Dear RBI, May I buy property in India?

PRAKASH KAMAT/THE HINDU, PANAJI | 16 October 2014 20:30 IST

The Goa government has clarified on Thursday that under the extant rules and regulations, an Indian citizen resident outside India may acquire immovable property in India other than agricultural land, plantation or a farm house. However, a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal or Bhutan shall not acquire or transfer immovable property in India without prior permission of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

An official spokesperson of the State government told The Hindu here on Thursday that these guidelines have been released as it has come to the notice of the government that foreign nationals, including those on tourist or visitors visa, are illegally acquiring immovable properties in Goa violating provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Acquisition and transfer of Immovable Property in India Regulation 21/2000, commonly known as FEMA and other requirements prescribed by the concerned authorities.

Likewise, he clarified that a foreign company which was established a branch office or other place of business in India under the provisions of FEMA can acquire immovable property which is necessary for or incidental to carrying on such activity, provided that all applicable laws, rules, regulation or direction in force are duly complied with and a declaration in the prescribed form is filed with the RBI not later than 90 days from the date of such acquisition.

This apart, a foreign national who is residing in India for more than 182 days during the course of the preceding financial year for taking up employment or carrying on business/vocation or for any other purpose indicating his intention to stay for an uncertain period can acquire immovable property in India as he would be a “Person Resident of in India’’ under FEMA.

 

For this purpose, he has not only to satisfy the condition of the aforesaid period of stay, but also his purpose of stay as well as the type of Indian visa granted to him to clearly indicate the intention to stay in India for an uncertain period that needs to be unambiguously established with supporting documentation including visa.

Further, such a person acquiring immovable property has to fulfil the requirements prescribed by the concerned authorities in the State. “These instruction have been issued to avoid situations where investors face with any problems while dealing with transactions in regard to purchase and sale of immovable properties so also when they intend to register the Sale Deeds before the taluk Civil Registrars cum Sub Registrars in Goa,” said the spokesperson.

Over 400 cases of such properties being bought by foreigners in Goa in the past by prima facie violation of FEMA are being dealt with already by Enforcement Directorate after they were referred by the State government in the past following public outcry over the issue.

Original Report


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