India warns against foreigners buying land illegally

November 6th, 2008 - 7:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) India’s central government has raised concern over acquisition of land illegally by foreign nationals, particularly in Goa, and asked the states to be extra vigilant in curbing such practices.“It has come to the notice of the central government that foreign nationals are buying immovable property illegally in some parts of the country, particularly in Goa, which has raised concerns,” an official statement said.

“Many organisations and social groups have also made representations to the central government expressing their serious concerns in this regard,” the statement said, adding such acquisitions were also being made by foreign nationals on tourist visas.

Earlier this year, the Goa government even enacted a legislation to amend a 100-year-old law to make it difficult for foreigners to buy land in the state.

As per prevailing laws, an Indian citizen resident outside India and a person of Indian origin resident outside India is permitted to acquire immovable property in India, other than agricultural land, plantation or farmhouses.

This apart, a foreign company that has a branch office or other place of business in India can also acquire immovable property for purposes incidental to carrying on such activity.

The Indian laws also permit foreign nationals with valid visas to work or conduct business and who have already stayed in India for 182 days to acquire such property, subject to rules prescribed by state governments.

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