After being scanned for Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violation, many foreigners intend to sell their properties in Goa and return back, but have to stay back as Goa authorities have banned any related transactions.
Few of the foreigners who have invested in Goa getting jittery after the show-cause notice from the directorate of enforcement and investigations into the deal intends to do away with the property.
But the state government has with-held any further transaction in their properties forcing them to sit with the fingers crossed.
This month itself, the notary services and state registrar department have received two applications by foreigners – UK and Russian each – who want to sale their properties. The applications contend that their property is legally purchased and hence should be allowed to be sold.
“We have forwarded their applications to the debt management unit who will have to take further stand on the issue,” a state registrar official stated.
Goa woke up to the grim reality of around 480 properties being purchased by the foreigners and the number swelling every passing month.
The authorities prima facie had found that the properties were purchased in violation of FEMA and scoring on the loopholes in Goa’s property registration system.
The state government-constituted Anupam Kishore committee had identified 480 such cases, of which 298 cases were referred to directorate of enforcement as prima facie FEMA violations were noticed in them.
The directorate of enforcement has begun investigating into all sale deeds including those executed by forming an Indian company with foreigners as its directors.
“After the issue has cropped up, we are not even allowed to move an inch. Our investment is blocked here,” a Russian national, whose property in Siolim, is in question, reacted.
The Russian, who refused to be identified, said that he had purchased an ancestral house in the name of the Indian company but the local authorities refuse him even to repair it.
“I am stuck here with my money. I can’t even sell off the property as sale deeds cannot be executed,” he said.
Few of the UK nationals, who invested in Goa, after reading the advertisement back in their country which lured them with good offers, feel cheated.
A south Goa-based foreign couple, who too do not want to be named, has written letter to the registration department seeking to sell their property after the probe began.
“How can they be allowed to sale the properties? Their old sale deed is being questioned that means the property may not have been legally transferred. So how can we allow them to sell it to next party,” Swapnil Naik, additional collector, who is also a member of Anupam Kishore committee, reacted.
He said that those properties which are not being questioned and are legally purchased can be sold out with proper permission.
The directorate of enforcement which is probing into the transactions has already asked the state government not to allow further transactions in case of seven properties – all in north Goa.
“The DE has specially instructed that there will be no further sale deed or transfer of the property,” Naik said.
The registration department, which was criticized for allowing innumerable properties being purchased without proper checks, feels that the state government should appoint an authority which will go into all the details of the application, when foreigners apply for buying the property.
“We can’t check his visa details. If we sit with it, we will be registering only one deed a day and then we will be accused of being slow and corrupt,” an official commented.
The law mentions that for a foreigner to buy property in Goa, he needs to be staying here for 182 days and should have business, vocational or employment visa. The reserve bank of India’s nod is also mandatory.
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