Goa MP justifies freezing foreigners’ land deals

June 24th, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown Panaji, June 24 (IANS) If the British government can enact laws to keep Indians and other Asians out of certain jobs, then no foreigner should object to Goan authorities freezing land sale agreements where law violation is suspected, a Congress MP said.
Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik was reacting to reports in a section of the media which said that more than 100 British citizens had petitioned their Prime Minister Gordon Brown to resolve the impasse, which had developed after the state government froze land purchases of nearly 400 Britons, and placed the transactions under investigation.

“If the Goa government tries to examine any suspected FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) violations by certain foreign nationals or tries to have a stricter law, no foreign national should have any objection,” Naik said.

Snubbing the British authorities, Naik said: “The British government has not lagged behind even in interfering with religious practices of certain Indian communities. India does not indulge in such things.”

He said the present FEMA provisions were far too liberal, as far as foreigners buying land in India was concerned, and while bigger states could absorb large scale land purchase by foreigners, small states like Goa stood to lose.

“FEMA should contain more strict provisions as regards the small states. Such sale of land can virtually ‘liquidate’ a small state like Goa,” he said.

The MP said there were large scale irregularities that several foreigners had indulged in while purchasing land in Goa, which needed to be probed thoroughly.

“A number of foreign nationals bought land in Goa without fulfilling the requirement of 182 days’ stay here and without holding a business visa, thereby misrepresenting and misguiding the authorities. This has to be put an end to,” Naik said.

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