By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bangalore: Reportedly with the infrastructure status given to this segment, developers will be able to access long-term funding at cheaper rates. They will also be able to get access to institutional finance and other additional incentives. This will enable lower costs. Further, more developers will be ready to move into this space, thereby ensuring greater supply and competitive prices.A major relief being contemplated by the government now is the abolition of stamp duty payable on affordable homes. Stamp duty is a State subject and is levied by the States. The rates are fixed by the State governments and differ across States. The duty is collected by the states as well. Generally, the rate of stamp duty varies between four and eight percent of the registration value of the property. The central government is working with the State governments to exempt affordable houses from stamp duty.Stamp duty constitutes a significant part of the purchase price. Let's say the registration value of a property is Rs 10 lakhs. If the stamp duty rate is eight percent, the stamp duty to be paid will be Rs 80,000. In case stamp duty is exempted, it will be a substantial relief for property buyers in this segment. This move will reduce the financial burden of buyers and act as an incentive for more to purchase their own home.Affordable housing is exempt from service tax, which is around 5.35 percent of a property's selling price. The housing ministry has already taken it up with the finance ministry to continue the exemption under GST. According to press reports The Ministry of Housing at the Centre has written to the State governments to exempt affordable housing from stamp duty. This will be a major relief for buyers in this segment .The government is going all out to achieve the goal of `Housing for all by 2022'. The Union Budget for the year 2017-18 has also given a major push to affordable housing. Generally, `affordable housing' refers to homes that have been designed especially for the economically weaker section (EWS) and lower income group (LIG).The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana envisages the provision of `Housing for all by 2022'. The mission seeks to provide 20 million housing units and take up slum rehabilitation projects. According to the mission's guidelines, an `affordable housing project' should have a minimum of 35 percent of the houses in it for the EWS segment.The EWS households are those earning an annual income of up to Rs 3 lakhs and have a house with a carpet area of up to 30 square metres. LIG is defined as having an annual income between Rs 3-6 lakhs and a house with a carpet area of up to 60 square metres.