the finance minister´s approach for this budget has been very targeted. ´He has laid a structure for an inclusive growth rather than distributing subsidies,´ said Gupta.
The cement sector for quite some time had been asking for the removal of excise duty on ready-made cement, which was 12.5 per cent. The industry among its recommendations to the government has also been asking for the initiatives to lower the tax burden on the industry. In its annual report 2014-15, CMA acknowledged that cement is highly taxed at 60 per cent of ex-factory price, which is even more than the taxes levied on the luxury items.
´Exemption of excise duty on RMC is one of the encouraging moves taken by the finance minister. This step is another value addition in making the budget positive for the cement sector,´ said MS Mani, senior director, Deloitte.
Source: ECONOMIC TIMES
Doubled Coal Cess to increase power tariff by 15 paisa/unit
The effort of the NDA government to give enhanced push to clean energy and environment conservation would lead to spiking of power price. The government for the third time in a row increased the cess on coal, lignite and pite production to Rs 400 per tonne to fund clean energy projects.
As the increase in price of coal comes under ´change of law´ regulation of the Electricity Act and Tariff Policy, any change in price would be reflected in the final power tariff. As per industry calculations, this would amount to a change of 12-15 paisa per unit in the final power tariff.
Indian power industry consumes close to 500 million tonne of coal annually and with doubling of cess, close to 800 billion units of electricity will witness the impact of increased price of coal.
During the current fiscal, the coal cess collected was around Rs 12,000 crore taking the total to Rs 50,000 crore.
In the last Union Budget, cess on coal was doubled to Rs 200 per tonne. In his maiden budget in July 2014, Arun Jaitley increased it to Rs 100 per tonne from Rs 50 per tonne. The cess is collected as National Clean Energy Fund and is disbursed for renewable energy based initiatives and power projects.
But with the change in name to Clean Environment Fund, it is expected that the fund would be used for environment conservation drives of the government as well.
The heavy weight projects depending on NCEF for their funding are Rs 40,000 crore Green Energy Corridor project and to be launched National Wind Energy Mission, which will entail a total expenditure of Rs 18,000 crore.
Source: BUSINESS STANDARD
Steel, cement to cost more
Shailendra Chouksey, President, Cement Manufacturers´ Association, and whole-time director, JK Lakshmi Cement, said cement prices would rise by? 3-4 a bag just on account of the clean environment cess.
´The total tax incidence on cement is over 60 per cent of the ex-factory realisation. The Krishi Kalyan Cess at 0.5 per cent on all taxable services from June 1 will push up production costs further,´ he added.
Ready-mix concrete (RMC) players believed that their long-pending demand of exemption of excise duty on RMC plants has finally been addressed but it is applicable only to dedicated RMC plants on site, the percentage of which is almost negligible, said Chouksey.
Ajay Kapur, Managing Director, Ambuja Cements, said while profitability of the cement industry would be impacted by the increase in cess, the excise on HDPE (high-density polyethylene) packaging bags (for 12.5 per cent to 15 per cent) and decrease in sale commission (from 10 per cent to 5 per cent) would add to the industry´s woes.
Source: THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Mahendra Singhi, Group CEO-Dalmia Cement in conversation with ICR
The focus of the budget has been on rural India and finance minister has thought ´how to boost up the economy?´ Larger attention has been paid to the farm sector. FM´s efforts will have multiplying effect on the economy.
The second important aspect of the budget is allocation for infrastructure. Never before such allocation was done. There are many projects which have been held up and some remedial measures are required to be taken to rescue these projects. Funds have been made available for not just highways but also for ´Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana´ which is mainly for rural India. The allocation for MNREGA is another positive feature of rural focus.
We were expecting industry status will be given to infrastructure but that did not happen. Irrigation has been provided separate funding which is a long term investment and it is certainly a welcome feature of the budget.
The enhancement of carbon cess to Rs. 400 will have some impact but it is a movement in the direction of Green Energy. It will support generation of Solar and Wind power.
While giving concessions, the budget takes into account affordable housing, rental housing and first time home buyers.The taxation on provident fund withdrawn is some how difficult to digest. It is slightly going against the principles of saving habits.