GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Finance
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 2531
ANSWERED ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2014 / MAGHA 29, 1935 (SAKA)
Illegal Buying of Land by Foreigners in Goa
2531. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of FINANCE be pleased to state;
(a) whether Government's attention has been drawn towards media reports regarding widespread instances of foreigners illegally buying land in Goa and several other coastal towns, in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA);
(b) if so, the details thereof; and
(c) the steps Government has taken to prevent indirect foreign ownership of land in Goa and other coastal areas in the country, especially given its implications on national security and money laundering?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE
(SHRI J.D. SEELAM)
(a): Yes, Sir.
(b) & (c): The provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) read with the Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India) Regulations, 2000 impose certain restrictions/conditions on purchase of immovable property, including land, in India.
Directorate of Enforcement has registered cases against foreign nationals/companies for purchase of land in Goa and other coastal areas of the country in violation of provisions of FEMA. During last three Financial Years 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 & the current Financial Year 2013-14 (up to 31.01.2014), the Directorate has issued 64 Show Cause Notices (SCNs) involving total amount of Rs. 2495.76 lacs under FEMA in this regard. Out of these, 17 SCNs have been adjudicated and penalty amounting to Rs. 285.65 lacs imposed. In addition, 22 properties have been ordered for confiscation.
Ministry of Home Affairs has also issued directive to State/UT Governments to take adequate measures before allowing registration for acquisitions of land in India.
Besides, Reserve Bank of India has started conducting workshops in Goa to sensitize the State Government officials on the FEMA regulations.