While immovable property generally refers to a property that is fixed to earth such as a house; an agricultural land usually refers to such a land which is devoted to agriculture, and the controlled and systematic rearing of livestock along with the production of crops, in order to produce food for humans. Thus, it is synonymous with cropland or farmland.
Which properties can an NRI purchase:A citizen of India resident outside (NRI) can own commercial as well as the residential properties in India, and there are no restrictions on the number of immovable properties that he can purchase. All the transaction relating to such an immovable property has to be done in Indian rupees (INR) and via the normal banking channels. The funds regulating the transaction have to be maintained in a non-resident account under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the RBI regulations. However, one cannot purchase any agricultural land/ farm house or plantation land, and such property can only be inherited. In order to purchase such property, he has to take prior permission from Reserve Bank of India. Such a proposal would then be considered by RBI in consultation with the Government of India.
Transfer of Property by an NRI:An NRI can transfer immovable properties (other than agricultural land) to:
- Any person who is a citizen of India, but resides outside its territory.
- Any person of Indian origin, residing outside.
- Any person residing in India.