NRI Investment


Currency import
Any person arriving from outside India may bring currency into the country at the time of his return from any place outside India (other than from Nepal and Bhutan). No limit is prescribed for the import, and there is no limit as such on bringing in foreign exchange by an incoming passenger. However, a declaration in CDF (Currency Declaration Form) is required if the value of such currency exceeds $10,000 or its equivalent or traveller's cheque and $5000 foreign currency notes or its equivalent.

Acquiring immovable properties in India
A person of Indian origin, resident outside India, may acquire any immovable property in India by way of inheritance from a person, resident outside India, who had acquired such property in accordance with the provisions of foreign exchange law in force at the time of acquisition by him or the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India) Regulations, 2000. Immovable property, by way of inheritance, can also be acquired by a person of Indian origin resident outside from a person resident in India. It is advisable to invest in commercial rented properties rather than investing in residential properties. This is because these properties offer returns up to 10% p.a. which can be transferred to the NRI's account. Maintenance of residential properties and monitoring the same has become a pain for NRIs. As good developers have started offering commercial rented properties for sale, it is an excellent opportunity for NRIs to invest in the same.

Proprietary Partnership
There is no direct provision dealing with continuing of proprietary partnership abroad. However, a general restriction on a person resident in India to deal in foreign exchange or enter into any transactions of receipts or payments with non-residents, unless there is a general or special permission in that behalf. Besides, there are specific regulations concerning a person resident in India pertaining to foreign currency bank accounts, lending and borrowing in forex, acquisition and transfer of immovable property outside India etc. It is advisable that a specific permission be obtained from the Reserve Bank on such interests.
NRIs and Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs) investment in India
The government of India has adopted a liberal policy with respect to investments by NRIs and OCBs in India. Such investments are allowed, both through the RBI route and also through the government route, i.e., through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). NRIs and OCBs are permitted to invest up to 100% equity in the real estate development activity and civil aviation sectors. Investments made by NRIs and OCBs are fully reportable, except in the case of real estate, which has a three year lock-in period on original investment and, 16% cap on dividend repatriation. For proposals that do not qualify under the automatic route, government approval is granted through FIPB.

NRI investment under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)
FEMA extends to the whole of India. It also applies to all branches, offices and agencies outside India owned or controlled by a person resident in India. It also applies to any contravention committed in or outside India by any person to whom the Act applies. A person of Indian origin resident outside India may transfer residential or commercial property in India by way of gift to a person resident in India or to a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India or to a person of Indian origin resident outside India. A person of Indian origin resident outside India may also transfer by way of gift agriculture land/farm house/plantation property in India to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India. In addition to that any person, contravening FEMA, shall be liable, upon adjudication, to a penalty up to three times the sum involved in such contravention, where such amount is quantifiable, or up to Rs 200,000, where the amount is not quantifiable.