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Goa Government Bans sale of Land to Foreigners
Saturday, March 15 2008

Goa government on Friday, amending a 100-year-old act, decided to ban the sale of land to foreigners in the state.

The state law minister Mr. Dayanand Narvekar said "It's a policy decision that foreigners will not be allowed to purchase land in Goa. Earlier, there were no proper powers (given) to the registration authorities in Goa to checks whether the Reserve Bank of India had cleared a deal".

The Goa government has decided to bring in the legislative assembly an amendment to Section 22 of The Registration Act, 1908, which will empower the state government to ban the sale as part of public policy.

With the state government unearthing 400-odd cases of sale of agricultural property to foreigners, the sale of land to the foreigners had become a contentious issue in Goa. The Goa government had constituted a committee a few months back, which studied all the proposals threadbare and referred 298 cases to the Union Enforcement Directorate for further action.

Officials said that these cases had clear evidence of foreigners buying properties in Goa in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act. The law minister added that Section 22 of the act empowers the state government to refuse registration of certain documents which are opposed to public policy. The minister said that the state government will be able to control the 'pumping in of black money in the state' for purchase of property.

"Only in case of RBI clearance, they will be able to purchase the property. But it's very difficult to get the bank's clearance as they cross check the deal on every aspect," the law minister said. Referring to the earlier instances of foreigners purchasing properties in Goa, Narvekar said that in 90 per cent of the cases there was no RBI clearance.

He said that the properties of the foreigners, who have violated FEMA, will be confiscated by the government on RBI recommendation. "Even if the foreigners enter into the partnership with an Indian and wants to buy property, RBI clearance is mandatory".



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